Iconic Ads: Nycil – Bramble Back

After careful evaluation of the market, Nycil was positioned as a prickly heat powder. And the mnemonic was changed

Nycil, the talcum powder was handled by many agencies before it reached the doorstep of Sista in the early 70s.

There were no consistent and good creatives until then. Nycil was also tottering and sales were going down.

After careful evaluation of the market and the opportunities available, both Glaxo and Sista’s first narrowed the focus to a prickly heat powder.

Sista came up with just one now-famous advertisement – a woman with a bareback on which a bramble was put (replacing the cactus mnemonic being used earlier). This became such a powerful mnemonic that the client used this one picture on every piece of communication and merchandising. It eventually ended up on the pack.

Johnson & Johnson were the market leaders with a 70% market share. Within one year of the “bramble back,” the market share was reversed with Nycil reaching a market share of 70%.

Pradeep Poddar, Ex Glaxo & Heinz, responsible for Nycil and led it from 1987 – 2005 says – “I led Nycil as Head of Marketing & Sales of FPD, Glaxo, and then as the MD & CEO of Heinz India & SE Asia. I was instrumental in getting Nycil out of price control and then positioning it as a premium offering with a significant profit margin!

Invested in advertising and sales promotion to grow the brand.

Another aspect that very few brands enjoy is consumer loyalty! We did in-depth market research in 1998 and came to know that nearly all visible features of the brand had an indelible mark on the consumer’s mind – this included the blue colour of the pack, the bramble and the message! So we decided to work on the variants and soften the look of the brand – sandalwood and lavender !!!

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