Turn the pages of any newspaper or visit any retail outlet and it is difficult to miss the announcements of sales around Independence Day. The day of patriotic fervour has been turned into a sales extravaganza by brands and retail outlets alike, and consumers are spoilt for choice.
Sandip Tarkas, President, Customer Strategy and CEO, Future Media and T24 shared that it was Future Group that had metamorphosed August 15 into a ‘consumption day’. This is the case with January 26, Republic Day as well. As in the previous years, this year too, Big Bazaar, part of Future Group, has embarked on the ‘6 Days Maha Bachat’ shopping bonanza and has allocated spends of Rs 14 crore on the entire exercise over six days. Expectations are high, as Tarkas disclosed that the shopping bonanza has started on an “exceedingly” good note this year, with collections expected to touch Rs 600 crore, as compared to Rs 500 crore collected last year.
Future Group is promoting the ‘6 Days Maha Bachat’ sale on multiple platforms, including print, TV, radio, OOH, mobile and social media.
Croma has announced its ‘Croma Independence Sale’ and on offer are a plethora of electronic products such as LED TVs, appliances, smartphones, tablets and so on. Speaking on the initiative, Ajit Joshi, Managing Director and CEO, Infiniti Retail said, “Our ‘Independence Sale’ is enthusiastically looked forward to by customers, who see it as a wonderful opportunity to shop for their favourite gadgets.”
Not to be left behind, most brands too are joining the I-Day sales bandwagon. Samsung India has embarked on a week-long I-Day campaign, wherein print and in-shop POP and POS are being extensively used. Moreover, banners have also been put up on Samsung’s website.
Speaking on the initiatives, Rahul Saighal, CMO, Samsung India shared, “It is an effort from our side to make Independence Day more special for Indian consumers. As a brand, we are associating ourselves with a day that has a lot of meaning for all Indians. It is our way of making the Independence Day celebrations more special.”
Archies, which has cards and other paraphernalia for almost every occasion, surprisingly doesn’t have major Independence Day cards on sale, “as the public response has not been significant,” admitted Pramod Arora, Joint MD, Archies. However, the gifts company is dressing up its stores across the country in the Indian Tri-Colour as well as POPs that reflect the “flavour of Independence Day and extend a sense of occasion,” Arora said, adding, “We do not have any promotions, we are in the business of emotions.”
BlackBerry AppWorld is offering customers a chance to download the Independence Day apps. There are options to decorate one’s phone screen with free themes such as Indian Pride Theme, Tri-Colour Independence Day Theme, Indian Flag Live Wallpaper, and India Flag Theme.
Tata Salt has unveiled its latest TVC that continues with its theme of ‘Desh Ka Namak’ and emphasises on the values of honesty and pays tribute to mothers and the role that they play in the development of their child’s moral compass and ethics.
Commenting on the TVC, in a prepared statement, Ashvini Hiran, COO, Tata Chemicals – Consumer Products Business said, “The ‘Desh ka Namak’ TVC is our humble tribute to the nation in these turbulent times. The campaign underscores the precious responsibility which mothers in our country have, of consistently imparting the right values to our next generations for building an honest and better India.”
What mileage do brands get?
The important question remains – what do brands derive out of such patriotic associations? Or is it mostly an exercise in who offers the most attractive discounts?
Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consultants observed, “Most patriotic events such as Independence Day or Republic Day tend to attract a positive aura and sentiment. This aura and sentiment act like a huge umbrella and most brands try to get a rub-off. Brands try to remind people that they are Indian in psyche and sentiment and that there is an ownership of Indianness that can be pulled out. There is not just an association with the day, but also with the colours of the day, which can be used to the brand’s advantage.” He added, “Strictly speaking, a lot of people have made a festival out of it.”