Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lacto-Calamine: For Complete Complexion

Brand : Lacto-Calamine
Company: Nicholas Piramal
Agency: Orchard Advertising

Brand Count: 216

Lacto-Calamine is one of India's oldest cosmetic/skin care brand. Once a necessity in the beauty kit of every ladies, this brand has started its second life after meeting a near death situation. Lacto-Calamine was introduced somewhere in 1970's by Duphar Interfran. But later in 1996 the brand was took over by Nicholas Piramal group for a consideration of around Rs 1.75 crores.

Lacto-Calamine was a popular skin lotion during early days. Calamine is another name for Zinc Carbonate. Lacto-Calamine was earlier used as a lotion for soothing the skin especially during summer. The lotion had germicidal properties and more importantly had a cooling effect on the skin. Calamine lotion was also used as a base for applying powder/other cosmetics on the face. In short, the brand was very popular in the early eighties.
Later for some reasons, the brand faded away from the market. There was no promotion, no marketing as such. The brand missed the new generation by miles. The brand's availability was restricted to medical shops .
Although I don't remember any ads of Lacto-Calamine, but I think that the brand was positioned as a complexion lotion. One report suggest that the brand had the tagline " Skinnoccence" meaning " Innocent skin". The brand was also prescribed by dermatologist for skin rashes and sunburns.

This year NPIL has relaunched this heritage brand. Earlier at the demise of Lacto-Calamine, Lakme has introduced Lakme -Calamine lotion but could not make an impact on the market. There are still lot of unbranded generic Calamine lotions available at medical shops ( druggists).
Although I feel little nostalgic when I hear this brand being relaunched, doubts linger in my mind about the future of this brand. The new generation is neither unaware of this brand nor the efficacy of the product. There is a huge generation gap which cannot be bridged easily. With a plethora of cosmetic brands in all sizes ,shapes and variants, the scope of this brand is very much limited. Although TVC's are now running , I don't see any forceful communication that can bring this brand back into the market. There are chances that the old users will start buying this again.