I am not exactly a fervent follower of sports. I love Manchester United and even then, I occasionally watch their matches. I am forced to watch the TV when I am eating at the mess. Mostly though, my exposure to commercials is via YouTube and Facebook. 95 percent of the advertisements and marketing campaigns that I see coming on these channels is clichéd and repetitive. I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at the subpar quality of promotional campaigns. Although, I do find accurate and excellent advertisements occasionally. Take for instance the Honda Civic Type R concept advertisement.
IMCs are the faces of the organisations. This is how they reach the TGs, unlocking the huge potential of the target markets. For this to happen promotions need to be compelling. They need to hit the customer right where his sentiments lie and thus open him up to the vast world of possibilities that the offering has for him. Choosing the right brand ambassador, to send across a very clear and accurate message is the quintessence of marketing. You cannot choose a failing actor to market an offering that is aimed at the young working professionals. You can’t come up with an advertisement that is sexist in the slightest degree – if you do so, you are looking at offending the millions that advocate the equality of both sexes. You can’t come out with an advertisement that best comes across as too aggressive and irrational – for then, you are willing to rile the customers that are rational and balanced. It has to be a clear message that accurately communicates that which the brand stands for. The recent furore over the #MyChoice marketing campaign that featured Deepika Padukone, clearly shows this. Cheap publicity stunts that tend to catch one’s attention for a short time span are not really effective in the long run. Mostly, it tends to damage the person’s perception of a brand.
People are looking for content that is original and refreshing; content that will give them a break from the clutter of banality they are exposed to every day. I find the millions of ‘Ten Things that you find in something or the other’ content mildly irritating, to put it across politely and professionally. I feel we are capable of more, and we get caught up in fads far too often to be able to substantially affect this domain. Volkswagen’s ‘Fun theory’ remains one of the finest campaigns of modern times. LG’s intelligent marketing campaign that involved dirty rugby players walking into the dugout through what looked like a giant front load washing machine and coming out after the break, clean and battle ready is the perfect example of what people can do if they apply themselves a little. Marketing campaigns that are sensitive to the society, that communicate messages of social awareness – advocating LGBT rights, decrying violence on women, standing up for their equality – these are advertisements that strike a chord with the involved and thoughtful consumer today. You want to be able to affect the consumer’s perception such that he or she associates his image with that of the brand. You want to be able to convince the consumer that the brand is his alter ego.
I find the washing machine advertisements that depict a woman happily holding up a clean pair of trousers after a wash, thus promulgating the efficacy of a certain detergent or a cleaning powder, sexist and offending. But then, have you even watched the soaps that appear on Colors or Star One?
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