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Dettol’s Creative Campaign that Reclaimed its Market Share

In the 1990s, Dettol stood out as one of the leading antiseptic companies in the Indian market. Whenever someone had a wound or scratch, the go-to antiseptic product was Dettol.

However, there was one drawback to Dettol – it stung like hell whenever you used it.

Seizing this drawback as an opportunity, Savlon entered the market with its own antiseptic product that didn’t sting when applied. Not only that, Savlon had more attractive packaging, which slowly began impacting Dettol’s sales.

Unsurprisingly, Dettol observed a decline in its market share as more Indians started preferring Savlon and other antiseptic solutions that didn’t cause discomfort.

But unlike most companies, Dettol did not want to change their product.

They were firm about this. Realizing the need to boost sales, Dettol launched the ‘Hurts When It Works’ campaign to change the public’s perspective.

The idea behind this campaign was that healing comes with discomfort. Dettol embedded this tagline in the minds of its customers, using psychology to win them over.

People started to believe that if it hurts, perhaps it’s a better and stronger product than other antiseptic liquids like Savlon. And guess what, it worked!

The moral of this story? Sometimes, you DON’T need to change the product but what you COMMUNICATE to win the war.

Odell Dias

Odell Dias is the founder of where Online Marketing concepts are made easy. He has over 6 years of experience in the Digital Marketing industry, helping brands and individuals alike to achieve their marketing goals. He is known as one of the best digital marketing freelancers for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

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