Ever since Covid-19, there has been a significant surge in demand for hygiene products globally as well as in Pakistan. Seizing the opportunity, Fine Daily Necessities (FDN) launched their ‘Khayal Rakhain’ (‘Take Care of Yourself’) campaign to promote Delite’s product line, which includes two disinfecting sprays, a hand sanitizer, a hand wash and a multi surface cleaner. Delite is affiliated with the UK home care brand Aromystic and their production, distribution and marketing rights have been purchased by FDN in Pakistan, making them the sole manufacturers and distributors of all Delite products.
Delite entered the Pakistani market six years ago with an air freshener and since they have been operating in the air and hygiene care categories. They introduced hand sanitizers four years ago and were the first company to manufacture hand sanitizers in Pakistan. Hand washes and disinfectant sprays were added to the product mix later.
According to Raza Naseem, Director Marketing, FDN “As a result of the pandemic, the demand for our products has increased and we felt this was the right time to take ownership and create brand awareness.” Consequently, the ‘Khayal Rakhain’ campaign was rolled out on social media in June and a month later on TV and print.
The campaign centres on a father and his son and shows the father teaching his son about hygiene while helping him care for an injured stray kitten his son has rescued.
“We did not focus on the product features; instead we communicated to our consumers that responsibility and compassion are qualities we should instil in our future generations through our own actions. We don’t take our consumers for granted; we take them seriously by keeping our communications intelligent,” says Kamran Sarfraz, COO, Arey Wah (Delite’s creative agency).
Delite’s campaign is not pandemic specific. In Sarfraz’s opinion “it was easy to instil the fear of contracting Covid-19 and forcing hand sanitizer on people, but we wanted to keep things positive.” The objective was to strengthen the brand’s persona, rather than boost sales temporarily. Furthermore, according to Sarfraz, FDN only wanted to show men in the campaign and “we changed that limitation into an opportunity.” Naseem adds that the response was encouraging despite a recent controversy on social media surrounding the lead actor in the ad – Omair Rana. “We went ahead because no legal action was taken and nor was any formal complaint made.”
Although it is difficult to gauge the response in terms of sales (was the increase due to the campaign or because of increased demand for hygiene products), both the agency and brand are of the opinion that it did improve the brand’s image. “It was good to see people tagging each other and discussing different aspects of the campaign, such as fatherhood, the importance of spending quality time with your child and caring for animals,” says Sarfraz. “The persona we created was that of an intelligent brand that communicates on a broader level.”
The company attributes Delite’s success as a hygiene care brand due to their quality and competitive pricing (their hand sanitizer and hand wash cost less compared to other locally manufactured brands and their disinfectant spray is among the cheapest available in Pakistan). “Given the growth of online retail platforms due to the pandemic, several e-platforms have directly purchased our products from physical stores,” says Naseem. He adds that the success of the brand in the hygiene care category can be attributed to the fact that it is available in most cities and towns in Pakistan.
In terms of the competition, Dettol is the dominant brand in the hygiene care sector, along with Safeguard and Lifebuoy among local players, in addition to imported products such as Cool & Cool. Naseem says that, “quality has been our commitment from day one and coming forward as a responsible brand in these challenging times was our way of reminding our consumers of our presence.”
Speaking about challenges within the hygiene category in Pakistan, Naseem says that “although hygiene is a very well developed category globally, in Pakistan this was not the case until very recently, unlike air fresheners. Even lower SECs are open to the idea of buying air fresheners but hygiene products have a limited consumer base, as many people do not realise their benefits. In fact, hand sanitizers were a ‘dead product’ until the pandemic.” Another problem is the lack of regulation and documentation, as a result of which smuggled imported brands are available and are a threat for established brands. Furthermore, local hygiene product manufacturers are unable to gauge their market share and penetration due to the lack of documentation.
Despite these challenges, Naseem is optimistic. He believes the potential for the category is immense and that if the current level of hygiene awareness continues, products such as hand sanitizers will move from niche products in restricted hospitals and clinics to a wider consumer base.