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Dipstick: Do ads with an emotional angle have better connect?

Industry seniors share their views on whether ads with a social and emotional angle create a better connect among viewers

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | March 9, 2016


Advertising seems to be one of the most competitive spaces among all others in a country like India. With so many new agencies entering and the existing ones working hard, there is always a race against time in terms of standing ahead of the curve with better story or idea of the campaign.

There are ads every day and night on television. Adding greater leverage to the brand, social media seems giving more opportunities to the advertising fraternity and brands to explore ideas in-depth. Most brands have started releasing ads on digital media and have received an overwhelming response. However, if one looks closely, the recently launched HDFC #Memoriesforlife, Ariel's #ShareTheLoad, the British Airways ‘Loving India’ ads or OLX's Dastaan ads, to name a few, have scored by striking an emotional chord among viewers. These ads have clearly been able to create a distinctive mark and are gaining momentum day by day.

With an aim to get a better understanding, spoke to a few industry veterans on whether ads with a strong social and emotional angle have better connect.

Moran Birger, Regional Commercial Manager, South Asia, British Airways:

We at British Airways continue to introduce India specific initiatives that allow us to forge a more meaningful connection with our customers here and truly demonstrate our commitment to this region. We take immense pride in our rich heritage of serving India for over 90 years, giving us deep understanding of the market, the culture and people resulting in more personalised ways of communicating and connecting with our customers here.

From our experience in the market, we know that a strong emotional narrative goes a long way in striking a chord with the people, particularly in India. Our recently launched ‘Fuelled by Love’ film has touched millions of hearts not just in India but across borders. Moreover, the fact that it is inspired by a number of real-life experiences of our cabin crew makes it even more special for us.

MG Parameswaran MG Parameswaran

MG Parameswaran, Advisor, FCB Ulka Advertising:

Products and services are getting commoditised and they are discovering new ways of bonding with consumers. From the days of rational needs to emotional needs, we are now seeing the emergence of social needs. But if the brand does not embrace the promise on a long-term basis they will achieve no perceivable impact. So, pick a worthy cause, link it to your brand and stay the course for the next five years. And keep monitoring if real consumers are being moved, not just the ad folks.

Sanjay Tripathy Sanjay Tripathy

Sanjay Tripathy, Senior EVP, Marketing, Product, Digital & E-Commerce, HDFC Life:

Advertising in India has undergone a radical transformation. There is huge clutter today and brands need to work harder than before to connect with the consumer. Creating relevant content based on a strong life insight so that it can strike an emotional chord with the customer is the key here. Success in communication is as much about telling a good story as about offering relevance and value to the customer’s life. With ‘Memories for Life’, HDFC Life has offered a time capsule that enables people to share more than just money with their families to guide them in the future. This proposition is launched through an emotional journey of a young successful executive who receives a message from his father, recorded 10 years back. Such stories and characters connect well with the audience as it can happen with just about anyone.

KV Sridhar KV Sridhar

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro:

In our country a few things that have worked and will work are humour, emotion and blackmail. It is all about how one uses them to create a commercial. I think the misconception when we talk about emotional advertising is that advertising that makes you cry is emotional advertising, but if we see deeply, any human emotion is an emotion. One can cry while laughing too. What I mean here is that not only crying but laughing, surprise, etc., are emotions too. Coming to the blackmailing part, we see a lot of advertisers using women and their roles to blackmail consumers and attract more eyeballs. So, the point is that it all depends on how one uses these emotions.

Ashish Chakravarty Ashish Chakravarty

Ashish Chakravarty, National Creative Director, Contract Advertising:

Whether it is television or advertising, emotions have worked in our country. We all are emotional people. I don’t think it is a ‘now phenomenon’ though people are trying to create more emotional ads now. This has also increased because of the opportunities that the digital medium has given us. On a platform like digital one has the advantage of creating something under the long-format category unlike earlier days when the ad world was restricted to 20 or 30 seconds where one could highlight moments only and not stories. It is a conjecture of course as internet is allowing us to create something with more depth.

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