Iconic Ads: ITC Sundrop – Healthy Oil for Healthy People

Sundrop became the “healthy oil for healthy people’ – maintenance of good health and all family members.

There were a few parameters to be followed when ITC ventured into edible oil marketing which the team had agreed upon:
1) Packed refined oil for the same price as loose oil, which was what the customers were used to,
2) Health for the healthy, was a new trend.
3) What’s good for kids is excellent for you
4) Health for the healthy was preferable to health for the sick.
5) Edible oils were a massive sector that was quickly developing, so it fit ITC’s need for size.
6) From seed to kitchen, there was an interesting value chain.

Sunflower oil was chosen because it was the smallest in the category, it was healthier, and it was much cheaper as a commodity than other alternatives.

Ulka was briefed about the launch of new sunflower oil by ITC. Sunflower oil was relatively not heard off!

All cooking oil brands advertising in the late 1980s looked the same, using kitchen, dining table, wife, mother-in-law & so on. And the market was dominated by groundnut oil, mustard oil with local preferences like rice bran oil and vanaspati.

Most oils had used the taste platform. Levers had just launched Flora sunflower oil & was positioned as a ‘light oil’. Given the characteristics of the sunflower oil, it was felt that the brand could carry the tag ‘Healthy oil’. So while Saffola, which was made from safflower oil, was positioned for those with ailments, ITC wanted a larger segment to tackle and the brand became the “healthy oil for healthy people’ – maintenance of good health and all family members.

The name decided was – Sundrop. Sun came from the core product and drop was to signify purity/goodness etc. It is said that Khokon Mukherjee of ITC along with Ulka came up with this name.

Ulka was experiencing some corporate reorganization at the same time, and as it turned out, the film that was created met all of the strategic objectives but failed to connect with the audience.

Anil Kapoor came in, having recently joined Ulka and realizing that this was much too important a brand to lose. Anil immersed himself in the problems at hand, spending several hours with the ITC team.

In a nutshell, everyone agreed that the plan was sound; now it was time to get the new creative out. Nitin Bhagwat and Subodh Poddar worked on this and the classic Sundrop campaign was born.

The commercial used a child as a signify health for the healthy. And then they made the kid stand on his head. The cartwheeling kid, dressed in a yellow tracksuit, appealed to many mothers.

Sundrop quickly became the largest selling cooking oil brand.

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