Advertisers’ Canvas

As canvas is to a painter, creativity is to advertiser. You see ad agencies striving hard to poster a lasting impression in your minds by devising concepts which are out of box and sometimes, out of senses as well. Understanding the maturity and sanity level of your audience is an important lesson which seldom the agencies tend to miss out on. They would break all bounds of their own definition of creativity and come up with something terrific, in literal sense. Yes.

A brand is what a brand does! Simply put, a brand is what the consumers say about it when the ambassadors, enthusiasts, influencers, employees, loyalists, or even hard-core lawyers take a back seat. It hurts deep down to visualize a scenario where years of efforts for building a brand is given away to a third party to play with its acquired brand equity. As our faculty used to say, “Brand Equity is a brand’s repository where you draw a meagre amount only when you are assured the investment made would double over period of time and will surely be added back to the treasury with huge interest. Else, you don’t touch the repository, ever!”

Take for instance the undeterred love of Pyarelal (That is the name of the protagonist), who tries to express his feelings to his crush many a times. But every time he tried to take a step forward to do it, something or the other disrupted the moment. And finally, after many decades, the old Pyarelal musters the courage to knock her door and confess his love. Where, as a customary, she hands him a glass of juice and our naïve Pyarelal, after being awestruck with the drink confesses – I love you, Rasna. Yes, the same Rasna we all grew up drinking.

Conceptualised by a reputed agency and marketed by Rasna International as #Bachpankapyaar, this ad sucks the pyaar out of the bachpan and fills it with idiocricy. It calls in for some very obvious questions which any sane marketing student would ask – How Rasna is even related to this ad?

Rasna, which happens to be one of the few brands a kid from the era of 1990s could relate to, has faltered big-time on its confused positioning. With only Doordarshan as being the only TV channel and few advertisers, Rasna was amongst the first to regard kids as influencers for a household product. But in the advert what we see is forced brand association which is understood in the end after Pyarelal says – I love you, Rasna. This ‘Brilliant campaign’ shows that by burning money and forcefully incorporating a product into a script will not increase brand awareness, rather deteriorate it.

Story based Television Commercial (TVC) is not new to Indian masses. Story telling is an age old concept and brands have been incorporating the same in an attempt to build a connection with the audience. But no one likes a forced ending of a story, not even a toddler. And that is what something Rasna International did with its Pyarelal – forced the audience to believe that no matter what the age is, you’ll fall in love with Rasna. Cute.

Communication, the very essence of advertising needs to be understood by the marketers and the same should be done in a proper and subtle manner. Take for example the campaign by Wrigley’s Doublemint, a minty flavoured chewing gum, which weaves a story around a teenage couple and how their love blossoms through the age and keeps them together, even after years. The campaign is backed by one of the songs from the romantic era – Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se, which adds to the beauty of it.

As the video proceeds, one can see the cute teenage love blooming through the age till life moulds the couple to move into long-distance relationship and how the boy, who now has grown into a fine man, proposes the lady love of his life. All throughout, the product placement by Wrigley can be seen as the girl takes out a pack of Doublement in different situations, indicating that the chewing gum can be taken at any point of time. The marketer in this TVC has used an effective storyline and a beautiful song which connects with the audience almost instantaneously.

This is the kind of advertising which we deserve and also, the kind of connection that the marketers need to make with us. Rejuvenating decade old brands and shaping them according to today’s era can be difficult, completely agreed. But yet, we believe there has to be a way to do it. Old Brands flirting with the old essence, trying to make a connection with target audience and not shouting on the top of ivory tower about the product’s benefits are like the basics which every rejuvenating advert should follow.

On one hand, we see an advert talking about the beauty of teenage love and love over the ages, where the product acts like a prop and yet, manages to effectively communicate the essence of passion, smoothness, freshness of un-deterring love through its story line. And on other hand, we have an advert which happens to be on similar lines but its forced humour works as a disaster for a brand and ensures that the feathers in hat get mowed down by a lawnmower. To sum up, marketers should understand the brand and the very essence of it and then only can they come up with a meaningful communication for the masses. This goes even for the ad agencies which in order to survive the future, need to understand the positioning of respective brands and only then can they avoid any confusion in their communication of adverts.

As student of Integrated Marketing Communications and Brand Management, these two adverts definitely teach MBA students like us a great lesson. Rejuvenating a brand is a difficult task and product packaging, brand extension, diversification, and innovation makes sense in the entire product life cycle, but common sense and love for the Brands can surely give you the “S-curve” that is desired. For if things go wrong, brand image re-correction can take a lifetime to erase the haunted memories from the minds of the customers. After all, it is common sense that rejuvenation is difficult but resurrection is almost impossible!

Nitesh Roy PGDM 2015-17            Aarohan Paul PGDM 2015-17

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