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AdStand: Couples as brand storytellers

Of late brands have discovered the relationship between husband and wife and have started to tell some enduring stories for themselves

Delhi | March 29, 2017

Adstand by Naresh Gupta

Advertising is a singular seller. Women are used to sell to women, men sell to men, moms sell to kids, fathers and even grandfathers sell to families. Advertising story tellers have not used the relationship that exists between couples to create enduring messages. And if they have, they have used it more as roles they play, like the earlier Airtel couple film where wife is boss of husband, but has slipped back in gender stereotype roles.

Of late brands have discovered the relationship between husband and wife and have started to tell some enduring stories for themselves.

Bharat Matrimony, couples and wife’s ambitions

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNssBjL7AGE[/youtube]

Matrimonial sites are best suited to leverage the relationship between man and woman; they are the matchmakers and they are perfectly suited as brands. They have created a brand world where the man supports the woman in her quest for passion or purpose in life. The commercial where he lets his wife go to another city for the opportunity she gets is nicely crafted. The later commercial where the husband helps wife chase her passion for dance is apt for the brand. For a match-making brand, to place woman’s ambition on top and celebrate is a nice strategic move. Traditionally the brands in this sector will look at sticking closer to category codes of compatibility, knowing each other or parental approval. Bharat Matrimony could craft a different narrative using the couples and giving importance to wife’s ambitions

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_gawhhwnYQ[/youtube]

The way BM depicted the relationship, it was still laboured, and with a very serious point of view. Yes, it was progressive, but it wasn't truly new age. The movies in the same time frame were building the relationship as more friendly, more open and definitely full of fun. This is the territory where the brands needed to get in.

Some of it can now be seen in categories like ecom, financial planning, consumer durables we are seeing a new wave of portrayal of couples.

Couple as glue to the brand narrative

Brands that operate across many categories tend to use same face as the glue that binds the brand together. Crompton has used the same couple as the glue across fans and lights. The brand has built an easy going, friendly narrative using a young couple. Each ad has a small hint of their easy going relationship. Like the commercial about fan is has both of them speaking about features with the overall wrapper of their relationship. The earlier commercials of both fans and lights were a lot more textured than the new ones.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOBow8Ny13E[/youtube]

Crompton though is very different from Havells appliances which is a lot more about women and her take on relationship with her husband.

Amazon Prime India as a brand has got the warmest narratives currently. The brand has built an interesting loving banter between a young new age husband and wife where the wife is always able to trick the husband into dancing to her tunes. While the brand message and even the situation of changing the bulb could have been better crafted, the relationship between the couple is a breath of fresh air.

Samsung did this almost 15 years back

Sometimes the fact that you have worked in advertising for so long can make you remember long forgotten campaigns. One such campaign is Samsung Home Appliances’ campaign that was built on relationship between a new age couples. Today the brands are using the same couple across many ads. Samsung had different couples in every ad. The glue to the campaign was not a single couple but the brand’s take on the relationship between the couple. The core messaging to the brand was playfulness. If you look at the campaign today, it will stand out for the progressiveness that is in vogue today. Fifteen years back, this campaign did depict the relationship in regular everyday manner. Travel back to 2003 and see these ads

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yjk6mcq8Gw[/youtube]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86RzXo9s-QY[/youtube]

Movies have been building upon the friendliness and love between the new age couples for some time now. Advertising which often tapped into emerging popular culture seems to have missed this trend for a long time. Partly the reason may be the television serials which are more over the top drama and less of a reflection of society today also contributed to advertising not catching the new wave.

Young couples today have a very different take on life and society; they are very different from the couples of even 2003. Brands can find a rich zone of storytelling by simply being alive to the new visible romance that is on display everyday on a variety of social media channels.

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