Should Santoor soap wash off its mummy story?

  •  March 19,2020 By IndianTelevision Team

NEW DELHI: A fair and slim woman is indulged in her own world, enjoying a fairly normal moment, when a charming A-list actor sees her, mesmerised with her beauty and gets the shock of his life to know she is a “mummy”. A mother? How can a woman fitting all conventional beauty standards be a mother?

This is a formula that Wipro Consumer Care’s soap brand Santoor has been riding on for decades now. In its recent ads, which have a different brand ambassador for the South Indian audience, but with the same “mummy”, the anecdote of the female protagonist in the role of a doctor was added. This has been done possibly to fit in the modern trend of being gender-sensitive while curating such ads in the category. talked to some of the industry experts to understand if it is time for Santoor to take a shift in its approach.

According to Mirum India ECD Naila Patel, while the ads are seemingly sexist, there is no taking away from the fact that physical and visible beauty of a woman remains important to both men and women.

She says, “I think with the narrative on beauty evolving, Santoor should think of extensions. Although skin-deep beauty remains a timeless promise, a lot of young people want to associate with a brand that speaks the same language they do.”

However, others differed in opinion. 

Brand-nomics MD Viren Razdan quips, “Santoor Mummy has been a decades-old formula. Contemporary touches of professionals and career-driven young moms have been attempts to break into the modern mainstream. The new episodes of Santoor seem to protect this code with its target audience. Any hard stance might throw its bold move off its core brand essence. So for its core TG, there is no sexism in this formula - the rest might have their own views.”

Samsika Marketing Consultants founder, chairman and managing director believes that the ads are, in fact, one of the most balanced and sensible ones, with high credibility.

Socxo CMO and programme head Ajit Narayan adds, “What they have been doing so far is to make the woman more relevant through time. Right from the homemaker at weddings etc., moving to one who is independent, portrayed through her becoming a fashion designer to working out at the gym, etc. They have taken modern adaptations of a woman to consistently portray the same idea which has been giving them business.”

The three agreed that there is no need for the brand to change its messaging. 

Narayan says, “If the creative idea has stood the test of time so far and is resulting in business, would any brand want to change it? Why would they want to change? Unless of course, the audience mindset and insights about them have changed? The core appeal of the brand is the mummy moment. It's in fact, a recognisable IP for the brand, something that most brands strive to build over time. People view the ads despite knowing the twist. It's like the "Xerox moment" for copiers.”

Razdan notes, “Change for the sake of change is perhaps not required. Santoor has built its soft codes strongly over the years, does it seem to fatigue - not really. Bold sometimes is boring and too beaten a path.”

For now, it seems like the brand is milking the most out of its tried-and-tested formula and may not see any shift in the near future.