Cinthol - Analysis

[Warning - A bit heavy on marketing concepts and jargon. Reader discretion is advised :) ]

Ironically, this product has a tagline '24 hour confidence'. When I read this recent article on Cinthol's strategy, it scared me. In a typical MBA marketing course, we were trained to confidently handle such hypothetical scenarios. Say you are the brand manager of a X year old brand. The market share has dipped from 9% to less than 2% over the last few years. You need to define activities to be undertaken to revive market share to X%. Here's what we'll usually come up with:

1. We'll understand a) what are the new/changed/evolved consumer needs b)perception of our brand
2. We'll do repositioning based on existing brand values and on insights from the previous step.
3. We'll use heavy advertising campaign - print, TVC, Outdoor to communicate the change.
And of course we'll throw in some social networking, a bit of online experience and web2.0 jargon to boot.

(And this is a best case scenario. Usually MBA class participation is diminished, the objectives blurred and the output a khichdi of activities)

The brand is doing all of that.
And that's what scares me.

Cinthol Activities

1. Understand changed consumer needs
'Cinthol has always been associated with the alpha male personality. We have revived it, but in a more contemporary manner'
2. Reflect the change in product communication
'The new communication has a masculine tonality, but it is targeted at young adults who aspire to an active lifestyle.'
3. Have a distinctive celebrity endorsement(which according to HarishB was the right thing to do)
4. Reflect the change in packaging (view)
5. Run a planned campaign for 12-18 months bringing together all the above elements
6. Have a website for interacting with customers and creating tribes of like minded users.

One half of me (the MBA part) is acknowledging that Cinthol has been pumped with all the right ingredients. The other half (the consumer part) is indifferent to the efforts being made for the brand. A website for this brand ? So what! ( Objective according to them - 'It will bring together like-minded individuals who keep on moving, irrespective of the hurdles in their life.') Maybe, just maybe some Cinthol loyalists will reach the website.

The Cinthol Website

Interactive ? I don't think so

There are a total of 3 links. One is a link for the TVC, already available on youtube. The other two are static pages - one of which gives banal advice on being physically fresh. The second page has a dumb flash game, I didn't care to play it through.
Loading Screen
Every click is followed by a annoying loading screen, which a visitor with just passing interest (rather than an inquisitive disposition) would have avoided and quit the 'experience'.

According to Sameer Penkar, general manager, marketing, Godrej Consumer Products, “The site will be modified in phases. Currently, what you see on it is part of Phase 1. In the second phase, we will be tying up with portals such as Yahoo!, Rediff, Google and Zapak in order to direct traffic to our site.". Though I don't agree with the phased approach. There won't be a revisit by an online user unless it is enjoyable the first time.

Is there is any piece missing in their campaign ? It would be naive to applaud the strategy and impute execution quality for any poor results. Even if you get all the steps right, follow the tenets of good marketing, how can you hope you've done good work ?

The Cinthol Ad (indianbrands)

Cinthol on Marketing Practice

Cinthol on agencfaqs (here and here)


  1. hey! i completely agree. i saw the site, and i wonder why would i ever - ever go there? besides appreciating the aesthetic aspects maybe. i wish these guys (cinthol, lux provoateur, and ponds types) move beyond creating an array of standalone microsites.
    PS: nice post :)

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  3. a website for soap? :-) maybe they took a leaf out of the Sunsilk book - remember that lame 'sunsilk gang of girls' idea? I stopped using Sunsilk for good after that (the fact that the shampoo was no good helped a lot)

  4. Hi
    Read the news on Afaqs and checked the website and I am like, no way I am gonna come here again.
    Why do they do it?
    Okay,web 2.0 is still the buzzword and the mandate would have been to tap the potential of Web 2.0 in rebranding/re positioning...but..the website is a colossal waste of money.

    The 24 hours ticker is really irritating! Plus , why are these guys dumb to think that all the cinthol customers would go and start playing games on the website...

    Hey! Mr. Cinthol Brand Manager, something amiss.

  5. @ Garima, Priya and Nikhil:

    I guess the marketing division would be having a typical Dilbert scenario, where the pointy haired boss says - I hear this Web 2.0 thing is big now. Its something you should look into.... Then someone like Wallly would get a sloppy website up through a 3rd party agency ...

    Brand Manager is happy that Web2.0 is in their portfolio. 3rd party makes good business. And the consumers ignore it. And this never reaches back because there is no way to measure it....yet...

  6. Dude
    This post has been forwarded to the brand manager through a friend at Godrej CPL.

    Hope they become smarter , sometime soon.

  7. Wow!

    Very true! But i'm a little confused. I really don't think they have much of a website at all!

    These guys have by far, the most idiotic website ever! I don't really think they were trying for web2.0 either. Your right, who would give a damn to watch a stupid TVC, though i couldn't really find the game or this other link you were talking about!

    With all the pseudo "brand managers" trying real hard to make all the sunsilks, and the ponds, and the what have you not, these guys don't really seem to give much of a damn any which ways.

    What you have here is a completely amateur website that is so far regressed in time, it's almost unbelievable!

    Tragic i tell you!

    Looks like Nikhil's forward to the brand manager at cinthol didn't really help at all!


  8. @ J Desai: I guess Phase 2 involved 'removing' the game!

    I really shouldn't be giving gaalis do the the community of brand managers, since I'll be a part of that group in a few years!

    And I hope some avid blogger doesn't dissect my campaigns then...


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