Rajnigandha (pan masala) – cancer, who?

Rajnigandha is the world’s largest selling premium pan-masala brand.
It is a product of the Dharampal Satyapal(DS) group.

Rajnigandha has done a very good job with its marketing campaigns. Being a pan masala brand and chewing of pan masala being injurious to health, it still has been able to sell its product with much success. So, we thought, why not make a rajnigandha case study?

Here, we’ll analyze two marketing campaigns of Rajnigandha:

कुछ कर ऐसा, दुनिया बनाना चाहे तेरे जैसा

मुँह में रजनीगंधा, क़दमों में दुनिया

Rajnigandha has structured its commercials perfectly.

Knowing well that pan masala chewing is injurious to health, it’s very smart for them to not focus on the ingredients or the price, or the packaging of their product as the consumers *somewhat* know that the consumption of Rajnigandha is not good for their health.

These commercials never actually market the product itself, they never directly urge the viewers to buy Rajnigandha. But what they do is way smarter than just conventional marketing:

  • Firstly, they form a positive brand image.
  • Secondly, they focus on changing the consumer’s perception of their product from just a pan masala to something very premium, very classy!
  • Thirdly, they brand and market their product such that- it is perceived to possess aesthetics, ideals, and aspirations that the target audiences identify with. The ad revolves around an ideology that gives meaning and purpose to why rajnigandha exists. (Lifestyle Marketing)

The ideology part is a key element in their marketing campaigns, you’ll see below.

1. “कुछ कर ऐसा, दुनिया बनाना चाहे तेरे जैसा”, roughly translated as, “Do what makes others want to be like you”.

In this commercial, people who consume Rajnigandha are shown as winners who other people look up to for inspiration.

Every winner is shown consuming Rajnigandha at the end with a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment.

This is done in order to associate feelings of success, winning, being unique and talented with Rajnigandha consumers.

Obviously, we know that a pan masala has nothing to do with any of those, haha but the ad is well crafted to make people associate the two.

2. “मुँह में रजनीगंधा, क़दमों में दुनिया”, roughly translated as, “Rajnigandha in your mouth, the world at your feet”.

The old gentleman abashes the protagonist in the first half of the commercial for *not knowing his place* but then the protagonist is found out to be an award winner in the latter part.

He is humble when the old gentleman insults him, as well as when the old gentleman finds out that he is the award winner.

Also, attaching the sense of patriotism (protagonist being an Indian, the old gentlemen being a foreigner) is a cherry on top as it associates the sense of community to the product.

Hence, these ad associates positive feelings of success, humility, and patriotism with the pan masala consumers, conveying the belief that people who consume Rajnigandha are successful, humble and patriotic people or the other way around.

In addition, these commercials very well acknowledge the concept of cognitive dissonance.

It gives the consumers a reason to justify their consumption of pan masala.

In other words, it aims at reducing the psychological discomfort in the minds of pan masala consumers who know that its consumption is bad for their health but still consume it. These commercials distract the consumers from reality and literally convince the audience to wear a *fool’s* hat on their head.

Thank you for reading till the end. Here’s a bonus for you:


One more example of a Pan masala brand adopting the same strategy as Rajnigandha.

For those of you who don’t know who this guy is. He is ex-BOND, JAMES BOND. Imagine James Bond himself promoting a Pan Masala brand, wow! Isn’t this lifestyle marketing at its peak?

Class never goes out of style, that’s true but Pierce Brosnan sure did go out of style after promoting a pan masala brand, lol!

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