Tata Salt – Iodine Patch

Introduction

Iodine deficiency is a major national public health challenge in rural India. The absence of iodine in the daily diet has put several kids at risk of iodine deficiency disorders that leads  to goiter, hypothyroidism and hampered  cognitive development. Despite the gravity of the situation and widespread prevalence of iodine deficiency amongst kids in rural India parents continue to remain largely ignorant.

Tata Salt has always lived up to its claim of being the Desh ka Namak, in keeping with the brand philosophy, Tata Salt wanted to reinforce the importance of iodine in a child’s daily diet and illustrate its commitment towards Desh Ki Sehat with its Desh Ka Namak. 

The Sonepur Mela in Northern Bihar is one of the most popular and cultural human congregations in Bihar, making this cattle fair a perfect spot for Tata Salt to intercept with the influencers and matriarchs in the family. 

Objective

The objective of the campaign was to sensitize mothers about the prevalent and widespread issue of iodine deficiency in kids, in a bid to reinforce Tata Salt’s commitment to the major public health challenge and get the creatures of habit to move beyond their standard choice of loose non-iodized salt. 

Target Group

Mothers and family members attending the Sonepur Mela in Northern Bihar.

The Solution

Like any other behavioral change initiative, we understood that it’s not easy to get people to change the way they do or feel about certain things. The main challenge was to directly confront a deeply entrenched habit, and challenge the status quo. The result was an Iodine patch test, the initiative was a response to the prevalent public health challenge  of iodine deficiency further reinforcing Tata Salt’s Desh ka Namak ideology.

Execution

Parents were approached right at the point of entry by team Tata Salt drawing attention to the silent epidemic of Iodine deficiency with the help of a pictorial campaign detailer. 

The next step included handing out iodine patches and a shade card to parents. As the parents applied these patches on their child,  the time of application and the shade number were documented. The parents were asked to monitor the patch for any colour changes. The disappearance of the patch and absorption of iodine into the skin indicated iodine deficiency in kids, triggering a sense of panic amongst parents driving them straight to the Tata Salt stalls stationed at the mela. 

The promoters were at hand to educate the parents about the critical role iodine plays in a child’s growth and development while presenting Tata Salt as a perfect solution to combat the iodine deficiency epidemic. 

In addition to the Iodine patch test, parents were also handed coupons for a blood test at the nearest path lab to further validate the iodine deficiency in kids. 

The initiative effectively demonstrated Tata Salt’s efforts to reduce iodine deficiency in kids through the simple act of including iodized Salt in their daily diet.

Results

The campaign reached out to 1921 women and kids, around 1795 iodine patch tests were conducted and over 1426 kgs of Tata Salt Sold. The Iodine patch test made a case for behavior change and managed to engage in a meaningful dialogue thereby creating an indelible impact in the minds of consumers.

Conclusion

The Iodine patch test gave parents a reality check in the most simple but compelling manner. This behavioural intervention made a strong case for the inclusion of iodine into the daily diet and allowed the parents to determine the child’s iodine status on the basis of a simple colour change. The disappearance of the patch and absorption of iodine into the skin indicated iodine deficiency in kids, this created a sense of urgency amongst mothers by driving awareness about the far-reaching negative consequences of non-iodized loose salt and highlighting the contribution of a pinch of Tata Salt in building a strong and healthy rural India.