When medical research in the 1960s identified Safflower oil to be heart-friendly, the Mariwalla family identified a huge product opportunity. At that time, India was home to some of the highest numbers of individuals with diabetes and heart disease. This further amplified the need for heart-friendly cooking oil in Indian diets.
Thus, ‘Saffola’ was born in 1965, and due to its niche target, it started enjoying a premium position in the market.
However, in spite of having a huge first-mover advantage, the biggest weakness of the product lay in its ‘Unawareness’. But today, the brand takes the numero uno position in the healthy and heart-friendly edible oil segment.
Marketing and positioning played the biggest role in turning Saffola from a brand spelling ‘scare’ to ‘care’. Here is how they did it.
Initial brand Projection
With a path-breaking idea of using ‘heart health’ as its premise to bring the product to consumers, Saffola started churning fear-oriented ads.
The then Indian population exhibited a mindset that only when a person fell ill, is when one needed to worry about his or her health.
That is when ad campaigns from the brand showed panic and stress, creating fear of impending diseases if the right kind of cooking oil wasn’t being used.
Saffola was one of the first to stir conversations around heart health and adopt healthier food ingredients.
Their ads centered extensively around the concept of ‘prevention’ in health, urging consumers to buy Saffola and prevent an upcoming heart attack.
Their ‘Kal Se Re’ commercial also highlighted the difficulties that people faced in their journey of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
All of these ads majorly focussed on precautionary practices and measures.
All That Followed
However, at the turn of the century, the perspective towards health in India changed. Rather than focussing on disease prevention, Indians were now focussing on healthcare.
More and more healthy cooking alternatives were being introduced and many brands were starting to gain traction in the market.
This made Saffola revamp its brand communication. From a cooking oil that helps prevent a heart attack in the future, it bought itself out as a brand that made consumers aware of
the need to care for their heart health.
This is when ads like ‘Swasth Parivaar Ke Dil Ki Dhadkan’, and ‘Apne Tareeke Se Push, Toh Dil Khush’ were made to raise awareness among consumers. It also drove the point that
taking care of your health is not that difficult, and Saffola makes it easier for you.
While very few brands were tackling the sensitive subject of rising cholesterol levels, Saffola managed to get the message across through beautiful and assertive campaigns like these.
Ads like these, focussed on caring for heart and health.
The brand has always used women to portray how important their role has been in propagating healthy living for their families. However, with changing dynamics, a stressful lifestyle could mean that her health too is at risk. And this is where a refreshing ad like this wove its place into viewers’ hearts.
The brand diversified into different segments and introduced various products- honey, peanut butter, instant oats, soya chunks, etc. Each of them has focussed on the importance and the means to achieve healthy lifestyle practices. Right from keeping weight in check, exercising, taking care of your heart, living life to the fullest, and so on.
Be it ads that feature Boman Irani to the latest ones that have Kareena Kapoor and Neetu Singh to the new generation of actors like Janhvi Kapoor endorsing Fittify, Saffola leads by the example of how a brand should adapt to the changing times, and evolve to stay relevant every time