Wednesday, May 6, 2009

IPL and I-pill

Protecting your wicket even when your partner makes the wrong call

If you are a cricket fan you must be following IPL a.k.a. the revolution (and money) of Indian cricket and you must have as well come across i-pill advertisement…

Both are revolutionary concepts and are targeted to the fast and furious, outgoing, upbeat, affluent and instant generation youth. They look for quick results, be it cricket or a serious issue like avoiding pregnancy, through bold cheerleaders and advertisements respectively. Result - a great hit.

Marketers are targeting the new breed of fashionable, educated, rebellious youths who like to hang out in a Cafe Coffee Day, live in a virtual world Orkut, watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S & Roadies, own a Levi’s or an iPod. Moreover, they are not hesitant to pop in an emergency contraceptive like Cipla’s i-Pill.
Before 2005, emergency contraception (meaning contraception taken by women after intercourse to prevent unplanned pregnancy) was a prescription drug in India. In a country where one can obtain diabetes drugs from the local chemist, this meant that the so-called “morning-after pill” was not widely available, and anyway not discussed in public. The law changed which allowed the drug to be sold over the counter, and Cipla cracked i-pill… a brilliant product and a clutter breaking campaign.

The initial advertisements featured good looking people saying “An unplanned pregnancy can result in a traumatic abortion” with a tag line “Because prevention is better than abortion.” Brilliant marketing… but who is Cipla intended to target? The affluent but not so bold, actual consumer (women) or the influencer (men). In case of i-pill, the primary target (consumer) is women and the secondary target is men.
Today, men at large play a dominating role when it comes to issues related to sex and are known to be more bold and outspoken about it. Therefore in many cases they make the purchase, if not, at least will be major influencers in the purchase of contraceptive pills.

Therefore reaching this particular segment is important for a brand like i-pill and Cipla has made a smart move by using IPL as a vehicle to carry the message. Cricket is a religion in India and the Indian youth (men) constitute a large percentage of its devotees.

Cipla is exploiting IPL’s popularity at the cost of consumer’s health”
But, the advertisement says NOTHING about the side effects, how it’s intended to be used as contraception, not as a first line of protection... The marketers have hidden information that might cannibalize their sale… No warning, no caution.

So I tried to get some information about the magical pill…here it goes.
The pill gives the body a burst of synthetic hormones, which effectively disrupt the hormone cycles required for a successful pregnancy. While it will not cause future infertility, long-term effects are still not known entirely and immediate side effects could include nausea, vomiting, headaches, breast tenderness, dizziness, fluid retention and irregular bleeding. The pill also does not guard against STD’s like HIV and is effective only against a potential pregnancy at the time of popping the pill.

Mistri diagnosis:
So where does the fault lie? Who can we blame for this failure in mass communication? Is it Cipla, for putting their name behind such a deceptive advertising campaign? Is it the Indian law, for allowing such advertisements? Or is it India’s education system?

I-pill is a contraceptive pill and should be promoted in the same fashion, misleading consumers might shoot the sales in short run, but in the long run brands that are true to the consumers are the most loved and trusted ones.

Author: Sanjay

1 comment:

  1. it's very true dat i-pill is misleading in d sense dat :
    Women tend 2 tk it easy. product is basically targeting youngsters(teenagers & dose in early 20s) who really don't kw side effects of such products. Chances of AIDS would b much higher fr sure

    This product shldn't hv bn permitted 2 hit d mkt. I won't blame the company bt govt itself.

    LEAD India ..............................
    SORRY...... I should rather say MISLEAD INDIA



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