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Trendspotting:, Biba, Lays & Tata Coffee leverage 'granny charm' to connect with consumers

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Trendspotting:, Biba, Lays & Tata Coffee leverage 'granny charm' to connect with consumers

Two years back, Fortune Oil launched their ‘Ghar ka Khana’ campaign which was based on a beautiful relationship between a persistent grandmother and the love for her bedridden grandson. Despite the ad being 4.5 minutes in duration and slow pace, the campaign was widely appreciated and what stood out was the character of the loving grandma. From then on, the trend of featuring a ‘cool’ grandma in brand campaigns took off in a big way.

According to Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman and Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consults, “In advertising, it has always been the trend that one member of the family is always in the spotlight and this time it is the grandmother. Having a grandma helps people across all age groups to easily connect. Brands are using them in their communication to highlight the beautiful bond which exists between them and their grandchildren. Grandma’s are in vogue today, it helps to cut the clutter and make the communication memorable.”

At the start of this year, Tata Coffee broke the monotony of conventional advertising by featuring a South Indian rap star grandmother to tell consumers what it takes to make a great coffee. in their latest ad shows how a granny with the help of her cool dance moves and her love for music uplifts the sullen mood of her granddaughter.

Biba in their campaign ‘Change the Conversation’ features a granny who still believes in seeking dowry, but in the end, her son changes her age old belief. The beauty of the campaign lies in highlighting that just like the granny, the brand also believes in embracing change in order to establish a forward-thinking society. In PepsiCo’s Lays campaign, the grandma turns into a Ninja, who snares a Lays pack from Ranbir Kapoor. So brands across categories have been using this loving old character in order to create the maximum brand recall and standout from the crowd.

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Tata Coffee: 

Expert take:

We spoke to brand and advertising experts to understand why brands are increasingly banking on the granny’s to promote their products, here is what they had to say:

According to Pravin Thakur, Digital Media Consultant, ibrand, “The reason could be multiple; Indian brands are probably getting influenced by international brands like L’Oreal and others, which are increasingly using models between the age group of 60-80 years and then weaving a story around it. Also, the target audience for brands today is divided between the youth and the old population. The latter not only takes a major role in decision making, but also has the power to spend. Therefore, by featuring grandmothers, brands are trying to expand their target audience. Finally, in most of these campaigns, there is a context for an old character and thus it fits the storyline.”

Saurabh Dasgupta, Executive Creative Director, Innocean Worldwide cited, “Grandmothers are the repository of wisdom and experience, and brands by using them in their communication, are trying to lend credibility. Grey hair stands for been there and done that. If Mothers knows best, imagine how much will a grandmother know then. Advertising seems disconnected today with celebrities and youngsters all over; grandmothers make it look real for people to easily believe in them. I guess that is the reason, more and more brands are latching on to it.”

On the other hand, Ramanujam Sridhar, CEO, Brand-Comm said, “I don’t think it is a trend because when a creative person does a campaign, he/she looks at making it a trend and not following the trend. At one point of time, when the ‘Hamara Bajaj’ campaign was released, other brands started doing similar ads using the ‘slice of life’ references or showcasing the products. A creative person basically looks at an audio or a video hook to make the commercial stand out. The reason being, if your campaign has no recall value, then you are in trouble. I guess brands are trying to involve the family and break the clutter to create ads, which one will remember at the end of the day.”


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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.