Brands that thrive without TVCs
From Harley Davidson to Hidesign, some cult brands become popular without investing in television advertising and create benchmarks in marketing
Television might be the most sought after medium in advertising space and rightly so.It reaches more than 80 per cent of Indian population. It is indeed the most effective mass communication channel in the advertising industry as of now. Usually brands spend most of their marketing spends on television and rest is being distributed among outdoor, digital, radio and print medium. But, for a few brands this medium is not on the priority list, in fact there are certain brands which shy away from appearing on television for their own reasons. And then, these have become benchmarks in the area of marketing without using the most popular advertising medium in the country.
Ever since this premium motor bike company entered India in 2009, they have never planned a TVC as a part of their marketing plan. In fact, Harley Davidson India has been aggressive with their marketing strategy as any ambitious newbie in the Indian market would do. Speaking about it, Anoop Prakash, MD, Harley Davidson India said, “In India, we have never really played a commercial on Indian television network as it never suits our approach towards reaching out to our customers. We are very bullish on creating a brotherhood and to suffice that bike rallies, India Bike Week, music festivals, events, contests serve the purpose well. Harley’s rock rider festival which went to six cities this year was a fruitful event for us which brought together HOG (Harley Owners Group) at one place.”
The premium leather goods and accessories brand has spread out to as many as 28 countries and yet to launch a TVC. Catering to the masses is not in their philosophy, Dilip Kapur, President and Founder,Hidesign started making leather goods as a hobby and later his unusual marketing strategies allowed the brand to get popular not only among the elite Indians but also into other countries amidst some very popular and established brands. Kapur said, “Hidesign is born out of a cultural revolution, and when you talk about revolution, it can’t go hand in hand with the popular trends and philosophy. For the same reason it can’t showcase itself on television which is being seen by the masses.”
While the reason is quite surprising, Television is considered to be a cheap medium, cheap in the sense, it goes to the population at large and any brand which wants to make their consumers feel special or exclusive; reaching out on such a common platform might be undesirable. Abraham Koshy, Professor of Marketing, IIM-A said, “TV is a very common medium, a common platform for common brands and common people. How will an elite brand fit into it? Do they want to reach out to billions and create a spillover which is of no use? More than the expense, for brands like Hidesign, this medium is a strict No-No unless they want to become a brand for the masses.”
Cocoberry, the flavoured frozen yogurt chain in India, has completed five years of its operations in India and has been bullish on expanding. For Cocoberry, its marketing is engrained in expansion, into creating more physical presence and the format of chain developed by its founder and CEO G S Bhalla, the amount which one would spend onto creating and broadcasting TVCs was more what would be required to open up new yogurt stores. Cocoberry has more than 30 owned-stores across the country and is eyeing smaller cities through the franchise model. Along with that they plan to spread aggressively as without a TVC they have managed to enjoy a fan following of more than two million people.
Another high end emerging brand in India Alberto Torresi has proved that TVCs are not the ultimate marketing medium and brands can survive and become successful even without appearing on television. The luxury footwear brand participates in forums, events and other exhibitions where brands get exposed to channel partners, exhibitors and also consumers. They let their product speak and a physical presence, look and feel is a much desired marketing strategy than connecting with masses through television.
Ishaan Sachdeva, Director, Alberto Torresi explained the strategy and said, “Print, Trade journals is our first preference and with more and more point of sale, we have chances to do a magnified branding at POS. We have 70 POS as of now and with time to come we aim to have 600 POS which will not just help our sales but also marketing at such critical consumer points.”
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