Friday, May 16, 2014

SCA – Libero and Tempo

In November 2013 the Indian FMCG market saw a new entrant – SCA, one of the world's largest companies in personal care products. The company’s two brands – Libero and Tempo were unveiled. Libero is a range of baby care products; it comprises of baby diapers, baby wipes and baby toiletries. The second brand is Tempo – a range of hand and face hygiene products. In this post I would like to comment upon the advertising I have seen of these two


The Libero launch ad campaign comprised TV commercial, press ads and outdoor (I remember seeing see bus shelters). Libero addresses the concerns of Indian mothers regarding safety for their babies; it claims that its products are made from skin-friendly natural ingredients which are good for baby’s skin and is a natural way to care for the baby. To my mind both the press ad and TV commercial do not communicate the proposition strongly, or let us say the proposition itself is not strong enough because the ‘natural’ claim has been overused by numerous brand over the decades and has become cliched. Its claim that Libero products are made from natural ingredients may be true but this itself is good not enough to convince a young Indian mother to try out Libero.

They need to think of new ideas and see how best they can leverage their strength – use of natural ingredients. The present campaign tries to introduce the range as whole and not individual product categories; in times to come they will need to have separate advertising not just for each of the categories they are into but also each individual product if they want to make their presence felt in the Indian market.

I cannot comment on Libero diapers and wipes but I do like to comment on its toiletries range. Baby toiletries market in India is dominated by Johnson’s and it will be an enormous task on Libero’s part to even make a tiny dent in the baby toiletries market. Over the last fifty years or so several companies tried to market their own brands of baby care toiletries but had to exit the market; some of the notable names being Glaxo, Colgate, Voltas, Wipro and some more whose names I do not recall now. While going through my collection of old magazines I happen to discover a black and white advertisement of Colgate Baby Powder in an issue of Filmfare dated June 14, 1963, that makes the ad a little over than fifty years old. Wipro was one of the well-known brands in this category. Wipro Baby Soft was launched in the 1990s and it had managed to get a market share of 4%, but I do not see its presence now. I can’t help but wonder if Libero’s range of baby toiletries will meet the same fate because as of now there is nothing in their advertising that would convince the mother of a baby to prefer Libero’s range of baby toiletries over Jonson’s baby care products; the proposition is quite weak and ad budget also seems to be too low to make any significant difference. 

Recent Johnson's press ad
Libero will need to step up its advertising and other forms of promotion and hope for the best. Somehow everyone is hooked to Johnson’s; the fragrance of Johnson’s Baby Powder is strongly
associated with the ‘smell of a baby’ for decades, any other smell will not do for the baby’s mother. This market is tough to break in, although at present there are brands other than Johnson's in the Indian toiletries market, one of them being Himalaya, they are small players.


The Tempo range comprises box tissue, pocket handkerchiefs, wet wipes and hand sanitizers for both hand and face hygiene. Liquid gel hand sanitizers have been around for over a decade and this category is expected to grow bigger. There are quite a few brands fighting for market share, some of the names are – Lifebuoy, Dettol, Himalaya, Godrej Protekt and a few more.

So far advertising for the hand sanitizer category has been educative and quite basic (See Lifebuoy Hand Sanitizer commercial); the ads usually raise concern for health, they talk about the product effectively killing germs, so it is easy to safeguard one’s health if you use the product. The Tempo TV commercial has gone one step forward – the ad campaign is based on the insight that Indians prefer to use their hands while eating. The underlying message in the ad is that you can safely eat your food with your hands and enjoy it if you have taken the precaution of using Tempo. Good thinking and good ad! But SCA needs to invest more money on advertising if they are really convinced this category can be grown and there is a future here.
Display at a Café Coffee Day outlet


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