Consumer Behavior Perspective for Fairness Creams: A Case of ‘Fair & Lovely’

Consumer Behavior Perspective for Fairness Creams: A Case of ‘Fair & Lovely’

Yasser Mahfooz (King Saud University, KSA) and Faisal Mahfooz (Ogilvy & Mather, India)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4357-4.ch008


The market for fairness creams around the globe was an untouched territory till mid-1970s. No cream was available which could claim an effect on the fairness of skin. The first product for this market was Fair & Lovely (Fair & Lovely) by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Hindustan Unilever Ltd.:HUL) which was launched in India in 1975. It was a turning point for the fairness cream business and several companies followed soon. Fair & Lovely didn’t take much time to become a household name with more and more women putting their trust in the product for giving them the much needed fair skin they always desired. A product which started as another addition to the product line, acquired the status of a super brand by 2004. It became a part of the customer’s persona. In a society where the general population is genetically brown in skin color, yet has resentment to it; fair color of skin is an obsession and is equated with beauty, happiness and success. This craze for fair skin is marketed aggressively and a range of products are available in the market, which gratify the likes of teenagers as well as grown women. The following case on the product Fair & Lovely gives a background of the market for fairness creams in India and focuses on different aspects of behavior of women as consumers of this product.
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Case Of Fair & Lovely

Lata Sharma bought a tube of skin whitening cream from a pharmacist in New Delhi, India, with the hope it will improve her daughter’s chances of finding a handsome groom. “Let’s face the truth. Fair skin is a ticket to a happy matrimony,” Lata, 42, said while making payment for HUL’s Fair & Lovely Fairness Cream.

Hindustan Unilever, L’Oreal SA, Beiersdorf AG, and several others target Indians with similar products pledging to make them more attractive and more successful by lightening their skin.

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