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Home >Companies >News >HUL’s Domex ad takes a dig at toilet cleaner brand Harpic

NEW DELHI: Hindustan Unilever owned brand Domex has launched a new campaign directly comparing itself with its competitor Reckitt's toiler cleaner brand Harpic.

The ad opens in a supermarket where a woman is shown picking up a bottle of Harpic when her son asks if the brand can also kill the odour, at this moment television actor Divyanka Tripathi (Hindi version) and Revathy (Tamil version) informs that Domex leverages fresh guard technology to combat toilet odour which the other brand can’t.

The comparative ad comes at a time when the hygiene market in India is growing significantly owing to covid-19 pandemic. Harpic, which dominates the toilet cleaner category, has already deepened its reach in India as 20 million more households used the brand in 2020 compared to a year ago amid the covid-19 pandemic. India is the largest market for the brand. Meanwhile, Domex, which has 7% market share, is positioning itself as a superior product so as to widen its reach and take market share from the competition.

Prabha Narasimhan, executive director and vice president – Home Care (South Asia), Hindustan Unilever Ltd, said that the latest communication is in line with the company's goal to give consumers the evidence to help make informed decisions determined by scientific insight and technology.

“Our extensive studies, research and data-backed certifications underpin the superior science-first formula of the offering. Battling the second wave of the pandemic, we are all well aware that hygiene, safety and disinfection are three facets which will dominate our collective consciousness and as a brand, we have been consistently innovating to address, upgrade and deliver on these core parameters being sought by consumers in their everyday lives," he added.

HUL said that it has improved the formula of the product, which now consists of surface modification molecules that leaves a protective hydrophobic layer on the toilet commode surface which reduces water, stain, and germ build-up, thereby troubleshooting persistent problems such as cleanliness, hygiene, and malodour.

In the past, comparative ads often lead to brands taking legal route to stop such advertising. As per ad regulator Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), comparative advertisements are permitted in the spirit of promoting healthy competition and consumer choice. However, brands must ensure that comparisons are factual and capable of objective substantiation. Advertisements must also refrain from denigrating, attacking or discrediting other brands or advertisers.

India’s hygiene market is estimated at 38,319 crore as of February 2020, this includes toilet and bathroom cleaners, skin cleansing, floor cleaners, sanitizers, according to estimates by researcher Kantar. Between March and May 2020, the category registered an encouraging 24% growth year-on-year, Kantar said in a report.

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