Sunsilk Gang of Girls': Hindustan Lever Limited's Online Social Networking Initiative in India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG175 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Marketing Management/ Product management, Consumer behavior, New and emerging media, Media planning
Case Length : 24 Pages
Period : 2005-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Hindustan Lever Ltd.
Industry : FMCG
Countries : India


This case discusses the online community-building initiatives of Indian FMCG major Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL, now, Hindustan Unilever Ltd) for its beauty shampoo brand, Sunsilk. HLL was one of the largest spenders in the traditional advertising media. With the growing popularity of new and emerging media like the Internet, especially among the Indian youth, HLL identified new marketing communication programs that could capitalize on this trend. To keep the Sunsilk brand relevant to its target group (young girls), HLL started an online social network and community called the Sunsilk Gang of Girls (GoG). It was the first all-girl online community in India and quickly caught the attention of the target group (TG) as it was promoted by HLL with a 360-degree media communication blitz.

HLL continuously updated the content and added new features to GoG to keep it relevant to the TG. It also took this online initiative to the ground with mall activation programs and participation in college youth festival events.

Experts felt that HLL was rewarded for taking the risk of starting an online social networking site as it got good brand recognition and could connect with the target group. The case also discusses the issues and constraints faced by companies and marketers who want to target the youth in a rapidly changing market environment like India. It also highlights the various opportunities and challenges for media planners and advertisers in this changing environment.


Appreciate the importance of new and emerging media in view of the change in environment, and media consumption behavior of the target audience

Understand the issues and constraints in targeting the youth population in India in view of the changing marketing dynamics

Understand the significance of using online communities in brand building and market development

Understand how online communities around a brand can be built and sustained over time


  Page No.
Welcome to The Sunsilk Gang! 1
Background Note 3
Sunsilk - 'The Hair Expert' 4
Fostering an Online Community of Girls 5
A Media Blitz to launch GOG 7
Bringing GOG to the Ground 8
Impressive Figures 9
More Branded Spaces for Girls 9
GOG - In Sync with the Changing Consumer Behavior 10
The Other View 12
Outlook 13
Exhibits 15


Hindustan Lever Ltd., Sunsilk , Shampoo market, GoG TV, Consumer behavior, Online community, Social networking, Community-building, Sunsilk gang of girls, Fast moving consumer goods, Emerging media, Sunsilk Sahelian, Advertiser funded programs, Branding, Integrated marketing campaign, 360-degree communication, Mall activation, Word-of-mouth marketing, Buzz marketing, Public relations, Girl bonding, Target marketing, Cult brand, Unilever

Welcome to The Sunsilk Gang ! - Next Page>>


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