Post Thumb

Home-grown sanitary pad brand Paree has been gaining a prominent edge over other global players, including Whisper and Stayfree, in the feminine hygiene space with its innovative content initiatives.

Samta Datta

In an interaction with, Samta Datta, General Manager Marketing, Paree, explained how most of the brand’s marketing spends are directed at content marketing strategies across mediums as it is not interested in mainstream, vanilla advertising.

“We treat everything as content and this learning has come from other industries—everything is content even if it is a meme. Whether we do it on TV or digital, we treat it as content and not with a vanilla kind of an approach. I believe there is a time and place when all marketers need to look at their strategy as to how to have the right amount of meaningful storytelling and engagement. 100% of our budget will be on content if it has enough engagement and relevance and is not pure vanilla. The roadmap we have does not leave space for mainstream advertising,” she said.

The brand has been present in the market at full scale for about five to six years and has been doing regular ATL, including TV and digital.

Quoting content initiatives by Cred and Sebamed, she said that in the last couple of years if any advertisement has made a mark in some way, it has been via content only.

“There is a sea of content and at a very fundamental level, our strategy is a strategy of care, which means to be present wherever my consumer is and to care about what my consumers care for. Content is no more digital for us, it's like everything that we do. We try to make sure that we are caring and make some kind of impact on our consumers' lives,” she said.

She said they have made a shift from a typical ‘being-on-air strategy’ to finding ways to make content out of its every association.

The brand has been actively associating itself with TV shows and movies that speak to the youth. In the past, it partnered with Padman, ‘Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya’ and recently associated with MTV Splitsvilla X3, a dating reality show, as associate partner.

She said it is an honest and outspoken show that boldly represents the spirit of youth. The brand empowers the modern Indian woman and her needs through its personalised products that positively impact her life. Shows like these also allow one to have an open conversation and are not preachy, just letting the youth be themselves while giving them a framework at the same time.

It also has collaborated with Bollywood’s newest release Saina, a biographical sports film based on Saina Nehwal.

While opportunities for such associations were scarce amid the pandemic because of the lack of fresh content, she is optimistic about 2021 for the branded content space.

“I think 2020 has given everybody a new way to market, a new way to associate. I think in that sense in the grim life, there were opportunities. This year would be great to sort of see how one has to be a little more careful as there will be mammoth things coming out. We will all have to find meaning, thoughtfulness and caring because investments are not going down, especially for our categories.”

She said marketers are going to look at initiatives that have a genuine connection with consumers. It could be about past precedents or something that is looking very futuristic, but one has to have the right kind of touch and chord with consumers.

Apart from the associations with movies and reality shows, it has partnered with influencers, including Prince and Yuvika, in the past. Asked how much the brand is investing in influencer marketing, Datta said the brand hasn’t capped its investments on this or on overall spending.

“We are not putting a cap on it. The pandemic has taught us to not have a fixed plan, so in that sense, we are very fluid. Also, we are not going after the wave and just looking at meaningful engagement with our TG. In terms of associations with other influencers, we definitely have been thinking about it but not like most other brands in the market, which are just shopping for influencers. We are hand-picking people who are actually going to make sense to the audience, where the audience feels that the conversations or interactions are much more authentic,” she added.

The brand is also planning to explore branded content opportunities in stand-up comedy or in the light-hearted content space as well.

Datta said, “I think comedy as content is a great tool to lighten the mood. A light-hearted approach in the times that we are going through is a great tool in the arsenal of marketers to convey something because at the end of the day we don't want to be dragged down by so much serious stuff. So I think it's definitely something that marketers are exploring. We might not do stand-up comedy associations right now because we are not too sure about the consumption. However, we are definitely looking at some light-hearted way to convey our messaging.”