Riding the creative crest

26 Mar,2012

By A Correspondent


An advertisement’s KPI is to lure people, not only to watch the ad, but also to buy the brand advertised. One-third of the battle is won if audiences do not move away from a channel when a specific ad comes up, or in case of newspaper, it does not become a blind spot – the ad is appreciated and enjoyed. However, an advertisement’s role is fulfilled in completion only if the marketing objective of the ad is achieved – which in most cases is sampling the product. From there on other Ps of Marketing take over.



Today, it is not only FMCGs that target the woman, but also the traditional male dominated categories. This coming of age of Indian woman is reflected in the advertisements as well – she has changed, and in style.


– The home-maker in Cadbury Dairy Milk commercial is vocal about her husband not expressing his love to her

– Moov ad is about a playful encounter between husband and wife — she no longer is in pain doing household chores

– ICICI Lombard commercial is about a young girl’s aspirations – and not about future security

– Gadget Guru commercial, in fact, has a young lady checking out the zoom feature of a camera that she plans to buy online!


Madhu Noorani, Executive Creative Director, Lowe India aptly reflects, “Yes, she has changed dramatically. She is bolder, more independent thinking and has ambitions for herself, while earlier her ambitions were for her husband or kids. Now, she also knows the power she has.”


One cannot help but zero in on Lalitaji as the predecessor of woman seen in today’s ads. Perhaps she was the first real person in advertising – with a lot of common sense. States Simmi Sabhaney, President, Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore, “Lalitaji came at a time when the primary role of the housewife was defined as catering to the varying needs of her family. Family came first and the housewife relentlessly steered her way through the day to day pressures that were inflicted upon her. Brands targeted towards her were pitched as an aid for her to undertake her tasks efficiently. They helped her excel in her role at the home front.”


She adds, “Lalitaji was a bold attempt for those times. She was shown stripped off her softness, in an aggressive avatar. She questioned in an era, when questioning sat squarely in men’s territory. But women have come a long way. Today’s woman in advertising is shown as confident, well informed, liberal, indulgent, playful and experimentative.”


Women, no longer, are only seen in the ads of categories traditionally targeted at her, or as the carrot in the male focused categories. ‘Use this product – I come free with it’ is passé. Women are more than mothers, and objects of desire, and it comes across in the ads of today. Noorani comments, “While today’s woman in ads may be all these things, she is interested in carving a niche for herself, and she, also very important for advertisers, believes she has the right to indulge herself”.


She is still the caring wife and doting mother – however, the brand’s role has changed from easing her burden to delighting her and in helping her delight her family. Sabhaney expresses, “The new age woman is indulgent when it comes to her kids to the point of advocating that ‘playing with dirt is good for your kids’. She is playful at the table and is constantly exploring newer options to delight them. She is rightfully the ‘cheerleader’ for her family.”


But naturally, it is the younger woman, brought up in the age of information, who is leading the change in the Indian society, and advertisements, to a large extent, are reflecting that – the new ‘ad’ woman has evolved too. States Sabhaney, “While her fundamental values may not have changed, the expressions of these values certainly have. Shades of playful manipulation and free-spiritedness are being associated with younger women. They are willing to explore and take on life as it comes.” She adds, “The concept of ‘equality’ has truly come of age. The younger woman is seen questioning gender biases. Pre-marital sex is now not uncommon and there are brands helping them deal with an eventuality, just in case”.


While the change in the ‘ad’ woman is a reflection of changes in the society, she is also leading the change in smaller cities and towns. Media explosion has made the woman living in smaller towns come face to face with the new woman – and with it sets in the aspiration to be like her – at least to the extent she can, without turning her world upside down.



Success mantras from media captains
All work and some play
Riding the creative crest
Holding up the managerial sky
Celebrating the difference
Managing Middle India’s Golden Lady
Wooing vibrant India’s Wonder Woman
Rural women – how strong is their ‘spending say’?
Is the serial woman tellying it like it is?


Related Stories

  • No Related Stories Found
Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.