Curiosity Corner with Horlicks India

by Daria Wilcocks

2nd October, 2019

Introducing our Curiosity Corner. Every week team members take it in turn to share research on campaigns they think have been especially powerful or effective. This week, it was Ethan’s turn with a campaign by Horlicks India.

Emotional advertising is one of the most powerful marketing tools we have. Campaigns that provoke greater emotional responses produce stronger business results by creating good feelings about a brand. These in turn act as a quick mental shortcut which influences future decision making.

One brand that has executed emotional advertising successfully is Horlicks India.

Research by the brand found that every hour a student commits suicide in the country, and conversations with counsellors revealed exam and career stress as one of the key causes. Horlicks also found that students face pressure to do well from parents, especially mothers.

As a result, the brand sought to change behaviour and get parents to acknowledge the need for emotional nutrition during their children’s exams, as well as the physical nutrition provided by Horlicks. Through an integrated campaign featuring hard-hitting video content in the build-up to exam time, the brand delivered the message to mothers that although Horlicks was there for their children’s physical nutrition, only they could provide emotional nutrition.

The campaign was a huge success with thousands of mothers getting in touch with the brand on social media to voice their change in mentality, thanks to the campaign. The Indian Prime Minister also referenced the campaign in his address to students before exam season began.

In the period immediately after the campaign, Horlicks registered a 10% increase in sales (against a target of 5%) and the brand’s overall penetration increased by 0.9% (against a target of 0.5%).

Ultimately, this example of emotional advertising worked so well because it addressed a “job to be done”, a behavioural trend that needed to change. By stating that Horlicks would provide the physical nutrition and that only parents could provide the emotional nutrition, the brand provided a solution that was intrinsically linked to its purpose and created a more meaningful connection with its target audience.

The implication was that for a child’s success a team effort was needed, therefore creating an emotional connection between customer and brand.

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