History & Marketing Strategies of Cinthol Brand

Company Name – Cinthol
Founder – Burjor Godrej 

What started as a PhD project by the dynamic Burjor Godrej is now ruling the wellness and personal care market for over 67 years. Cinthol with its extensive range of soaps, shower gels, deodorants, talc and men’s grooming products have been represented by the top stars of Hindi movie industry, Bollywood.

The evolution of Cinthol over these years have resulted in reinvented products to strike the cord with market dynamics, thanks to upgraded product mix, soap formulation and even packaging. Owned by Godrej, the brand has its headquarters under Godrej Industries Limited and Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited in Pirojshanaga of Vikhroli in Mumbai. The CEO of Godrej Consumer Products including Cinthol is Sunil Kataria while the current CMO is Kapil Pillai. 

How It All Started 

The initiative of Burjor Godrej, son of Pirojsha Godrej (Founder of Godrej group) in creating soaps out of fatty acids for a PhD thesis remained unfinished and he was forced to leave Berlin in September as the premonition of World War II broke out in Germany. Before the war took form, he hurriedly took the last train to Paris from Cologne but he kept on experimenting with fatty acid for making soaps.

By 1949, he had completed his thesis on the same and he returned Germany for completing PhD in Berlin which was then occupied by military. While staying in Berlin, he was also intrigued to create diversity in his product line after seeing Jesse Owens, an American athlete who won 4 gold medals in Berlin Olympics (1936). 


Cinthol was launched in India in the year 1952 with two products only –complexion soap and deodorant. The macho factor of Cinthol Soap was first epitomized by the then heart-throb Vinod Khanna, a wide-known face in Indian cinema.

Since the launching, the main emphasis was on making the consumers feel encouraged, inspired and awesome by using the products and that is why, the brand has always been open to reinventing its manufacturing process and making its colorful packaging more eye-catching. 

In 2015, Cinthol celebrated its centenary and here Nadir and Adi Godrej, the successors of Burjor Godrej revealed how the product was named during launching. While making soaps with fatty acids, Burjor planned on venturing in germicidal soaps as they worked as deodorant soaps too.

Cinthol was created as combination of Phenol and synthetic chemical and in deciding a gentle sounding name derived from “Synthetic”, the ‘S’ was replaced by ‘C’ and on 15th August of 1952, Cinthol was launched.  


Cinthol’s marketing strategy and reasons behind its success

-In September of 2018, the CEO of Godrej Group launched eight new male grooming products for hair, beard, body and face through a grooming show where Arpinder Singh (gold medalist from Asian Games) and Harshvardhan Kapoor were present. Head To Toe Wash with Active Impact formula, Shave + Face Wash for sensitive skin, Beard + Face Wash for sensitive skin, Beard Wax, Beard Oil, Hair Gel, Hair Cream and After Shave After Trim –all these products have helped Cinthol to enter the INR 5500 Crore market for male grooming. 

-Cinthol’s soaps, deodorants, talc and gels come at different fragrances to suit the requirement of all age segments and at the same time, it keeps up in competition with business giants like HUL and P&G by keeping the price of all its products within reach of middle-class people.

-Digital marketing with television advertisements, YouTube videos and other social networking site posts are some of the mandatory marketing strategies adopted by Cinthol. It also launched Cinthol app PAN India, stocked samples for retailers in national and international markets, started discount offers on global network and put up banners outdoor.    


Cinthol’s Campaigns 

Among the first campaigns of Cinthol was an advertisement campaign starring Vinod Khanna with a tagline that stated in quite obvious way that he uses Cinthol, what about you (the consumers directed to).

This campaign was successful even during the days when television advertisements were not as polished and common like now and the campaign got a new boost as he called it his personal Body Confidence Soap. In the following years, Cinthol has used some of the top stars in the advertisements apart from the common models. Shah Rukh Khan, Jon Abraham, Hrithik Roshan, Imran Khan and Arvind Swami are some of the common names from tinsel town and quite recently, Cinthol has created its “Alive” campaign with renowned cricketer and Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli. 

Cinthol’s 2003 campaign for hand sanitizer handled by Orchard Advertising was not limited to television but print media, sale communication and outdoor. Launched first in Mumbai markets, the advertising campaign soon sought attention with uniqueness and efficacy that favored curiosity.    

The Confidence+ Campaign for Alive Project featured military personnel especially showing how they have to encounter dirt and how Cinthol’s 99.9% germ protection along with deo fragrance helps them stay fresh. Cinthol Original was campaigned as family protection soap trusted by mothers for reducing upto 95% germs. The 3X long-lasting deo-sticks were campaigned through television advertisements showing how men and women can use them according to their choice of fragrance namely Rush, Energy, Intense, Aura, Swirl and Spark. 

The Alive Bathing Project was campaigned to show how everyday bathing with Cinthol can be nothing less than bathing in deep sea, polar region and in foliage on elephant-back.

While #AliveIsOffline promoted traveling without internet, #ChallengeVirat engaged netizens in putting up challenges for him and even had him participating with six lucky participants. The #SunKoKardoSet campaign for Cinthol’s Cool Soap with Active Deo and menthol had an advertisement set up in desert that was shown to turn into snowy landscape with Cinthol. 


With the trademark tagline of Alive Is Awesome, Cinthol has created its own identity in wellness and personal grooming sector, especially with its Awesome Men range. Instead of sticking to being just a brand regarding personal care, it maintains its philosophy of making the consumers enjoy living worthwhile. 

The journey of Cinthol started with complexion soap and deodorant advertised by alpha males of the glamour industry and in course of time, its endorsements grew engaging with more products and new faces. By making people, especially the youth relate to the products and feel awesome, Cinthol has been successful in its business.  


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