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Case Study

Fair and Handsome


Website, SEO, SMM, Online Reputation Management, Guerilla PR, Branding, Design, Advertising, Content





Accenza Team


Tech Used




Our client, Emami’s Fair And Handsome, is the world’s largest brand in the men’s fairness category which panders to a widespread desire for fairer skin. The advent of this iconic brand created marketing history in the personal care category. With the launch of Fair and Handsome, fairness no longer remained exclusive for the eves of the country. Emami (annual revenue of USD 1.3 billion+) capitalised on a trend where men needed to groom themselves and a growing shift of consumer psychology from vanity to necessity.



Emami spent 10s of millions of $ in the advertisement and sales promotion for the product via a 360 degree marketing approach (ATL, BTL with significant spots on TV), generating massive reach. They realized that they were spending significant ad $ just to reactivate customers. There was a real opportunity to lower their marketing spend by capturing leads by driving users to a web platform and then post new content which would be pushed to them without any additional cost. Before incorporating this web url on all ad formats and their product packaging, they needed a targeted landing page with a great UX.


Second, and quite significantly, a larger challenge was that even after spending a lot on their marketing, Fair and Handsome did not have a strong Social Media engagement. The brand needed to up their game in this sphere.


When Emami launched Fair & Handsome for men, there was an ad featuring the celebrated Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan, tossing a tube of whitening cream to a hopeful young fan. This ad attracted threatening controversy and Emami was accused of perpetuating racism. A Chennai-based NGO, WOW, launched a campaign, “Dark is Beautiful,” against Emami, asking them to remove the advertisement. This campaign was supported by celebrities who believed that fair skin is not a prerequisite for success. This was a PR nightmare for Emami.


With the entire furore of the PR scandal, something had to be done stat. This is when Accenza started working on re-imaging the Fair and Handsome brand story. We launched the #BeFair campaign which helped move the association of ‘fairness’ with light-skinned to one which represented fairness in dealings. An inherently viral campaign was started which focused on small daily fair actions that make a huge difference. The suggested tag line was “because small actions make zyada difference”, using the hashtag “BeFair.”

Accenza re-designed and engineered the brand website. A very creative team from Accenza worked closely with Emami’s Marketing and leadership on social media conceptualization, branding, design, content and marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Step-by-step execution plans were made for features, app designs and development, content, advertising and Guerilla PR.


Accenza helped increase the reach and virality factor of the Facebook page by 416x and 79x respectively. There were no more optics on the PR issue which was the celebrity-led public movement against the brand . Leveraging our advanced matrix SEO strategy combined with an SEO-optimized web platform, we got Fair and Handsome’s website to rank as one of the top results on Google for every leading target keyword. While it is difficult to attribute ROI in topline growth to Accenza's work, Fair and Handsome’s sales grew by 14.8% from a macro perspective during the engagement period from an already very large base. The client, Emami, extended Accenza’s engagement and contract to include another two of their very large portfolio companies, Emami Healthy & Tasty and Emami Realty.


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