Unilever eyes 3 billion Asians with serious body odour problems for profits

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Washington, May 26 : Anglo-Dutch soap giant Unilever will soon be doing something other companies have quailed at - telling 3 billion Asians that they have a serious body odour problem.

In a bid to crack Asian market, Unilever is set to push its advertising campaign towards the new generation Asians by making them self-conscious about body odour.

"Asia is a market we have never really cracked. They don't think they smell, but people everywhere smell," Times Online quoted Russell Taylor, global vice-president for Axe, the Unilever-made deodorant marketed as Lynx in Britain, as saying.

He estimated that only 7 per cent of Asians used a deodorant, with consumption in India virtually nil,

Taylor believes that Asia offers a billion-pound prospect, "the last empty space on the map".

Unilever has successfully tapped into the Russian market through a similar campaign directed towards women, with the fact that they spent heavily on cosmetics, but not on deodorant.

"Attracting a man is fundamental to Russian women so we told them, 'If you don't use a deodorant, you won't look beautiful'," said Taylor.

They also told them how little deodorant did they use compared to neighbours in Eastern Europe.

"They took even more offence when they were told they used less than British women," he added.

The soap giant also targeted the Britain market. In Sixties it was an extremely smelly place and started off with upfront advertising to make the people aware about body odour. Taylor said that deodorants were a relatively recent phenomenon, even in Britain.

"Before the Second World War we didn't use deodorant. The sense of paranoia created the market," he added.

Talking about their campaigns Taylor said, "We tailor some of the media to private channels (such as mobile phones) so young guys are not subjected to watching things in front of their families.

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