The Hajmola Advertisements: An unconventional Marketing story

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With this piece, we take a look at the Dabur’s Hajmola advertisements and the entire unconventional Marketing story of the brand since its very inception of the brand in 1978 till today. The campaigns run in the past were unlike any campaigns you’d find today. This is primarily because of the “witty” image that Hajmola has, and it seems unlikely for any other brand, at least in the short-run to do something similar. With that said, let’s jump straight into the subject.

So, how do we describe Dabur Hajmola in a sentence?

Digestive tablets which enhance your taste buds with  “chatpata” flavours.

Dabur has been known for producing Ayurvedic products. Hajmola is one of them. Yet, the approach towards its marketing has evolved with time.

Hajmola was launched in 1978 with its core messaging revolving around fun, taste and digestion! It is clearly expressed in its tagline: “Chatpata Swad, Jhatpat Aaram” (Tangy Taste, Immediate Relief)

The beginning of a witty journey

Hajmola’s advertising started with former Indian Men’s Cricket Team’s Captain Kapil Dev as the face of the brand. At a time when Indian Cricket was all set to intrigue and excite the audience, the campaign was named “Ye baat kuch Hajam nahi hui”. This popular phrase fits so well with Hajmola’s core proposition of easy digestion and humour. Over the years, versions of this campaign impressed a different kind of audience too.

In 1990, for enhancing the launch of its “Imli flavour”, Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat was chosen as the face of the brand. The theme revolved around a humorous wedding situation.

Since its commencement, Hajmola positioned itself as a family-product that can be consumed at any time, but primarily post meals. Its low cost made is accessible to all economic strata of society. This low cost coupled with its claim to solve the indigestion problem in a short period of time helped Hajmola gain a 60% market share in Rs 150 Crore digestive products market in the 2000s.

However, consumer preferences changed with time. Hajmola had to evolve as per varying needs. To keep up, It launched Hajmola candies to target kids and bring them into the mix of things. And, in the late 2000s, Hajmola attempted to target youth as it formed a major part of the population. For this, they roped in megastar Amitabh Bachchan ad alongside a kid in a youth-centric ad. By this time, Hajmola already had a lion share (75%) of the market. At that time, it claimed that 20 million tablets are consumed daily in India.

Ajay Devgn was chosen as the brand ambassador of Hajmola in 2012. He featured in various ads filled with fun and humour in coherence with the brand message.

The Digital Hajmola

Hajmola stayed true to its Brand essence, that is, its wit and quirkiness. The medium shifted, intention did not. They capitalized on Moment Marketing to gain traction via memes and puns. The forever popular #BaatHajamNahiHui came to the rescue.

Hajmola’s: Spoof on Chlormint’s Doobara Mat Puchna

This happened in 2011, Chlormint’s message of “Doobara Mat Puchna” was tweaked to “Bar Bar Puchna” by Hajmola Mint Masti encouraging customers to ask why they eat a mint.    

In 2006, Hajmola rolled out “Hajmola Bahana Champion” to increase the customer base and frequency of purchase of the existing SKUs. Here, the customers had to come up with “bahanas” they use to have Hajmola. Winners would get cash prizes and other gifts as well.

It, then, launched the Raksha Bandhan campaign in 2019 as an extension of #BaatHazamNahiHui. The campaign showcased siblings pulling each other’s legs and enjoying happy moments by teasing each other.

Innovation as the path to Success

One of the major transitions in Hajmola’s journey was when it added Hajmola pouches to its packaging alongside previously existing glass bottles. These Pouches were convenient to carry when compared to glass bottles that more of an in-house consumption product.

As a part of their on-ground initiatives, Hajmola tied up with Mumbai Dabbawalas giving customers Hajmola sachets free along with every tiffin delivered. This was a great way to reinforce the brand to the minds of existing Hajmola consumers as well as a way to test the new variants of Hajmola (including kaccha aam and pudina).

They also tested new variants in highway dhabas and Quick Service Restaurants like Nirula’s under the “Hajmola ka chatkara kare khana complete”, where one sachet was given on every order for a period of two years.

The thought behind the above-mentioned initiatives was that the company wanted to enhance the value of every meal. It also collaborated with FM Radio and Indian railways to keep the “fun” element alive.

In 2015, Dabur noticed a trend among consumers inclining to move from carbonated drinks to healthier and Indian options (like Paperboat). Hajmola Yoodley is available in six variants- Jhakaas Jaljeera, Kabhi Kala Kabhi Khatta, Golmaal Golgappa, Go Goa Guava, Nimboora Shikanji and Awaara Aam Panna. It is an interesting choice of names, representing the “wit” to the fullest. It will “bring alive the hidden spirit of mischief”, Dabur India Ltd Marketing Head-Foods Mr Sanjay Singal said.

In 2018-19, it launched Anardana Churan and Fun2 Candy in line with fun and zeal associated with the brand for years. Later, in an attempt to shrug off its “therapeutic” image, they revamped its packaging and communication with Mr Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign tagline “Hazam Sab Chahe Jab” aims to appeal to every demographic.

The current story

Presently, Dabur Hajmola has a >50% market share in the digestible market, with approximately 2.6 million tablets consumed per day. It has six variants- Regular, Imli, Chatkola, Hing, Anardana, Pudina, Chatpati. The current face of the brand is the Bollywood start Ajay Devgn, you can take a look at the most launch below.

The Author

The piece was penned down by Lakshya Mehta, a student at XIMB, drop a thank you for the piece when you can! If you liked this piece, share it with your best buddy on WhatsApp.

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