Sparsh – Touches and Misses

For the Marico group, Sparsh is another addition to their highly successful portfolio of products. Sparsh seems to have been developed by identifying the demand for a baby care product that not only assures safety but does something more—make the child stronger and healthier. Though the baby oil category is filled up with some heavyweights including Johnson and Johnson, Wipro, Dabur to name a few, Marico’s Sparsh should make it well in the market provided they pass on the touch intelligently to the marketing chain.

Attending the launch party of the product in Hyderabad at Fortune Katriya on September 9, 2005 I wondered if they missed out on the most important aspect of their launch party—communicating the marketing message about the product in the right way. A vague observation of the attendees indicated that they were all local people but highly proficient in their trade and customer building capability. The important aspect was the way the party was carried on. The party was organised in a professional way but started with a delay of one and a half hour (quite okay by Indian standards) and the compere Anand made it a lively night with some wise cracks. Mustang entertainers from Bombay entertained the crowd dancing to some popular dance numbers.

The group’s marketing heads Sripriya and Nanda took off to the stage very excitedly. It was quite funny to see the entire programme being carried out in English and bits of Hindi. The audience wasn’t getting a clue about the proceedings.

I was observing how they fit the dealers and shopkeepers into their marketing campaign. I wondered why they didn’t think of presenting the entire show in the local language—Telugu. This is in no way to disregard the entire setup and conceptualisation of the show. But conducting the promotional event in Telugu would have sent the right (quite intelligently presented marketing plan) message to the attendees.

Another interesting part I noticed was the kind of visuals the company used for the product’s background presentations. A beautiful picture of a serene lake amidst tall mountains, but in a violet shade. Now launching a baby product they should have been kept in mind the colours to be used in the visual. The tone of the picture gave a gloomy dark look—not advisable for a baby care product for babies with bright future. The ad visual that they presented at least had a better background—sparkling waters, clean blue sky, warm sunlight and picturesque locations.

The most important thing was that none from the company interacted with the audience to get the feedback. A wonderful opportunity missed. Worse still the entire show went on in a cramped space with only the stage being lighted with all kind of effects like smoke and crackers. It would have been better called a dance party.

Conclusion: Could have done it better.



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