For millennia, clarified butter (ghee) was the preferred cooking medium in India. In the early 20th century, hydrogenated vegetable oil was introduced. Known locally as ‘vanaspati’ this medium quickly became very popular, if not the most popular among Indians.

The first brand launched, Dalda, became synonymous with vanaspati (much like Xerox is for photocopying). So much so, rival brands of vanaspati were also referred to as X brand dalda.

Over a period of time, due to changing habits (fewer deep fried dishes on the daily menu) and growing awareness of health issues, the vanaspati market began shrinking, losing share to unsaturated vegetable oils. Dalda, once a very strong brand, was in danger of disappearing together with the category.

At about this time, the brand was sold by Unilever to Bunge, one of the world’s largest edible oil companies. Bunge hoped to keep the brand alive by launching a range of edible oils which could build on Dalda’s (still considerable) strength as a brand.


When consumers hear “Dalda”, they will think “vanaspati”. The fact that it is now an oil would not register.


People love to be privy to a secret.


There are cases when repetition works: by just repeating the fact that Dalda is now an oil in the form of Chinese whispers, we hoped to overcome the automatic response. The campaign ran and was then post tested.

The Work



Spontaneous awareness that Dalda Oils are now available jumped from 12% to 50%. And sales grew from 800 tons/month to 2500 tons/month.