The widely popular antacid brand Eno is celebrating half-a-century of its presence in India. Launched by British pharmacist James Crossley in the year 1852, the brand entered the Indian market in 1972 through GSK.
Today, Eno claims to have a 50% market share in the antacid category in India.
According to Bhawna Sikka, Digestive Health Business Lead at GSK Consumer Healthcare India, it is the brand’s constant presence across advertising mediums and its extensive distribution that has made it a household name.
The brand has had several memorable campaigns such as ‘Eno on. Acidity gone’, ‘Kaam shuru sirf 6 second me’, ‘Jhatt se aaram, Jiyo life non-stop.’
A look at ENO’s brand communication over the decades:
According to Sikka, the brand’s communication strategy has changed over the years. From communicating functional benefits such as quick relief in the 90s, the brand is now focusing on communicating the importance of Eno in the consumer’s life with campaigns like ‘Eno on. Gadbad gone’.
Current marketing strategy
Sikka said that the brand wants people to think of ENO as the one-stop solution for their gastric issues. Sikka said in the pandemic period as people started working from home, they ordered a lot from restaurants and indulged in binge eating, with this the number as well as the frequency of people experiencing gastric issues increased.
“This is an enormous opportunity for the brand to help people. While people are taking home remedies like ‘nimbu paani, zeera, ajwain’, our research tells us that people end up suffering longer. The result is not instant.”
“Our communication from 2020 talks about why should one not prolong acidity when you have an instant solution. We are talking a lot more directly to the consumer about the popular remedies that people take and how they will lead them to suffer more. The earlier communications were all functional but in the last 5-6 years we have seen that the brand has reached a place where it can take a higher stance and create an emotional connection with the audience,” said Sikka.
“We have also noticed that people don’t like talking about acidity or gastric issues. So, we have included the words consumers use for it, like ‘gadbad’, in our communication,” she added.
Sikka also gives a lot of credit to the brand’s creative partners for the campaigns over the years. The brand works with the WPP Group and its agencies. Ogilvy contributes to the brand’s television ads.
Focus on digital marketing and rural markets
To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the brand has launched a unique experience in the Metaverse. It has brought together a community of foodies and organised a stand-up comedy event in the metaverse featuring comics like Zakir Khan, Rahul Subramanian, Kaneez Surkha, Sahil Shah, Rahul Dua, Kiran Dutta and Shraddha Jain. Sikka said although they have not assessed the campaign numbers, audiences across the board are engaging actively with it.
According to Sikka, the company has realised the potential of digital to reach urban audiences. “We are on air 365 days a year. In recent years, we have realised that digital is important to reach urban audiences, However, it is equally important to reach out to rural audiences. So, a significant investment is going towards rural markets.”
The brand has been building its presence in rural markets through platforms such as Facebook. Sikka said that the penetration of basic smartphones in rural areas is high and people want visually appealing stories. The company recently did a campaign featuring comic icon Chacha Chaudhary to connect with the audiences on Facebook.
She further stated that the brand is looking at innovations for the rural markets through voice marketing techniques like IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and is also investing in the audio OTT spaces.
“The penetration of smartphones is something that keeps the space very interesting. We are trying to understand it ourselves, other companies like HUL have been doing a phenomenal job of adapting these technologies for the rural market. We are also studying and trying to understand it better.”
Speaking about what the brand wants to achieve in the next 50 years, Sikka said, “Eno has almost a 50% market share so we see our job more towards focusing on category creation. We want people to talk about Eno in the same breath they talk about home remedies. We have to earn that kind of affinity and trust with the consumer. We want to become their go-to call for gastric problems. We also want to have stronger credentials from an innovation perspective. In the long term, we are hoping to have breakthrough innovations which make the brand deliver its purpose better,” she added.