Appreciate the importance of new and emerging media in view of the change in environment

Sunsilk Gang of Girls’: Hindustan Lever Limited’s Online Social Networking Initiative in India

Appreciate the importance of new and emerging media in view of the change in environment

This case discusses the online community-building initiatives of Indian FMCG major Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL, now, Hindustan Unilever Ltd) for its beauty shampoo brand, Sunsilk. HLL was one of the largest spenders in the traditional advertising media. With the growing popularity of new and emerging media like the Internet, especially among the Indian youth, HLL identified new marketing communication programs that could capitalize on this trend. To keep the Sunsilk brand relevant to its target group (young girls), HLL started an online social network and community called the Sunsilk Gang of Girls (GoG). It was the first all-girl online community in India and quickly caught the attention of the target group (TG) as it was promoted by HLL with a 360-degree media communication blitz.                                                             

HLL continuously updated the content and added new features to GoG to keep it relevant to the TG. It also took this online initiative to the ground with mall activation programs and participation in college youth festival events.

Experts felt that HLL was rewarded for taking the risk of starting an online social networking site as it got good brand recognition and could connect with the target group. The case also discusses the issues and constraints faced by companies and marketers who want to target the youth in a rapidly changing market environment like India. It also highlights the various opportunities and challenges for media planners and advertisers in this changing environment.

Issues:

  1. Appreciate the importance of new and emerging media in view of the change in environment, and media consumption behavior of the target audience

  2. Understand the issues and constraints in targeting the youth population in India in view of the changing marketing dynamics

  3. Understand the significance of using online communities in brand building and market development

  4. Understand how online communities around a brand can be built and sustained over time

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Dr.ARAVIND BANAKAR 

aravind.banakar@gmail.com

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