Defying the taboo! Brands that dared and flourished


Our society has over the years developed a better appetite for subjects that were once considered taboo, all thanks to online wave, burgeoning purses and media interventions and discussions on TV. But the biggest factor could be online purchase power, which helped customers to not shy-away and buy what they preferred and at their own convenience.

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With a 300% YoY growth, from the time it started, Zivame knew one thing that separated it from the rest. Customizations. Averages do not work in this space as every woman has a different fit and style. Therefore beyond a point, customization had to be married with a deeper message. A message that can reflect well with the target audience - who sought out for comfort, convenience, privacy and options. They then tied up with an advert team to launch the “Express your identity” campaign, which got a million+ to start a conversation about the space.

With over 3,000 options in 100 sizes, Zivame is positioning itself as the premier platform for women to select innerwear without compromising for any occasion. The brand cemented its position in the customer's mind with the #FitForAll campaign - a free from bias and body-size prejudice ad, that empowers various women to choose their own fit. Zivame has ensured that women in India now have a new place to shop for bras online, and be as casual as Myntra and Jabong.


Durex’s marketing strategy has been focused on creating consistent buzz through community engagement. By leveraging a thought leader in Ranvir Singh, it has normalized the idea of protection and made buying condoms a sexy-thing- an experience that’s hype and cool rather than of shame and disappointment.

Ranvir and the Durex ads took the issue of safe and protected sex and made the walk to the chemist an empowering moment, rather than that of stigma. This media and PR push allowed Durex to evolve from just a condom brand to a lifestyle healthcare brand for men.

The quirky and cleverly crafted ads, along with Ranvir's fun personality, caught the competitors off guard. Durex allowed men to customize and choose what they want to wear during their intimate moments. The company even made a sensational move from scantily clad women on its cover to a cool style icon with its launch of Durex Jeans. A brand new approach to capturing market share in a country that’s yet to have market saturation.

“Asking for Durex Jeans should be cool,” Rohit Jindal, Marketing Head, Durex.

Often, it isn’t the product that’s controversial or taboo it’s the subject matter that it chooses to associate itself with. Take the example of Myntra and its “Bold is beautiful” campaign - which displays a story arc revolving around a lesbian couple living in a city. The only reason why Myntra didn’t receive flak for this approach was its complete ownership of the concept and its subsequent PR movements around it.

Myntra was championed for taking a strong stance to empower this growing minority group, and a small, yet bold, effort paid off in millions of views and lakhs of support in return. This campaign could have factored in for their success as the second most mobile app downloads, after Flipkart, at that time last year.


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