Institute of Marketing Communications India®

Indian advertising world witnesses a battle of brands; soap brand Sebamed openly challenges HUL

Sebamed, a skincare brand from Germany has got excessive media coverage in the last few days due to its recent print and digital campaign.


The ad campaign, conceptualized by their digital agency The Womb, has directly targeted body soap brands in India like Dove, Lux, Santoor, Pears and even Rin by pointing on their lower pH levels than claimed. 


One of their video ads shows women in a cozy bathing lounge explaining how the soaps like Pears, Lux and Santoor have a lower pH level by testing it with a litmus paper on the soaps.


This has resulted in a huge backlash from Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and they have filed a lawsuit against Sebamed at Bombay High Court. As a response, Sebamed distributors in India, USV has alleged that HUL did not even give prior notice to them before filing the complaint.


As of now, Sebamed has been directed to take down all the advertisements which were directly naming the brands.


Sebamed ad further tweaked their ads and also sent a pH test kit with the soap packs to the buyers so that people themselves can check the pH levels of various soaps. Dove has also released ads focusing on the fact that it is highly recommended by Dermatologists, like no other soap in the market. 


Ad world experts have their opinions about this bold move by Sebamed. Questions have been raised about the price segment of Sebamed (on the higher end, around Rs. 199) being compared to averagely priced soaps, lower than Rs.50 each.


Even in the past, such brave moves and directly naming other brands in advertising campaigns have happened. But the result of Sebamed vs. HUL is something Indian consumers and ad-makers are waiting for.


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