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Binaca got changed to Cibaca, but still lost.
As a Popular ‘light green coloured’ oral hygiene brand Binaca was launched in India in early 1950s by Ciba-Geigy.
By the 1970s, it was among India’s favourite toothpaste – others in the market were foreigner brands like Colgate, Forhans and Macleans, and domestic players are Promise (Balsara hygiene) and Prudent (Parle).
The Binaca Geetmala
In the 1950s, commercial advertising on radio began with Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Radio Goa. Post the ban on the Filmi music on All India Radio, Radio Ceylon was the Radio channel for all the Hindi music lovers.
In the 1970s, they would tune in every week to listen to Binaca Geetmala, a popular countdown show of Hindi film songs. Sponsored by popular toothpaste brand Binaca, this weekly show was hosted by the legendary Ameen Sayani on Radio Ceylon. People would avidly wait to hear their favourite film songs on their Murphy Mini-Boy radios.
The weekly countdown programme of top songs from Hindi cinema ran between 1952 and 1988, making Ameen Sayani, the presenter of the show, independent India’s most popular radio jockey, and Binaca gain huge market reach.
Infact, due to this radio program, Binaca as a brand was popular among Pakistani consumers even before the brand hit the local market.
Neerja Bhanot, who died while saving passengers on Pan Am Flight 73 was at time their brand ambassador, as well as for Forhans.
Brand changed hands many times.
By late 1980s, the consumer products division of CIBA-Geigy of Switzerland, to the English firm Reckitt and Colman (now RB). Airwick, a Ciba-Geigy company, owned this brand. It went into RB when Airwick was acquired by RB. But, India and Pakistan were left out of the deal however, thus creating an anomalous situation: while the local incarnation of CIBA could continue making the same products, it could not use the original brand name. So, Hindustan CIBA-Geigy decided to rename it as Cibaca.
Binaca was then sold to Dabur in 1966 by Reckitt Benckiser. Later Cibaca was sold to Colgate.
Dr. Fresh owns the brand right for the breath spray, and market it as “Binaca – A Blast That Lasts”.