Adding spice to ‘boring’ brands

The right creative idea can infuse life in low-involvement products or in sober categories such as finance to create apt brand recall and allow brand preference

e4m by Twishy
Updated: Nov 19, 2012 8:09 PM
Adding spice to ‘boring’ brands

Gathering accolades with a language of its own, Fevicol has entered the hall of fame with unforgettable ads such as ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’, ‘Moochwali’ to the Fevikwik fishing ad and the over-crowded Rajasthan bus ad. The electrical equipment category got charged up with the Havells ‘Shock Laga’ ad to the ‘Wires that don’t catch fire’ ad that revolutionised the cluttered category. Reinforcing the need to be prepared for any uncertainty, Birla Sun Life’s ‘Jab Tak Balla’ campaign with Yuvraj Singh has hit the right chords and built a strong connect with consumers in this category.

These highly engaging ads have made the low-involvement categories enjoy great amount of brand equity and recall. The campaigns not only have a strong creative bond but they have made the boring products interesting enough to buy. However, these campaigns are hard-earned as building good ads for low-involvement categories is highly challenging.

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director of O&M South Asia said, “Entertaining and engaging advertising can make any category good. Only when you think that the category is low-involvement, you tend to come up with low-involvement ads.”

He shared that any product that the client sells is high-involvement for him. Hence, agencies have to produce the best work so that it looks high-involvement for people. Pandey added, “All the Pidilite products are like this and we wanted to demonstrate the strongest bond in the most interesting way and that is how the first ad ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’ happened. This kind of an idea happens when you respect your consumer to give him credit for his/her intelligence. You have to be engaging in way that makes them say ‘this is a nice way of demonstrating’. We keep in mind that the consumer must be delighted for giving us that attention on television or any medium.”

Fevicol has created brand recall with iconic advertisements and a lot of below-the-line (BTL) activities such as carpenter clubs.

“Advertising backed with strong connect with the users is must with below-the-line (BTL) activities and I am not sure whether an isolation would work. We have been working with Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) for years and they understand the core proposition of Fevicol – that is bonding. I am amazed to see that consumers have put in so much of faith in a category that is not very interesting and they don’t even get to see the product after the carpenter applies it,” said Vishal Malhan, Chief Marketing, Fevicol Division, Pidilite Industries. According to him, it is a challenge for the creative agency to come up with a good piece of work which surpasses the previous one.

In a category dominated by the unorganised sector with campaigns targeted mainly at electricians, Havells broke the clutter with aggressive advertising and made a dull category exciting. Havells added fans and home-appliances to its basket and shifted to cricket-led maketing.

Amer Jaleel, National Creative Director at Lowe and Partners Worldwide said, “We treat every ad of Havells as belonging to a certain tone of voice that is quirkiness. The kind of voice that is used dictates what the brand is all about. We have never shown electricians, we just take on a situation in which the wire is used and that dictates how the brand is built.” He added, “Your brand looks interesting because of the way you talk about it and not because of the category that it is in. We are supported by our clients who choose to take very high intensity bursts usually accompanied by cricket. Combination of tonality and the media choice has helped us in making a very low-involvement category enjoyable.”

Tea was a very low-involvement category and was dictated by conventional and traditional ads with family and housewives. However, Tata Tea’s ‘Jaago Re’ campaign with the youth reinvented the brand. The whole idea of using youth activism for tea shifted the message from wake up to awaken and made the category vibrant.

Jaleel thinks that the challenges are self-imposed because people are trained to think of advertising in a certain way. “We have to think in a way that is more dictated by the tonality rather than the category of the brand,” he stated.

In India, the life insurance category has been in existence for well over 50 years and now has presence of over 24 leading brands from around the world. And yet, the reality remains that the industry only enjoys a penetration of approximately 15 per cent of retail household savings.

Ajay Kakar, Chief Marketing Officer – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group said, “We at Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI) try to bring awareness and build relevance of this category to mass India in a credible and real-to-believe manner. We believe only then in this low involvement category can we generate mass awareness and desired interest among the target audience. Hence, we do not see our ‘Jab tak balla’ message as a mere creative, or advertisement. It is a reality of life.”

The creative brief for the agency was to allow the thought to move from the game of cricket to the game of life. The ad showcases how Yuvraj Singh has never asked ‘Why me’ through the tough interlude of his life and instead chosen to singularly focus on his comeback to the game of cricket and hence, the game of life. The campaign generated over three million conversations on social media and spontaneous awareness moved up from three per cent to five per cent point as on September 2012, shared Kakar.

Swati Bhattacharya, National Creative Director, JWT said, “I think it’s the power of a good idea and not about the category so much. A good idea catches the imagination of the target groups and creates awareness about the products. These ads also create a recall and aura around the brand.”
Be it the concept of ‘Saundarya Premi’ of Greenlam laminates or ICICI’s simple and touching film on unexpected rewards on savings account, the ads bank on real-life situations and do not focus on the technical attributes of the brand.

It is inspiring to see how perceived ‘dull’ categories are showcasing creative talent to the fullest and coming up with path-breaking campaigns that have helped them in enjoying the equity of a beverage or an airline brand.

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