Friday, November 07, 2008

Brand Update : i Pill

i Pill is a Morning - After contraceptive from Cipla . My earlier post on the launch of ipill in India has been one of the most popular post ( understandably so ! ) with lot of queries about this pill.

i-pill has not only generated lot of consumer interest but also many controversies. A google search on this brand will give you lot of opinions against this brand. There are reports suggesting that this brand is becoming popular among teenagers.

i-pill when launched was positioned as a product that will prevent unwanted pregnancy. The launch campaigns were carefully crafted in the family setting with a very relevant message highlighting the efficacy of the product as a solution to avoid unwanted pregnancy. The core message of the brand was that ipill will help you get on with life.

The brand has now launched another campaign with an entirely new message content.

Watch the new campaign here : I pill

The message of the new campaign is entirely different from the first series.

Now i-pill is being positioned as an alternative to abortion. The setting of the ad has been changed from family to a closeted conversation between two ladies.

In the new ad, the protagonist screams the word 'Abortion ' many times to highlight that ipill is an alternative to abortion.

I think there is a reason for this repositioning . When Ipill was launched, there were lot of criticism in the market that it is an abortion pill. And moral police in India consider abortion as a crime.

Cipla had to do lot of PR in order to convince the public that i-pill is an emergency contraceptive rather than a pill for abortion. The fight is still going on.

The new repositioning of i-pill as an alternative to abortion is a strategy by the brand to publicly tell the consumers that the brand is not a abortion pill. It also wanted to be projected as a safe alternative to abortion.

As a viewer, I think that the new campaign is of bad taste. The settings although realistic is little repulsive and the screaming of the word abortion also forced me to skip the ad . The launch campaign involving husband-wife , newly weds were brilliantly crafted and was far more superior to the current campaign.

I think that with the new campaign the brand gives a wrong message like " if you screwed up then use i-pill " . Although its true the brand could have communicated it in a better way.

Rather than pitching against abortion, the brand will make more sense if it rightly identifies the target segment. Abortion often is associated with infidelity. So when the brand positions as an alternative to abortion, there is a chance that it is perceived to be promoting infidility .

In a typical Indian family setting, suppose a couple encounters an unwanted pregnancy situation, there is a high chance that they will NOT go for an abortion. Abortion will be done if there are serious issues like financial and health issues. ( This is my opinion and not based on any data. If readers have further insights please feel free to comment. ) . Grudgingly the family braces to accept the new member.

If my hypothesis is true, then i-pill is taking the wrong stance.

It will be better for ipill to concentrate on the newly weds or young couple who often faces this dilemma stemming from sudden burst of love. Abortion is a negative word and why unnecessarily associate your brand with a negative term ?

Related Post
I Pill


  1. Emergency contraceptive pill as a concept is quite new to the masses. Given the changes taking place in the society, I feel Cipla has taken an appropriate step in raising awareness about the product.

    Well, my little understanding is that apart from the conscious family planning aspect, there are 3 other broad aspects as far conception in adult women is concerned:

    • Conception due to Infidelity
    • Conception due to contraceptive failures
    • Conception due to unplanned events

    While Cipla will define its business objective as targeting people who are victims of all of the above, as far as communication is concerned, they should ideally stay away from the first one, as it will not be readily accepted in a conservative society such as ours. Contraceptive failures will be a very tough nut to crack, as communicating the same will be difficult. As also, Cipla is not taking head-on with other modes of contraception.

    ‘Unplanned events’ is an ideal theme to highlight the product offering and its advantages, which is what they achieved through their first campaign which comprised ads that showed newly weds and husband & wife. Those ads were truly exceptional. They highlighted this very aspect of unplanned event in a very endearing manner. It was very clear from the communication that a ‘married’ couple who has indulged in sex without any contraception need not worry as much, because i-pill can avoid conception from taking place. That was the objective. Period.

    Having said that, ‘abortion se achha hai pregnancy ko rokna’ has been their proposition. Here the operative word is ‘abortion’’, which is quite obnoxious. I can’t understand why Cipla is drawing a comparison with abortion. If I am not wrong, i-pill is effective only if it is consumed within 72 hours from the time of They should instead instill in the minds of people that i-pill is something which can avoid a woman from getting pregnant, rather than saying prevention is better than cure. This would have made sense had the cure was not through ‘abortion’

    I agree with you that the recent ad is in a very bad taste for many reasons. The given situation suggests that the girl’s friend has indulged in sex (whether legitimate or illegitimate is something that is left to the people to decide. In my opinion, it looks like a casual one night stand, given the furtive manner in which the girl gets up and walks into another room to talk to her friend, and that too very softly) and while doing so, couldn’t find any protection (contraception). This can mean negligence, unresponsive behavior, infidelity and many more negative things. In fact the whole commercial has got negative connotations. Moreover, the reiteration of the word ‘abortion’ makes one feel that this product substitutes abortion; in fact, a better alternative to abortion. And given the fact that abortion as a word in our society is considered blasphemous, the whole ad gives one an impression that i-pill can avoid you of the stigma of undergoing an abortion.

  2. well the concept of emergency contraceptive is not exactly new in India.Its just that earlier ECs were sold as precription drugs and now ipill has got the license to operate in the OTC drugs' segment.

  3. Anonymous8:21 PM

    yes it is now new in India..but Cipla is the first company giving the medicine for unwanted pregnancy within 72 hrs of sex.


Your Views are Important. Please share your views as comments.