As the world cup euphoria settles down, and the television media marketers get ready for another round of IPL, it would not be totally out of place to look back at the campaigns which were aired during the cup, and ask ourselves a simple question – how did the audiences react to the commercial breaks? This piece is for the Marketing/brand professional, or in agency parlance – the client.
Let us go through a list a list of commercials that we saw about 150 times on an average (all inclusive frequency). There were more than 50 brands of air conditioners, engine oils, HD televisions, chocolates, bikes, colas, tyres, 3G accessories, Smartphone’s, financial services, tyres, mobile phones, cycles and shoes that were advertised. Lots of money was spent.
Well, to start with, one has to say that advertising commercials on television during the world cup were certainly interruptive, disturbing and non-entertaining most of the time. The repetitions were mindless and lacked variations. While I don’t claim to be a major right-aligned brain I do believe in the empowerment offered to yours truly by the couch. Its not without a reason that an ad-free signal offered by channels to certain subscribers is known as a “clean-feed”. I am sure no marketing manager would like to see a situation where 90% audiences start asking for a clean feed.
Back to the big question- How many of those commercials did one feel like watching again? Beyond the Vodafone 3G super zoo-zoo’s(the 3G high speed gaming and the video chat), Spice’s Popkorn (Subramanium alumonium), Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, CEAT tyres(idiots on roads- superb insight) and may be a couple more, how many stuck in the audiences’ mind? How many made them smile? Think? Do?
Actually, by virtue of being a serious cricket viewer from the Sunny and Vishy era, I have to confess that advertising during cricket matches was always something to look forward to. It was humorous and entertaining. It was very obvious that there was a definite attempt from the brands/agencies to showcase their best work on cricket. Huge audiences, record viewership and an almost guaranteed anti-channel-surf behavior ensured that the ad would always get noticed, discussed and create the impact. It worked.
This time around, the advertising was noticed for sure. Maybe it created some impact on sales too. But I maintain – we deserve better advertising breaks during cricket.
So, here’s a small wish list from someone who wants to enjoy his advertising as much as he enjoys his cricket.
1) Make me laugh. Not by lame jokes to which even kids turn away their faces, but through an interesting story. Remember Feviquik fisherman?
2) Make me think, not by telling me how much of a nut I am, but by showing me how you understand my being that way, and a way out of it.
3) Make me buy by exciting me about what the brand does to me, and not what you have put in the brand. Happydents’ “dil roshan” was so cool.
4) Make me proud using your brand, not by showing me how big you are but by telling me how someone else became a celebrity by using it in their life. I still believe Palmolive da jawaab nahi was a true blue(!) celebrity advertisement.
5) Make me see your brand beyond television. There is print, out-of-home, internet and many more options. There was hardly any advertising in these media beyond ‘Bleed Blue” which was noticed.
6) And finally, make me look up to your brand by dramatizing the story so that I can watch it again and again.
I am not preaching or consulting. But, I guess your advertising agencies should lead this process. They are the ones whose life, and after-life depends on the success of your brands and their advertising. It has never been vice-versa. We want to see new exciting forms of advertising which one can enjoy watching a 100 times. Give us something new. Else, most of us will end up saying – “Sorry. No change”