'BeASuperstar' in South Indian style, with Bausch + Lomb

The purpose of the campaign is to drive a stronger connect with South India.

Mumbai: Personally, I wear contact lenses – have been wearing them since I stepped into the fifth standard in school, which is obviously a very long time. And I know one brand which has stuck with me ever since is Bausch + Lomb. And surprisingly, I never felt the need, curiosity or excitement to try another brand, not that there wasn’t a choice.

Recently, Bausch + Lomb came out with its campaign ‘BeASuperstar’ which was conceptualised and put in place by Kinnect, a part of the FCB Group India, one of India's leading creative, data, and digital media powerhouses. The campaign aims to shine a light on the advantages of switching to contact lenses in a lighthearted way, while telling a story that is authentic to the market it is set in. spoke to Bausch + Lomb head of marketing Sana Lairellakpam and Kinnect creative director Gitanjali Bhattacharya who is the creative mind behind this campaign.

As per reports, the contact lenses market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.58 per cent by revenue and a CAGR of 7.64 per cent by volume in the forecast duration of 2023 to 2028.

Some of the brands that exist in the contact lenses market apart from Bausch + Lomb include Johnson & Johnson, Cooper Vision and Silk Lens.

The mounting impact of social media influencers and climbing disposable incomes are further abetting the demand for lenses, resulting in escalated spending on discretionary products.

Discussing the contact lenses market, Lairellakpam states, “Contact lenses are an attractive category with a lot of growth potential given many folks across age groups are now keen on having a more natural appearance without spectacles. Coloured lenses are also a very exciting category with rapid adoption from youth (coloured lenses come also in zero power, so they are adopted as a fashion statement even by those who don’t need vision correction).”

When anybody speaks of lenses, the first name that comes to mind is Bausch + Lomb. How has Bausch + Lomb become a brand to this stature to make it actually synonymous with the category of contact lenses?

“Yes, Bausch + Lomb’s stature and brand awareness has been built over the years through a wide range of industry-leading high-quality global products – supported by consistent and impactful marketing campaigns to consumers, trade and eye-care professionals. Our motto – ‘See Better. Live Better’ – is what we try and offer to our consumers every single day,” Lairellakpam emphasises.

He goes on, “We have the largest distribution network in the country and the endeavour is to reach out to everyone in the country to provide them better vision. Also, South India is one of our biggest markets.”

Client brief, creative thought and purpose of the campaign

Talking about the brief that was provided by the client, Bhattacharya says, “Towards the end of 2022, Bausch & Lomb India briefed us on creating a campaign with the sole objective of driving salience in the entire southern region of India. Since Pongal is a key festival in the region, it was the perfect opportunity for us to aim to achieve this goal.”

Lairellakpam mentions that the purpose of the campaign was to drive a stronger connect with South India – a key market for Bausch + Lomb and where people are proud of their vibrant culture.

Bhattacharya brings out, “The creative thought we arrived at had the potential to resonate with our audience in not only the Southern region, but the whole nation. People across the country are fans of the grandeur of the big screen, but in the South, fandom ascends to the levels of reverence. Fans look up to their favourite Superstars, and many aspire to be like them.

Hence, we decided to set the premise of our story in the colourful, and larger-than-life world of Southern cinema. It was the story of a regular Joe, bespectacled, unassuming, easily-lost-in-a-crowd man, daydreaming about becoming like his favourite superstar.”

She further adds, “A story that was set to strike a chord with our audience all over the country. The whole campaign was planned in an episodic manner to be optimal for digital. The main film was 30-seconds long which showed our regular Joe, let’s call him the underdog, and discover Bausch & Lomb contact lenses at the end.

Then came a series of Instagram reels, featuring our underdog switching to Bausch + Lomb, followed by him being spotted by a film director, and eventually, owing to all these happy accidents, becoming the superstar.”

A sprawling South Indian digital film – a first for the brand

Bausch + Lomb continuously engages with its consumers throughout the year (e.g. ‘Dekho Magar Pyaar Se’ campaign on Diwali and ‘Unblur your side vision’ campaign on Raksha Bandhan, last year). Some of the other past campaigns have also had south regional language dubbing/translations.

“But this is the first time we have created something where we take the narrative directly to the culture of South and its colourful and larger-than-life world of South Indian cinema. It is a celebration of the love and admiration that the people of South India have for their superstars!” mentions Lairellakpam.

Marketing strategy for this campaign

The campaign has been executed in five languages- Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi.

Bhattacharya brings out that while approaching this brief, they had two challenges in front of them. The first one was telling a story that is rooted in the specificity of the culture of one part of the country while being universal enough for a larger audience.  

The second one, accounting for short attention spans and telling a rich, engaging story within a 30-35 second window to best optimise media reach and budget.

“We tackled the first challenge by picking a culturally relevant setting of South Indian cinema and creating characters that were relatable in that context. We addressed the second one by creating all of our ancillary content as short, snackable reels that took the story forward,” she pointed out.

Bhattacharya reminisces, “This campaign was special in many ways. It was the first-ever campaign by Bausch + Lomb focusing on the Southern market, it was a storyline that was not only culturally relevant in the South, but also resonated with audiences across the country. It was a digital campaign that not only created ‘advertisements’, but an entire narrative delivered through engaging content on social media.”

“Engaging with consumers is core to what we do. So one can expect a lot more interesting campaigns in the coming months!” Lairellakpam wraps up.

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