Is Vicco Dying? - Story of Once Most Popular and Loved Brand

I know your mind has started humming that jingle. Earlier, people used to love singing Vicco's jingles, just like they did movie songs and we still do that whenever we spot a Vicco product. Such jingles are referred to as classic jingles, and each memorable jingle or music has a fascinating past.

Its jingle made it the most renowned and well-liked brand in every home. Everyone loved their products, whether it was their lotion or toothpaste. Vicco modified its branding and marketing strategy in light of newly emerging trends. However, the fact that it was a herbal product remained unchanged. Vicco continues to operate given the ongoing competition because of its USP.

Vicco - History

Keshav Pendarkar founded Vicco in 1952. In Nagpur, he was running a local ration shop. We all possess high aspirations and are striving to achieve them. We all desire to attain more ambitions in life, and Keshav was no exception. As a result, he relocated to Mumbai with his family and began working for his goal.

He soon began his business in a modest godown, producing chemical-free teeth cleaning powder for folks of all ages. He devised this strategy since it is something that would be used daily and by anyone. As a result, the possibilities of it being famous were higher, and that's what prompted him to manufacture a product like this.

Keshav and his sons practised door-to-door sales because they had no other way to promote their products. Vicco teeth cleaning powder, derived from 18 different medicinal herbs, gained popularity over time, and the Pendharkar family decided to establish their business.

In 1952, Keshav was thinking about the future and observed that folks were using toothpaste instead of tooth powder to clean their teeth. Keshav requested his son, Gajanan Pendharkar, a pharmacist, to create toothpaste out of the medicinal herbs. So Vicco never used any chemicals in their toothpaste as some kinds of toothpaste had fluoride, which might have posed health issues if swallowed by the user.

They didn't want anyone to get sick from using their toothpaste. They eventually received a positive reaction to their products, but Keshav passed away in 1971. Gajanan Pendharkar, his son, continued his father's business. The company's turnover was approximately Rs 1 lakh at the time, and Gajanan was the one who transformed it from an ordinary brand to India's most renowned brand.

Vicco – Marketing strategy

Vicco's skin products have always been yellow, symbolizing the brand's long-lasting relationship with turmeric and its effects on perfect skin, whilst the logo depicts antiseptic aspects.

Many domestic and global care products were still making their way into India in that era. Vicco seized this chance to establish a foothold because customers demanded speedy solutions. It launched a product named "Vicco Turmeric" cream that resided in the hearts of youth suffering from acne who couldn't wait for a long-term cure. It also claimed that this product blocked the absorption of damaging ultra-violet radiation.

There was no guarantee that it could survive in the market since it was chemical-free and was made just from turmeric and other medicinal herbs. People were concerned that the cream's yellow tint would turn their faces yellow.

This issue was solved by requesting the salesperson to test the cream on the cheeks of the merchants and then showing customers the outcomes in a mirror. Now, we know Vicco Turmeric's marketing adventure has been filled with new ideas.

Vicco – Promotion strategy

The firm opted to use television to reach potential customers. Only Doordarshan was available on television during those days. Gajanan Pendharkar used a distinctive manner of presenting its company. He spoke with the producers of the TV show "Yeh jo Zindagi hai," which led to Vicco's commercial being aired during the show's broadcast.

It was the first brand to sponsor a television show just so their jingle could be broadcast repeatedly, and this was called "marketing blitzkrieg" meaning "doing your branding on multiple platforms at the same time."

Folks used to buy videotapes to see movies during those days, and Vicco transmitted its jingles in local dialects on those tapes as well. Indians residing in other countries bought the tapes, hence more people became aware of the brand.

The ads claimed that the lotion is good for the skin and elegance, highlighting the therapeutic benefits of turmeric as found in Ayurveda. Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream was marketed as a blend of turmeric's antibacterial qualities and sandalwood oil's calming and refreshing effects.

Aside from promoting a healthy, bright complexion, the commercials also showed ways it could be utilized as a medication to treat cuts and bruises, acne, and burns.

In the meantime, the firm's advertisement for Vicco Turmeric WSO Skin Cream focused on the medicinal benefits of turmeric for skincare, while the exclusion of the pricey component of sandalwood oil made it economical perhaps to the general public.

Although Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream has lost its competitive edge due to the success of its rivals, the firm has been utilizing platforms such as tv and radio to inform the masses about the importance of Indan herbs and their significant uses.

Vicco has recently introduced skin moisturizers, sunscreens, and oil-based lotions to cope with the present while remaining a subtle but important aspect of our culture.

Vicco is now attempting to reposition itself as a youth-oriented brand. They recently signed Alia Bhatt as the face of their Vajradanti toothpaste and worked with her on ads.

Vicco – Vicco vs Central Excise

Vicco Vajradanti and Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream were not qualified to be categorized as herbal remedies, as stated by the business, and were rather identified as cosmetics by the Central Excise Department in 1978.

Vicco Labs, not accepting the department's claims, filed a lawsuit in Civil Court to oppose the allegation. On the 6th of May, 1982, the court ruled in Vicco's favour, declaring that these goods were "ancient herbal formulations and not cosmetics."

When the Excise Department denied the ruling and initiated a lawsuit, the situation became even worse. They took the case to the high court, but the high court too ruled in support of Vicco stating that since it was herbal medicine, no tax could be levied. However, in that period, a tax and central excise reform were introduced, and this new central excise tariff act 1985 was adopted in 1986, and once it was enacted, a second trial was started, this time by central excise on Vicco, and that case lasted several years.

Finally, in 2007, the verdict of this long legal dispute was announced. The Judge ruled in favour of Vicco and that cosmetic taxes cannot be levied against them, they must be abolished.

The essence of the story, however, is how a lawsuit prompted the business to communicate and present the brand as ayurvedic rather than cosmetic, which was lauded as one of the smartest approaches in the sector.

Vicco – The lawsuit's Response

Is Vicco's product Ayurvedic or cosmetic? That was the question at the inception of this judicial dispute. To respond, Vicco explicitly stated in the jingle, "Vicco turmeric, Not cosmetic; Vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream." Although it is a classic jingle, it was created with the most basic line anyone could imagine. That is why, over time, even the most basic things can become iconic. So try to keep it simple.

Vicco – Business expansion and Product Diversification

Did you know that Vicco's current turnover is over 500 crores? It has built factories in Dombivli, Nagpur, and Goa to expand its business. However, in 1986, Sanjeev Pendharkar understood that his pharmacy diploma would not be enough, so he pursued a management and law course to help the company flourish.

They began as a small tooth powder firm and have since expanded to include a diverse product portfolio such as Vicco Vajradanti paste, Vicco turmeric cream, Vicco sugar-free paste, Vicco foam base, Vicco turmeric facewash, and so on. The firm exports its goods to 30-40 nations worldwide.

Vicco – Awards

In 1980, the company received an “International trade trophy award”.

Vicco was ranked 28th among India's most trusted brands according to the Brand Trust Report 2012.

Vicco – Media Presence

Vicco can also be found on all sorts of digital media. The firm is actively organizing its advertising and promotion activities in this digital era. Besides launching ad campaigns like #NoFilter on Instagram, the firm has been consistently maintaining its social media presence with frequent posts and influencers.

Vicco Turmeric is a frequent online coach for natural and brighter skin with brief lesson clips thereby placing Ayurveda in the spotlight, developing content to connect with people.


Vicco’s marketing adventure has fostered and revived the spirit of therapeutic remedies and perks in this modern era, by it being the lead promoter of Ayurveda and using herbal supplements in its products. It has proven to be a fighter in the face of severe rivalry from multinational cosmetics companies, and this outlines the brand's branding and promotion tale.

I hope you found this story behind the Vicco jingle interesting.


Is Vicco company closed?

No, the company still sells its paste, face wash, and other products. The revenue of the company was  Rs 190 Crore in 2021.

Who is the founder of Vicco?

Keshav Pendarkar founded Vicco in 1952.

What is the revenue of Vicco?

The revenue of Vicco is Rs 190 crore in 2021.

When was Vicco Turmeric launched?

Vicco turmeric cream was launched in 1965.