July 20, 2005

Fair & Empowered

The true measure of the hold a certain cream has over us Indians is not in the debate Vikrum has set off. It's in the little nugget of information I picked up a couple of years ago. Fair & Lovely is the country's most-copied product, with at least 140 (!) imitators known so far. The packaging, the colour, the style of the lettering, all copied to perfection. You have to read the name very carefully to tell.

And if you do that, you'll find these names out there: Fair & Natural, Fair & Sweet, Famous & Beauty, Famous & Lovely, Face and Lovely, Fure & Beauty, Fair & Care, Fairy & Lovely, Fain & Lovely, Fresh Look, Fine Love...

It boggles my mind. Not only are people spending money on the original, they are spending it on these innumerable fakes!

In any case, the original is ploughing some of its earnings back into society. Indeed. A recent ad tells me what the Fair & Lovely Foundation, no less, is up to:

    Project Saraswati from Fair & Lovely Foundation announces its graduate and post-graduate scholarship programme. In just two years, the project has changed the destinies of many women all over India. Some of the most deserving women have been able to pursue their education with scholarships in the profession of their choice. Project Saraswati: Empowerment through Education. Fair & Lovely Foundation: Empowering Women.

Very nice. Question: Before you get the scholarship, empower yourself and change your womanly destiny, do you need to plaster the cream all over your skin?


Postscript: Fair & Lovely may be the most copied, but others attract the imitators too. A small sample:

Sunsilk: Sunlick, Silkvel, Sunmilk, Supersilk, Sunmilky, Sanmilk, Sunslik.

Head & Shoulders: Hair & Showers, Hair & Sholwers.

Clinic Plus: Clinton (!) Plus, Clivic Plus, Clonic Plus.

Kitkat: Kitkit, Kirkat, Kirket.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The worst knock-off brand name must be "Sunlick", with "Sunmilk" in a close second. Yecch.

"Clonic Plus" sounds like an ointment or tonic to help produce better clones. I am talking of 2050 AD, of course.