Iconic Ads: Dabur Lal Dant Manjan – Masterji

Tooth powders were used, especially in rural areas. Dant Manjan leveraged its ayurvedic heritage & ingredients to make teeth whiter.

In the mid-80s, Dabur had launched many products.

At that time, they had a concept of floating products. They would launch products without any advertising support. If certain parameters were met, then more resources like capital were pumped into these products.

One of the products was Dabur Lal Dant Manjan.

It was decided to invest some advertising into this brand, as it had potential. Ulka led by Arvind Bugga worked on this brand.

Tooth powders were used, especially in rural areas. Dant Manjan leveraged its ayurvedic heritage & ingredients to make teeth whiter.

At that time, there was also competition in the form of Colgate tooth powder, and also Vicco. Dant Manjan needed to differentiate itself from them. The suffix ‘Lal’ was one of the differentiators from a product standpoint.

Advertising needed to address the younger and the older generations. Rahul Kalia worked on the script, and Arvind worked on the strategy.

As Arvind remembers, “Dabur was testing the waters as far as advertising goes, they decided to allocate a sum of Rs 10 lakhs both for the production and media together. We had to stretch the rupee there. We also wanted to prove we can make a difference”.

A radio producer, Swadesh Chadha, decided to become a filmmaker and made this film. The budget was so restrictive that Arvind was the only person on the shoot! He donned the creative hat at that time.

The contradiction of a teacher with bad teeth and a student telling him what to do, worked!

This film ran for 15+ years and was a huge success. It helped to take the brand from Rs 60 lakhs to well over Rs 200 crores.

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