Saturday, July 4, 2020

Glow & Lovely & Handsome - What is fair and unfair?

 "HUL today...introduces Glow & Lovely, the new name for the Fair & Lovely brand. Over the next few months, Glow & Lovely will be on the shelves, and future innovations will deliver on this new proposition. The Men's range of Fair & Lovely will be called 'Glow & Handsome'" -  HUL

Emami hit back immediately stating that, they have a similar product called, Fair & Handsome for men's personal care.

"...Emami Ltd said it will seek consult legal experts over rival Hindustan Unilever Ltd's decision to rename its men's fairness cream brand as 'Glow & Handsome' that bears similarity to Emami's 'Fair & Handsome' brand of men's personal care products." - Livemint

Obviously, men will be confused; whether they need to make their faces glow or fair!!! May be, they can use both products so that face will be fair, glowing, and handsome!!! By the way, if HUL (Hindustan Unilever) is dropping the word fair since it is discriminating then what Emami will do? Shall they keep it? Now if they drop it, then what will the new name for Emami's product? Obviously not 'Glow'... any guess?

You might be wondering what the big fuss about name? Well, it is actually a big thing. Let us look to Unilever (daddy of HUL). Uniliver is a very influential company worldwide; its an old multinational and have products selling in 190 countries ( and used by billions (remember its billions with a 'b'!!!). They own a plethora of brands. HUL is not different, they operated in India even before independence, and have popular brands like, Axe, Boost, Comfort, Horlicks, Rexona, Lifebuoy, Lux, Pepsodent, Wheel, Brookbond etc. Their personal care portfolio is impressive - Lakme, Ponds, Aviance, Sunsilk, Brylcreem, Clinic plus, Dove etc. So, the choice they make and their marketing is going to influence the world. Just imagine how De Beers, 'A Diamond is Forever' of 1947 changed that industry forever. I really doubt whether any amount of marketing can change Indians obsession with white face!!!

But the question is,

1. What HUL is going to achieve by this name change? Product is same, objective is same. Simply old wine in new bottle. If they are not ready to drop the product altogether (which is quite a successful brand!!!) what is is point? I do not think most Indian customers care much about the word 'fair' in 'Fair & Lovely', they may even love it. But yes, the success of the brand puts a glaring question mark on society about the way they treat people whose face is not white.

2. Even in 21st century why we need to look towards US for making some change here? This name change is said to be triggered by incidents of police brutality against blacks, the 'Black Live Matters' movement in US (Johnson & Johnson announced that, it will retreat from skin whitening business).
If brown live matters, these types of products should not have been launched in Brown India in the first place.


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