Product / ServiceFEVICOL
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement
Entrant Company OGILVY & MATHER INDIA Mumbai, INDIA
Advertising Agency OGILVY & MATHER INDIA Mumbai, INDIA

The Campaign

In order to engage homeowners in Urban India, Fevicol decided to launch a unique pop-up store, called “The Free Store”, in one of Mumbai’s busiest malls over a holiday weekend. Posters and hoarding saying “100% sale”, “Free” and so on where put up all around the area to announce the arrival of the store. Attracted by these and the artistic wooden bowls, decorative clocks and other display items, hoards of eager shoppers tried to pick up the ‘free’ items—but in vain, since everything was glued down by Fevicol. Fevicol is synonymous with humor advertising in India and therefore wanted an engaging and witty way to let people experience their brand promise of having “The Ultimate Bond”. By letting people have first hand experience of its product benefits along with a good laugh, Fevicol not only to convey its message but also got a chance to get a dialogue going on the brand with its potential customers. Along with positive and affectionate feedback, Fevicol also got invaluable free media coverage for the activity, which went on to become an instant hit on YouTube when it was uploaded. With a budget of less than 2000$, Fevicol got a 1260% return on investment, over 150,000 views in less than 48 hours and a 426% increase in subscriptions to PidiliteIndia’s YouTube channel. The Free Store, thus, turned out to be a small-scale project with large-scale results that reinforced Fevicol’s position as India’s most reliable glue.

The Brief

The best way to prove Fevicol bonds are unbreakable was by challenging people to break them, but its effectiveness depended on how people reacted to participating in such a challenge. Going on the insight that people will always pick up free things, we decided to create 'The Free Store' as a 'limited-time mall promotion activity' and glue down everything on display. The goal here was to ensure that every item LOOKED easily pickable (i.e., make the bonds look breakable). However, nothing would hurt people more, than being proved unable, especially in a public space so we also had to ensure that we created a situation that was more gratifying than the possible shame of not being able to break the bonds.


"If I had known it was Fevicol, I wouldn't have tried only!" "I used Fevicol as a child, now my children use it too" "It had to be Fevicol!" These were some of the onsite responses of people who interacted with 'The Free Store'. Not only did the activity get a completely positive and affectionate brand recall onsite (a unique interaction each with hundreds of people in three days) but got the same kind of response ten-fold online, when the video went up. PidiliteIndia's YouTube channel subscription went up 426% with over 150,000 unique impressions within 2 days. Countless news and social media channels picked up the activity leading to over a 1260% return on investment through free media publicity. The activity created such a buzz on social networking platforms (a first for Fevicol) that Pidilite decided to analyze it as its first digital case-study.


A special stall with three tiers that are accessible from all sides was built. Small scale home furnishing and decorative items were placed in 87 'easy-to-pick' displays along the unit. Each of these items was glued in place with Fevicol SH during assembly. This unit was then placed in the mall atrium with multiple signs all over the premises advertising the arrival of 'The Free Store'. It was accessible for the whole weekend (three days-intended run) to eager shoppers and a video of the activity was intended to engage online audiences in dialogue with the brand as well. An unexpected side-effect was that most people refused to give up pulling (even though they realized the object was stuck) until it was revealed that Fevicol was behind the prank, at which point they gave up instantly since they truly believed that this was one bond they couldn't break. In the end, Fevicol lived up to its brand promise of having "The Ultimate Bond" as not a single item was taken.

The Situation

Although Fevicol has come to own the biggest generic benefit of synthetic white adhesives: ‘strength of bonding’ in the past 50 years; it has only done so within traditional media constraints, which meant that instead of product demonstration we communicated ‘unbreakable bonds’ using analogies and metaphors. Meanwhile, homeowners, the primary decision makers in choosing what material will be used to refurbish their homes, had started opting for cheaper solutions to Fevicol for their carpeting needs. Therefore, Pidilite wanted to explore a way of communication where the product benefit – unbreakable bond – could be demonstrated in a real and physical context to consumer masses, while staying true to the brands humorous and witty manner.

The Strategy

Everyone enjoys a good joke, even if they are a part of it. Furthermore, good gags also spread in the online space, as they are shared and forwarded much after the event takes place. In fact, urban India responds much better to advertising if it is disguised as entertainment. So, we decided to engage homeowners when they were most at ease, over a long shopping weekend at Urban India's favorite hangout place- the mall. The humor here came from realizing that you walked into a gag rather than one was unwillingly done to you. By disguising the installation as a 'limited time promotional activity', we ensured that people approached 'The Free Store' with an intent to pick up an item and therefore did not feel like unwilling participants when the gag was revealed. Moreover, a small token of appreciation, in the form of interior decorating books that highlight the use of Fevicol in refurbishing, was given to all those who tried, ensuring the light-hearted nature of the whole activity.


Name Company Position
Vishal Malhan Pidilite Industries Ltd. Advertiser's Manager
Nirav Parekh Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Account Planner
Vivek Verma Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Account Manager
Ramanathan Sridhar Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Account Supervisor
Ankita Gupta Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Art Director
Hazel Mehta Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Copywriter
Harshad Rajadhyaksha Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Executive Creative Director
Kainaz Karmakar Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai Executive Creative Director
Rajiv Rao Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai National Creative Director
Abhijit Avasthi Ogilvy/Mather/Mumbai National Creative Director