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Diwali & advertising: The quintessential marriage

Diwali & advertising: The quintessential marriage

Author | Sai Prasanna | Thursday, Nov 15,2012 9:44 PM

Diwali & advertising: The quintessential marriage

When Cadbury crooned ‘Iss Diwali Aap Kisse Khush Karenge?’ they had, literally, hit the sweet spot. Sweetmeats are synonymous with Diwali and Cadbury, by positioning itself as a Diwali confection, cleverly leveraged the brand on the back of a festival having universal appeal. Most brands are now latching on to this concept to promote their products and consequently, hitching up their sales, with their target audience unrestricted by age, class, or religion.

Why brands favour Diwali?

Family viewing time: Diwali symbolises togetherness and a gathering of extended family to celebrate the festival. It is a time when everyone sits down together to a meal or to catch a programme on TV. Brands focus on this point to leverage their products as they can cater to a large audience yet appeal to their individual sensibilities. A good example would be the recent Canon ad that has been on air for close to a month now. It speaks, colloquially, to the attractive, the sweet-natured, and even the well-endowed, bringing different individuals under the same umbrella of togetherness by opting for one product.

Time for spending and gifting: New clothes, gifts, and home makeovers are a staple of Diwali. It is a time when purses are wide open and generosity in gifting as well as personal spending peaks. By introducing an emotional connect into their product offering, brands allow audiences to indulge in guilt-free spending. The idea of expensive, personalised gifting promoted by a string of brands has found favour among consumers. Most products that are not, traditionally, considered Diwali gifts are cleverly navigating themselves into that slot. Nokia is marketing a range of colourful accessories with its Lumia range adding ‘Celebrate Holi this Diwali’.

Targeted spending: Diwali is a time when a family makes some of its biggest purchases in specific categories. Generally, jewellery and gold coins, automobiles, clothing and consumer durables record highest sales this season. Big brands get their marketing machinery in place almost a month prior to coax and nudge customers with combo offers, slashed prices, free accessories, buy-one-get-one schemes, and reduced/no making charges. With the economy in slowdown mode and bonuses almost halved, consumers prefer brands that lure them with special offers.

Brands that stood out this Diwali

Cadbury: The brand always preserves its much-envied spot with top-of-mind recall due to extensive and clever communication exercises that tie emotion, family bonds, and the humble chocolate together. This Diwali, the assorted range aims to sweeten the experience of a burgeoning expat working population by breaking the ice and welcoming them to be part of our festivities and way of life, keeping cultural differences aside by gifting a simple but universally appealing chocolate box. Yet another winner from Cadbury as it expands its base and manages penetration into an entirely uncharted area. Two more commercials about gifting during Diwali to those unable to be with family also form Cadbury’s bouquet of ads this season.

Tanishq: Titan’s iconic jewellery brand has a strategic message considering the current market scenario – ‘Diwali comes only once a year, so indulge’. The commercial addresses key concerns of shoppers – the need to keep simple celebrations owing, probably, to a slack market, gold as an investment and not a pointless expense, and the simple surprise and joy of giving and receiving a gift during Diwali. It showcases a simple yet brilliant route to appeal to consumers by reassuring them that although opting for gold jewellery is heavy on the purse especially in times of a crunch, it guarantees a loved one’s happiness and is a sound investment.

Idea Cellular: Its out-of-the-box ideas addressing social and everyday issues has taken the mobile operator’s brand value up by several notches over the years. It has further upped the ante this time around with a gentle take on festivals transcending barriers of religion, Diwali being one of the most widely accepted and celebrated ones. A Muslim man buying a Diwali gift for his wife could be clichéd but ends up being heartwarming. The phrase – ‘Dharm jo bhi ho, har tyohar manana ek accha idea hai’ says it all.

Canon: The brand’s promise of ‘Delighting you always’ guarantees memorable clicks this festive season. Retaining its youthful flavour and focus, the Powershot commercial talks about capturing the Diwali exuberance when different members of the family – cousins, friends, neighbours, etc. all with their own quirks, come together to celebrate the festival and create fun memories.

Nokia: Nokia has come out with attractive offers to promote its Lumia and Asha ranges. The Lumia range, with an offer of free colourful accessories, urges people to go for an enhanced music experience instead of opting for crackers that create noise. The Asha series is banking on increasing sales of the smartphones by enticing consumers with free travel vouchers from

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