Brands like Dhara & Sabhyata show how to do it the right way

26 Oct,2022



By Sanjeev Kotnala


Sanjeev KotnalaFestive times are the times to celebrate. Time to understand and appreciate the positivity of rituals and practices. Time for inclusive togetherness and not the time to point figures.

There are enough issues, problems, and opportunities relevant to the brand category and promises that can be exploited. There is no need for brands to look at religious rituals and practices to question. This year we have seen fewer brands opting to question religious rituals and practices. It seems brands have understood that it does not make strategic sense to risk business for some fancy agenda of change.

Some brands understand the subtle need and nuances to strengthen their positive connect with their audiences. They have a purpose, maybe even a real purpose. They remain sensitive to their ecosystem and do it the right way. Here are some examples.



Cadbury has used festival time and Diwali, in particular, to add freshness and smiles to people. The efforts are enormous, and the impact is measurable. They address real problems and provide real-time solutions within festival mood and ethos. There is a genuineness in creating inclusiveness in business and a consistency in approach through the years. The purpose here seems genuine. This year’s effort- Jinki Dukan Nahin Hoti– for people with no fixed place to set the shop is brilliant.




Dhara’s new ad in the series Khane Pe Kehna’ celebrates the festival. Dhara does not ask the audience to change; it asks them to return to the original ritual and practice of sharing and distributing handcrafted, homemade sweets. The family gets together and shares responsibility. In the process, the tradition and the art of making sweets get transferred through the generation.

Maybe the older generation will remember it more. The current generation is happy sharing and delivering e-commerce goodies. The line ‘Tyohaar Ke Rivaj mai Zara Sa Badlav lana Hai. Apno Ko Ane Haath Se Khilana Hai’ is apt and well-presented in the ad. In fact, the way the daughter places the suggestion is full of grace and respect.




Sabhyata’s Diwali ad is a simple story. It demonstrates an understanding of the new-age women’s aspirations and issues. And there is a different hiring ritual – that’s it. The leisurely build-up aligns with how it wants to steal your attention. Sabhyata, the ethnic wear brand, as something to wear to the interview connects. Though there are a few questions, is the message to hide the pregnancy the right message? Is that empowering, or is that re-instating the fear?

I believe sometimes we should stop being too critical and stop debating every frame from a logical point of view. The communication must be seen in its totality. The only issue is that the advertisement may only work with people aware of the brand. The product does not really stand out and speaks to the potential future consumers- which it could have done to expand its base.

Sabhyata has challenged the expected stereotype and practices in past. Here is another ad from the brand where mother-in-law and daughter-in-law team together to trap the husband into making tea.




Indian dental care market has seen everything. The concept of ingredients that help dental care has come a complete circle. People understand the Indian brand’s formulation and benefit outweighed the MNC-created products. The MNCs, which once denied and rejected Indian understanding of dental products, now outshout each other in telling the consumer they have it all, from Salt to charcoal.

Dabur Lal Dant Manjan is one such product. The contemporised format Dabur Red Toothpaste promises the same results and uses modern-day science’s power to extract the best of Ayurveda.



So, you have Amitabh Bachchan presenting the logical part of communication. And there is a song and dance version made on the 80th birthday. It uses the famed AB song- Ek Rahe Bir … They bring in three ‘gora’ and their dental issues while AB continues enjoying the fruits of strong teeth. It works. The song, ‘Eer Bir Phatte’ remade for Dabur Red Paste, nicely presents the story and the product benefit- maintaining problem-free healthy oral care.




HP World Stores’ #ThodiSiJagahBanaLo (make a little space) calls for supporting the local Indian artisans to showcase their art and scale it up. It is a simple story but powerfully presented. The brand has taken the thought to the street with HP WORLD STORE across some cities bringing alive the idea in real life.




Primed with tradition and the meaning of the festival is the Real ‘ME’ Diwali advertisement. An overload of emotions and a story that may resonate with the new generation is a meaningful brand expression.



And then there is BharatMatrimony  I discussed in the last blog, and Tasva– the Naya Nazariya– which was nothing new.



The above are rich examples of change. They do not question religious practices but operate within the gamut of collective togetherness and the spirit of festivities celebrating the possibilities. The brands are sensitive to the business ecosystem, and the communication is powerful and relevant to the category.

There are enough issues, problems, and opportunities relevant to the brand category and promises to be exploited impactfully. There is no need for brands to look at religious rituals and practices to question, and maybe the brands will understand it.


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