Magh Mela, an annual festival with a fair held in the month of Magha (January/February) at Sangam, Praygraj, is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, attracting millions of devotees every year. The festival attracted a footfall of more than 9 Cr devotees in the duration of 45 days this year. Certain dates such as the Amavasya and Makar Sankranti are considered particularly sacred, attracting an even larger gathering. The festival is marked by a ritual dip in the holy waters, but it is also a celebration of community commerce with fairs, education, religious discourses by saints, daan, and community meals for monks and the poor, and entertainment spectacle.
Scores of devotees tend to stay here for 45 days beside the banks of Sangam, as they follow rituals and take baths in the river as per Hindu religious beliefs.
While governments and multiple organizations tend to cater to the multiple needs of devotees, the grooming needs of devotees were largely ignored in the previous years.
To fill this gap, VI John stepped in. VI John, India’s largest-selling shaving cream by volume, started a unique campaign called ‘Shaving Se Snan Tak,’ wherein devotees were encouraged to get a shave along with the holy dip.
The brand offered free shaving services to devotees by establishing Shaving Zones near the ghats where they take dips in the Sangam. The stall attracted multiple devotees who wanted to get groomed by professional barbers. Devotees also had the option of ‘self-shave’ in the shaving zones with VI John products, such as Shaving Foam and After-shave lotions.
Commenting on the initiative, Ashutosh Chaudharie, GM Marketing, VI John stated “We saw a specific need gap with respect to grooming for such a large congregation of devotees and as a brand made ourselves available at the right spots in the mela. The brand received a lot of love, and we could give more than 12,000 consumers VI John shaving experiences.”
The brand was also prominently visible on hoardings, inflatables in mela grounds. It also ran a sales stall in the activation zone, offering interesting deals to consumers, which saw heavy consumer engagement.
Overall, this was one of its kind initiative from VI John, as Shaving Zone is a unique concept and have not been attempted earlier at religious gatherings. ‘Shaving Se Snaan Tak’ activation was in that sense a true testimony to the brand vision of VI John, which is ‘grooming India.’