Corporate campaigns seem to have taken a backseat these days with major corporates preferring brand and product advertising. According to a senior
advertising professional, one reason for this is the fact that corporate
campaigns are often seen as an essential image-building tool prior to public
issues, like in the recent cases of ONGC, SAIL, and Maruti Udyog. With the
flurry of IPOs having run their course, the urgency for selling the
corporate image has been replaced by the need for product sales.
Anand Narsimha, Executive Vice-President, Saatchi & Saatchi, says corporates come up with a series of image building campaigns before a public issue.
However, this activity does not help when it comes to selling the product.
"Consumers are smart enough to look beyond the printed word. Therefore,
campaigns, which lay emphasis on the product, work best. Besides this,
ground activities like event sponsorship, which give consumers a hands-on
experience, are most effective," he adds.
George John, Chairman and Managing Director, TBWA India, says corporate campaigns are not a preferred route any more as the benefit of such advertising is not directly passed on to product sales. "The key focus has
to be on brand advertising. Players like Samsung, HLL, and Coca-Cola seldom
come out with corporate campaigns. It is the product and brand, which are
highlighted in their advertising," he says.
Not only advertising agencies corporates as well hold a similar view. Deepak Jolly, Director, Corporate Communications, Bharti Cellular, says: "In the
service sector, the brand name is most important and this has to be
effectively advertised and communicated through various promotional
activities including in both tactical and strategic advertising."
Tariq Siddiqui, Advertising Manager, Hamdard, says that almost their entire advertising budget goes into product promotion. "A corporate campaign is
never a priority," he believes.
A senior agency executive however disagrees that it would not be fair to see it as a trend and she cites the example of corporate like the Aditya Birla
group which is aggressively embarking on the corporate campaign route.
Whether this is a real trend is yet to be seen but there are few corporate
campaigns that are on air.