Let colors play the culprit to bring us together this time. Vibrant colors, happy vibes, lip-smacking snacks, a lot of catch-ups, and a sneak peek from the bright and busy digital world! How well can you describe holi now?

Remember those cheerful times when we were kids and used to fill our hands with colors for mushing a friend’s face with those magical colors? Still, chuckling around it? Yeah, I believe happiness and craziness should have no age barrier. Any festival is meant to spread happiness and age should just be considered as a number, not a barrier. We all deserve to enjoy life and have fun.

One of the great things about being a 90's kid is, we know what vibe a little gesture can bring or how a friendly little move can change the aura. I am here resonating with one and only rule of life, i.e. live happiness and spread the same. A lot of people are capable of bringing tears to your table but quite a few have an attitude to cater happiness.

I will be talking about an ad that brought a similar message I spoke about. Can you guess the brand?

Yes, something of course inlining with Holi here?

Okay, let me throw some hints, the product belongs to Marico.

Anywhere close yet?

Ah, the brand stands for purity and quality. A brand that enjoys enormous loyalty in the urban, semi-urban, and rural markets.

Still, connecting dots?

Jot down the facts below.

This is Indian’s leading hair oil. This flagship brand, Parachute which has maintained its market share at over 50 percent in India in the coconut oil category.

Can we quickly walk through the journey of Parachute first?

In FMCG if you have mastered innovation and packaging, trust me, nothing can stop you and your brand from growing. This will of course drive the brand building and distribution. The penetration is low in many categories which leads to a huge opportunity for brands like Parachute to increase sales by increasing penetration. And most importantly, such brands don’t need any permits. Similar was the case with Parachute.

The brain game in the growth of Parachute was that the leadership team decided to look into categories where MNCs are not present and create a wonderful identity there. The category which they identified was hair oiling. Once they decided that they will stretch the oiling segments, of course, investors and analysts raised questions like why they want to expand this. This is a very slow-growing segment and it carries a lot of perplexity about ROI. But don’t forget, we are from India, this has to work here. Hair oiling only exists in limited parts of the world, if we can count any, I can see only India, neighboring countries, and the Middle East. But the decision-makers were very clear that the habit of oiling up the hair will not be dying any soon in India because even for headaches we rely on chumpy. Hence the leadership decided to take a big bet on hair oiling. The overall competitive environment was less and the chances of success were much higher. That bet on hair oiling has really paid off.

Let’s dive deeper? In the early ’80s, coconut oil was completely packed into tins.

Later then the team gave a thought about shifting from tin to something fancy and portable. Plastics are cheaper than tins and without a doubt, more convenient and more attractive to keep on the shelf. Along with package changing, they deducted their packaging cost. But for any new innovation, you need validation through market research. Parachute has done the same and guess what? They concluded that plastics will not succeed with coconut oil. Considering the challenges with plastic, they still choose plastic but this time they came up with a good design using plastic material itself. With several rounds of thought, they developed a round-shaped and packed it in such a manner that not a single drop of oil will ooze out. It took almost ten years for them to convert the market from tin to plastics. That pioneering moment from tin to plastic gave this brand a huge increase in market share.

Practically speaking, from 0% market share they became market leaders. Innovation and execution go hand in hand, it’s not just ideation. But challenges often revamp themselves and then knock again. There were some copycats out in the market which were designed similar to the design of parachutes and were sold at a lesser price which took 20% of their sales. Again innovation here, they designed a certain mold with a foreign mold maker at a very high cost, and the copycats were not able to copy it.

What next? Um, hmmm? Tell me when you start facing an issue with the brilliantly designed parachute oil? Any closer? Winters, right! Because of the narrow mouth of the package and the fact that parachute oil freezes during winter, they had designed a container with a wide mouth and a spout from where the oil should easily be scooped out.

Now let’s talk about some holi vibes?

House of Marico has launched a three-minute video in 2016 around the festival of Holi, conceptualized by McCann Erickson. Have you seen that yet? If now, just play the video lying sadly down to spread some happiness and vibes, off-course.


Should I add some gist of marketing along with the explanation?

Here I go. Clearly, you can see an old age home in the video. A group of cool youngsters wearing white clothes enters the home to celebrate the festival of colours with the residents and friends. You see the most excited cool guy here? Yes, the residents eagerly grab all the colours, so that he can smear them on everyone like we used to do when we were kids.

Have you seen a lady resident observing this intently? Now, why only a woman can intent and notice small details? Hahahaaha, that’s the default, already in gender. You can’t help it, bro!

Anyways, coming back to the lady, she just observes him oiling up her hair and managing them along with a fish ponytail. Now when the cool guy, I mean old guy, very gently enters the courtyard surrounded by the older people and fits himself in a corner. Some youngsters now just pour a small smear of colour on his forehead and feed him with a sweet.

This ad is nothing but a game of expression. The excited but sadly old man is visibly disappointed. But the lady knows that he is disappointed because everybody around him is playing the old character and he can’t go back to that crazy zone and feel insanely happy about the celebration. Because ‘Log kya sochenge’ and ‘umar nahi hai meri’ are stopping him from being himself. The lady who saw him stocking up on colours in his pocket, slowly approaches him, and towards everyone else and surprises him and all the people in the courtyard by smearing a lot of colour on his face, saying what? You know right? Sing it along, Holi hai bhai, chutki bhar se kya hoga? … yes Holi hai. A colour riot that one would associate with young Holi revelers follows, as the old and the young celebrate with gusto. A bottle of Parachute Advanced appears on screen as the brand signs off with the message #KhulKeKheloHoli.

So How Parachute steals the show here?

By grabbing the clutch of Emotional connection and accelerating with a pinch of teaching.

Emotion is something we all are quite emotional about. :P. Am I right or am I right? Smart marketers know that culture, age, festivals are the USPs of India and Indians are really serious about it. So the marketers make sure to bring the best out of this and present it to their customers in their own way.

Emotional(Fear, Anger, Happiness, Belongingness and Greed) marketing is purposely and sensitively used in the form of persuasive messages which click the corner of human emotion to form a deep connection with the audience toward achieving the desired result. And in this ad, Parachute played well. It has reached Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z in their different forms. For Boomers the message was, age is just a number and you do what makes you happy. For Gen X, the message is loud and clear, you don’t have to act old in the future, be yourself and keep spreading happiness and of course cool people, Gen Y and Gen Z, the message was to spread happiness by being friends with the generation which has evolved us to what we are now. The people who stay in old age homes also deserve to be happy even when their personal bonding is falling apart.

Conclusion: Ye rang hai meethe rishto ke, inhe pheeka mat bano. Is baar #khulkekheloholi protecting your hairs right with Parachute advanced?