Published in Nov-Dec 2016
Unilever Pakistan recently launched Fair & Lovely BB (Beauty Balm) Cream with the purpose of introducing a single cream that provides the benefits of a fairness cream (makes the skin tone appear a shade or two lighter) and a foundation (evens out the skin tone).
The cream was launched in India about one and a half years ago and at present it is being ‘soft launched’ in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Multan. For the moment the cream is imported from India.
According to Raheel Pasha Khan, Marketing Director, Skin Cleansing & Oral Care, Unilever, “India is a huge market in South Asia, which is why most products are first introduced there and then rolled out in other markets. The response in India was very successful and so we decided to roll it out in Pakistan, which is a similar market in terms of consumer behaviour patterns.”
According to Khan, the market penetration of BB creams in Pakistan is only three percent and comprises imported brands, such as Garnier, Maybelline and L’Oréal; this is the first time that a local BB cream has been launched.
The target age group are women aged 18+ and belonging to LSM 5 and above; women who have started to use makeup. “BB cream, with its simple application, is their initiation to putting on makeup.”
The cream is available in one shade, although most imported BB creams provide at least three shades to match different skin tones. Khan says that before launching in India, extensive focus group tests were carried out on women with different skin tones and the cream provided satisfactory results across the board. This is due to the fact, he says, that the ingredients used in the cream have the “quality of being oxidised into the skin”; in other words when the cream is applied, it takes on the skin tone of the person using it.
Unlike imported brands which are priced between Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 and target a niche upper-tier market, Fair & Lovely BB cream is priced at Rs 135 for 18 grams and Rs 299 for 40 grams, and aims to reach a wider audience. In Khan’s view, Fair & Lovely’s BB cream is “almost democratising BB creams” and it is available even in small grocery stores and in a single shade that “works for all, sparing the user the hassle of having to figure out which shade to buy.”
He adds that instead of trying to attract the three percent who use imported BB creams, Unilever is focusing on women who use Fair & Lovely Multivitamin cream. “BB cream will be a one up for our Fair & Lovely Multivitamin Cream users; apart from giving a fairness effect, it gives the matte finish look of a foundation.”
As for the possibility of product substitution, he says the Multivitamin Cream is a completely different product and “women will either use the BB cream with the Multivitamin or as a standalone product.”
The promo campaign is handled by MullenLowe Rauf and includes print, activation and digital; YouTube pre-rolls, and short videos on Facebook. The TVC (regional copy made in India) will come on air after the product is launched on a national level and this is dependent on customer response over the next six months.