Vicks – Generations of Care: Marketing beyond Product Promotion

#TouchOfCare: On March 29th, 2017, a new video advertisement promoting the Vicks brand created a sensation by striking the most sensitive nerve of the Indian population. Created by Publicis Singapore, the video, spanning 3 and a half minutes, tells the story of a young girl Gayatri who is on her way to boarding school. 10 years ago, Gayatri lost her mother to a life-threatening disease and was later adopted by Gauri Sawant. Being thrown out of the house at the age of 18, Gauri has seen her own share of struggles in life before she met Gayatri. Gauri raised Gayatri as her own child, pampering and looking after her all along. Gayatri recalls a memory of being ill and Gauri using Vicks to treat her and spending the night by her side. In a span of 10 years, the two grew closer to each other, surpassing the mother-daughter relationship and becoming best friends. Gauri wants Gayatri to become a doctor. But Gayatri aspires to become a lawyer, for her mother Gauri, a transgender woman.

The ad has received 10 million views on YouTube and has been one of the most touching ads to go viral in recent times. This video has been a part of numerous “Try not to cry” challenges as well. A guaranteed tear-jerker for most who have watched it, the video still continues to be shared on social media more than a year after it was released.

Vicks as a Brand: For generations, Vicks has been a part of nearly every household around the world. It’s an easily available over-the-counter medicine for mild fevers, cold and cough. Vicks VapoRub ointment, along with other products under the brand, basks in the glory of a 96.5 market share in the “VapoRub” segment. What began as an innovative new home remedy christened Vick’s Magic Croup Salve in 1905, by pharmacist Lunsford Richardson and Dr. Joshua Vick, was later rebranded as Vicks VapoRub in 1912. In 1985, American multi-national consumer products manufacturer Procter and Gamble Co. bought the Vicks brand and has been manufacturing and distributing its products worldwide. Vicks VapoRub can be found among the common medicines in a large number of households and even in travel kits of people all around the world.

The Evolution of Vicks VapoRub

“Mother”: With a brand image and a market share as immense as it has, why Vicks need to invest in such an emotionally charged advertisement to grab the attention of the masses? The answer lies in the very heart of Indian values and culture. In a typical Indian family, the father is the head of the family, following a patriarchal family system for centuries. But it’s the mother who breathes life into the family. A mother is someone who has borne intense pain to give birth to her children and raise them. And she continues to do so for the rest of her life even after her children have grown up and are capable of taking care of themselves. She spends sleepless nights when one of her children falls ill. Right from working and earning to doing household chores like cooking, a mother always does everything keeping her children in mind. For a majority of children in India, as well as a fair share of adults, there’s no worry in the world that a mother’s touch and soothing words cannot cure. Through this ad, Vicks and Publicis Singapore emphasize this very sentiment which has been the cornerstone of Indian families for ages. And Vicks VapoRub has been one of the instruments of motherly love as most Indians have a memory of falling ill and their mothers applying Vicks VapoRub on their chest, nose and foreheads before they drift off into a peaceful sleep for the night. And the ad reinforces this role that the product plays. But the story does not end there.

Discrimination against Transgender Women: India has a population of roughly 4.9 lakh transgender women. Discrimination against them is on the rise. Every day, they are subject to harassment in public, often even of a sexual nature. They are despised and looked down on by “normal” people as an abomination. There have been cases of doctors refusing to examine transgender women or trying to molest them during an examination. Humiliation has become a daily routine in their lives. In recent times, a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Institutions such as Sahodari Foundation and The Transgender Welfare Society have taken the bold initiative to stand up for transgender rights and welfare. But a lot more needs to be done so that the discrimination is curbed and transgender women are treated and respected as a member of the society that we all are a part of.

Marketing beyond Product Promotion: With subtle product placement in the video, the Vicks VapoRub ad calls the attention of the vast Indian society towards the concerns of the neglected and harassed transgender women of India. It showcases the capability and calibre of such a woman in raising and taking care of a girl child all by herself through the true story of Gauri Sawant and her daughter Gayatri. The adoption law makes it difficult for a single man or a woman to adopt a child. And it makes it much more difficult for a transgender woman to do so, owing to societal norms and taboos. Gauri Sawant sets an example by fighting all odds in making the right choices in life with pride.

Watch the heart-touching video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zeeVEKaDLM

Author: Bruno Nellissery

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Advertisements

Alumni Speak: “Switching from IT to Consultancy was a crucial step for my career, but making this transition wouldn’t have been possible without a formal business education.”

 

Freshly recruited by KPMG India as a Consultant in the IGH (Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare) domain, Sayan Chaudhuri (PGPM 2017-18), is experiencing a major shift in his career and enjoying the challenging new role. We got in touch with him recently to discuss his MBA experience. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

Q1. Tell me about your professional background before joining Great Lakes, Gurgaon, and why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

Before joining Great Lakes, I was working as a Systems Engineer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for more than 3 years. Even with a promising career trajectory at one of the highly acclaimed MNCs, I believed the time had come where I needed to upgrade my skills for moving up the corporate ladder and explore the strategical side of the business so that I could make a direct impact instead of just following orders. Acquiring an MBA degree from a tier I institute seemed like the right way to facilitate the career switch and Great Lakes, Gurgaon gave me the perfect platform to make it possible.

Q2. How did the one year at Great Lakes help you transform into the professional that you are today?

The journey from a hardcore IT profile of a Systems Engineer to a Strategy Consultant at one of the Big 4s was not an easy one, but Great Lakes ensured that I completed it with perfection. There was a lot to learn and the unwavering support of the acclaimed faculty at GL ensured thorough preparation for the corporate challenges that lie ahead. Most importantly, the ample practical learning opportunities that I received in the form of interactions with renowned industry experts helped me understand the day-to-day business challenges and prepared me for the job that I’m in today.

Q3. Mention three key highlights of your Great Lakes experience.

  • Inspiring & Esteemed Faculty
  • Unparalleled Exposure in the form of Corporate Lecture Series and Live Projects
  • The Ice Breaking trip to Rishikesh

Q4. Which faculty member/guest lecturer impacted your education the most?

Choosing one faculty member from a pool of such gifted mentors is next to impossible, to say the least. All the skills that I acquired in the last one year are a result of the collective effort of all the faculty members at Great Lakes, combined with all the esteemed corporate mentors and CXOs who took the time out of their busy schedules to interact and educate our young and eager minds. Therefore, selecting any one of them would be an unfair assessment on the same.

Q5. Tell me about your current organization and job role. How do you think going to a B-school has helped you in your career?

I’m currently working with KPMG India as a Consultant, tasked with catering to the needs of the IGH (Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare) clients of the firm.

As I mentioned earlier, switching from IT to Consultancy was a crucial step for my career, but it was the right one and without the help of a formal business education it would have been next to impossible to achieve the same.

Q6. What advice would you like to give to the future Great Lakers?

The one year at Great Lakes is filled with omnipresent learning opportunities. More than anything, your peer group is an untapped reservoir of knowledge. All your batch mates have come from diverse occupational backgrounds with a combined experience of 100+ years. So, use that. Learn from their experience, form lifelong bonds and as this is going to be your last academic year (most probably) don’t forget to have fun.

 

S&P Global: An Interactive Industry Engagement Session

S&P Global: An Interactive Industry Engagement Session

May 25, 2018

The PGPM Class of 2019 at Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon welcomed executives from S&P Global – Mr Dushyanth Sekhar, Director – Content Automation Robotics & Extraction (C.A.R.E), Ms Nupur Jain, Talent Acquisition Lead, Gurgaon, Ms Rajni Kataria, Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Gurgaon, and Mr Saransh Arya, Content Systems Analyst, Operations Enablement; to speak on the fourth industrial revolution – Robotics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, on Friday, May 25th, 2018.

S&P Global has been providing intelligence that is essential for clients to make decisions with conviction for over 150 years. S&P provides data and analytics, research and commentary, benchmarks and credit ratings through the collective strength of its divisions – S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Market Intelligence, S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Platts.

Mr Dushyanth said, “Machines are becoming like humans but still a large part of it is mathematical (cognitive computing).” With a higher degree of innovation, S&P Global seeks to reduce the need of human interventions in tasks which are irksome and mundane otherwise.” He emphasized that he strongly believes in the democratization of technology. Growth in technology has paved way for companies to develop better algorithms and influence their market accordingly. Furthermore, machine learning has changed the definition of traditional programming and in the modern times, the output itself is the program. According to Mr Sekhar, the trick is feeding a data set that will teach the algorithm to decipher the data.

Great Lakes Institute of Management also focuses on coupling analytics with business knowledge which gives business graduates of this generation an opportunity to introduce newer concepts to the corporate world. Therefore, this interaction between S&P Global and Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, was a perfect platform for sharing new and innovative ideas in the said fields of Machine Learning, AI and Analytics.

Author: Hita Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon