Call for entries open for BuzzInContent Awards 2020 Enter Now

Best Media Info

Editor’s Picks
Cannes Lions 2019

Guest Times

Do brands really gain from ad films with strong social messaging?

Industry stalwarts aver that brands that are creating such advertising are indeed gaining momentum. The main objective of such campaigns is to establish a connect with its audience by being relevant to them, making for strong brand recall

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | March 18, 2016


Advertising is the most important tool that a brand uses to spread awareness about the product it represents. It is a means by which a brand exerts its presence and advertising agencies do not leave any stone unturned to achieve that aim for a brand and do their utmost to communicate the brand’s message through effective advertising films.

A well-made ad, no doubt, leaves a stamp on the viewer's mind and induces brand recall. Of late more and more brands have been resorting to social messages instead of commercial ones to promote the products they represent. Some recent examples of the trend include the last campaign of Myntra’s Anouk brand of clothing, dubbed, ‘Bold is Beautiful’; Tanishq Jewellery’s the ‘Double Knot’; Idea Cellular’s ‘Taxi-wala’; Havells Fans’ ‘Hawa Badlegi’; and The Times of India’s ‘Tum chalo toh Hindustan chaley’. The list is long.

These ads have been created quite smartly. The brands are not positioned everywhere, but the films leave an imprint on the viewer’s mind, wherein the film is associated with the brand, which was the idea in the first place. The whole idea seems to be to get people to think of some small, yet important issues concerning society or the environment.

Some ads in the genre are in fact, commercial ads. In the others, the brand leaves an impression on the viewer because of its concern about a social or environmental issue. Many case studies have shown that emotions do touch a chord with consumers  – but how far does the concept go in the race to chase eyeballs?

To quote the Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy, his contemporary, Howard Gossage, had said that “advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest, it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.” We do agree, which is the reason why, we went on a quest for social cause advertisements and their relevance.

We also pondered on another grave poser. Advertising, after all, is about spreading awareness about a brand, so when the product in question is not being highlighted or even visible, does a brand really stand to gain from the advertisement? caught up with some industry experts and picked their minds on the subject. Let’s hear them.

Nima DT Namchu Nima DT Namchu

Nima Namchu, Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide:

First, one has to have a fix on what the brand is all about, what its point of view is. If there isn't one, then one has to come up with one, keeping in mind that it must fit the brand personality, be relevant to the category and resonate with the consumers. Once those coordinates have been decided upon, writing a powerful story is just a matter of going through "rewrite hell" till you get it right.

Secondly, we gravitate towards people who stand for something we like and agree with; we admire people with lofty ideals. Our behaviour is no different when it comes to brands. Without a point of view, they are just commodity and as we all know, we don't pay premium for commodity. However, a word of caution. The consumer isn't as gullible as most of us are wont to believe. Brands must walk the talk.

Deepika Tewari, General Manager, Marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Co.:

Through communication it is essential for brands to break through the clutter and establish a connect with their audience. Brand campaigns need to focus on being relevant to the audience and relay the overarching brand message. Tanishq, for instance, has always spoken to the modern-day, progressive Indian woman. We remain relevant to her by speaking about topics that she can relate to; we break through the clutter by speaking about topics that exist in society but aren’t openly spoken about.

This is best seen in Tanishq’s second marriage ad which broke boundaries by speaking about remarriage. Majority of such social issues are often swept under the carpet. We brought these issues to the forefront by talking about them and taking that first step. By doing this we caught the attention of our target audience and established a direct connect with them.  While brands need to focus on products, this is only one part of their communication strategy today. The brand message is just as important as the product.

The main objective of such campaigns is to establish a connect with its audience by being relevant to them. The focus on social messages does just this as it brings to the forefront existing issues in society, thus resonating more with its audience. The creative execution helps break through the clutter and strengthens the brand identity.

Santosh-Padhi-top Santosh Padhi

Santosh Padhi, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder, Taproot India:

Digital has given opportunities to brands to create something in-depth and more meaningful. As a brand they are standing for what they are into. It is about how a brand synchronizes its philosophy and thinking with the correct form of storytelling. We see a lot of small brands are using this concept but the concern is, why can’t big brands not use this opportunity. This is a good thing about being a small brand that one has the opportunity to explore more concepts and experiment in depth.

Harish Bijoor Harish Bijoor

Harish Bijoor, Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.:

The brand is an attitude and these brands are reflecting their attitude. With such ads the brands are just trying to sync their attitude with a strong storytelling. This is in benefit to it because eventually it is the attitude that matters. It is very simple that young people have a set attitude and if they are using a specific product, the attitude will reflect and a brand will try and use the same in their ads.

Kawal Shoor, ?Planner and Founding Partner, The Womb:

I guess whether you do a campaign with a social message at heart or emotional message, etc., it all ends up on how meaningful a brand is for its consumers. Sometimes such concepts work and sometimes they do not. The big thing now is that many marketers are becoming very experimentative. Social media has become the new radio where one can do something and see how it works. Sometimes consumers connect with a story but it doesn't end up building preference, or even affinity for the brand. Building fame will always help but building fame with a right brand role is very important. It helps the brand to connect with the consumers. A lot of brands are not able to walk this journey.

Post a Comment