Winning consumers, dil se

20 Jan,2012

 

 

By Shubhangi Mehta

 

‘Advertising’ generally relates to a 30-60 second commercial which is, in some way, a break from whatever has grabbed our attention on the TV. It is, at times, packed with humour or creativity which manages to engage audiences and pay attention to the product being endorsed. But these days, brands are thinking beyond short term goals such as increasing sales to a long term goal of maintaining goodwill for the brand.

 

For a while now, a lot of advertisements are not just based on a self-centred motive to sell the product but the brands and creatives are becoming more and more altruistic and trying to engage the audiences by including them in the commercial.

 

Whether it is Coca-Cola “spreading happiness” or Tata Tea asking the consumer to “Jaago Re”, almost every brand is trying to step ahead and be an element revolutionising society.

 

[youtube width=”400″ height=”250″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5ECJrnqPcI[/youtube]

R Balki, Chairman and CCO, Lowe Lintas India, said, “There needs to be a connect of the message with the product. Brands just cannot jump onto the bandwagon by saying something which isn’t connected with the product. Even before Tata Tea or Lead India, it was Lifebuoy that came up with ‘koi dar nahi’, which encouraged kids to walk out and clean the streets. Hence, there is a definite need of product association with the message. Even in the Tata Tea campaign, tea is always associated with awakening and, with a name like Tata attached to it, we took it a step ahead and correlated it with awakening against corrupt politicians and so on. The thought was based on being optimistic and not cynical.”

 

As a matter of fact if we are to recall, such advertisements are also the ones that manage stay in our minds the longest. Be it ‘Jaago Re’ ‘Lead India’ ‘Hum Mein Hai Hero’, ‘Idea’ commercials or the latest Stayfree campaigns.

 

[youtube width=”400″ height=”250″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0M0EZ8T5J8[/youtube]

“Every businessman today realises that just a transactional relationship with a client does not work these days, there is a very important need for emotional connect with the consumers, and brands like Coca Cola are realising the same. The trend has been there for a while, but its gaining momentum as every brand wants to be in the good books of the consumer. This is a worldwide trend where the society needs to know what exactly we are giving them back,” explained Prasoon Joshi.

 

The problem lies when rather than being engaging, these commercials become preachy. The idea should be that it sermonises in such a creative way that it manages to engage a consumer, who considers an advertisement a break from a nail biting cricket/football match, or a soap opera that he /she is watching

 

KV Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett, India, said, “More and more brand are realising these days that whatever we do is replicable. All the uniqueness and benefits get blurred after a while. Be it the uniqueness of an iPhone which is replicated by Chinese and Korean companies or the uniqueness of a brand communication. The other thing that marketers have understood is that ‘honesty’ and ‘selflessness’ are the keys to attract audiences. The Brand now tries to tell the audience that your ideas and my ideas are the same and this has become the solution to connect with the masses.”

 

It won’t be wrong to say that Indian society gives utmost importance to values when compared to any other society. Hence, it helps a brand to come across as socially responsible.

 

[youtube width=”400″ height=”250″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DkS7wfPMdQ[/youtube]

Rahul Kansal, CMO, Bennett, Coleman and Co, said: “When it comes to using a social message to promote one’s brand, it has to have certain connection with the product. Sometime back, we saw Aircel’s campaign to Save the Tigers. Despite being a good concept, the campaign did not leave a mark, as it didn’t really help the brand because the cause wasn’t really connected with the brand. On the other hand, if we talk about Tata Tea’s Jaago Re campaign, it is a beautiful example of laddering up by a brand since tea is always associated with awakening and here the brand communication took it a step further by making it an awakening of the society towards the corrupt system. The Coke ad is also an example of going ahead with a thought of a drink which is meant to quench thirst, stepping ahead and becoming a brand to spread happiness. Times ofIndia’s ‘Lead India’ and ‘TeachIndia’ are also an example of laddering up by using a social message.”

 

One might wonder, is creativity becoming a follower rather than a creator? One can also speculate that creative thought is the slave of trend, where one does something exceptional and others follow, as that becomes what the audiences want. The fact that such campaigns manage to capture the consumers’ eye is evidence. This practice had been seen in the past as well, but more and more brands have been adopting the concept lately. Will it continue, and how well can creativity present it? The fact remains that any product endorsing itself on such messages, even if remotely, needs to be connected with the communication at a certain level.

 

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