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To be relevant, brands must understand cultural shifts

An industry panel consisting of industry leaders at Kyoorius Melt discusses how brand advertising has become tokenism, and most of the brand communication is not relevant to the audience

Brands and agencies are putting in multiple efforts to drive communication with the audience, but a lot of tokenism is seen in their brand advertisement as a lot of these brand communications are not relevant for the audience.

The panel, including Deepa G, Proprietor, MYO, a strategic and creative consultancy and Tista Sen, Senior VP and National Creative Director, JWT India, discussed the tokenism seen in advertising at Kyoorius Melt.

“The brands are conscious of having a conversation with the audience, but they are failing. The problem is that these conversations are not translated into a meaningful dialogue with the audience,” said Sen.

“There would be a lot of tokenism because every brand is putting an effort to connect with the audience, but this effort is not completely directed at making a change needed to make certain statements on the culture, on the brand and what people believe in,” added Deepa.

Speaking on the women-centric communication, Sen said, “Brands are taking fluff from the top and not understanding the depth of the feeling a woman has and from what she can relate to the brand.”

“We grew up seeing ads where women were cooking for the family. But there has been a shift in culture since then. A woman's role does not only revolve around looking after the family. Now, she feels to be careless, to sit back and relax, an appears arrogant also as these are obvious mood swings that happen to everyone,” Sen pointed out.

“Brands and agencies should think up to that extent. Some brands completely understand the shift and smartly work on that. It is a great decision to remove the traditional behaviour and show her that this is not what makes her be her,” she added.

Sen gave examples of Swiggy and Nike who understood the current shift in culture and adapted it in their brand conversation.

According to Deepa G, Brands should talk about the different issues associated with women.

“In a lot of awards, all kind of ad entries are seen to be solving women problems. It is indeed not a bad thing, but the angle should be different because over the years role of women has evolved,” she said.

She added, “Women-centric communication is itself a good start, rather than not talking about it completely. We see brands doing it once in a year. The frequency should be faster, and their message should stand out."

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