Vella Bioscience's Bulbul Hooda on Reaching the Underserved in Health and Wellness
She has over 15 years of experience building and growing brands by devising their strategic positioning and creative vision along with commercial strategies for long-term revenue growth with a strong commitment to product innovation. Over the course of her global career at powerhouses like L'Oréal, Unilever and Shiseido, Bulbul has proven success in assessing and meeting consumer needs, engaging target demographics, and directing powerful multi-channel campaigns.
Bulbul is also a fierce advocate of diversity and inclusion. As a woman of color, raised in a military family that fostered in her a strong sense of self and individuality, she understands that the privilege of her upbringing requires her to support and uplift other women's voices and experiences, particularly in the beauty and wellness industry.
We spoke with Bulbul for our series Checkup, where we chat with leaders in the healthcare marketing space.
Bulbul, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I was born and raised in India. Moved first to NYC in 2014 and currently in Scottsdale, Arizona, since right before the pandemic.
How you first got into health marketing, and what attracted you to it.
I transitioned over to health and wellness after spending 14+ years in beauty marketing. The landscape has been pivoting toward holistic health, and the immense potential the category presents was very attractive to me. I look at it as expanding the scope of what I was already doing, rather than entering a new category.
Something people might not know about the health industry.
That there is so much navigate in terms of advertising restrictions, language and aesthetics, especially when is comes to sexual health.
A recent project you’re proud of.
Most recently, Vella won the People's Choice Webby Award for our site design, ahead of other worthy health and wellness competitors.
Someone else’s project within health that you were impressed by recently.
I really enjoyed various campaigns encouraging people to get vaccinated.
A major challenge facing health advertisers today.
Social media poses challenges and restrictions on a lot of visual and verbal language needed for accurate education on health and wellness categories.
One thing about how health is evolving that you’re excited about.
I am really excited about new companies coming out to address the underserved subsegments—e.g., menopause, fertility, etc.
How health can attract more creative talent.
By socializing job descriptions more. I feel there is a lack of information, which becomes an impediment for job seekers, and there is an opportunity to offer industry standard salary packages.
What you would be doing if you weren’t in health marketing.
Definitely some adjacent category marketing: beauty, wellness. I call them convergence categories.