Ford’s showcase of Damyanti Gupta’s life story-- a lesson in native advertising

Industry experts contend that the allure lies in how the piece of content weaves a narrative which is genuine rather than something made up because Ford belongs in the story.

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 8:58 AM

Can a native ad be as interesting as an editorial content? The notion might seem like the stuff of a content marketer’s fever dream, but a recent paid advertising post by Ford shows the beauty of impactful paid content. After all, why should readers have to deal with monotonous content just because it’s a paid one?

Ford, in collaboration with Time Magazine, released the piece of paid content under the publication’s ‘Firsts’ category. The content features Damyanti Gupta, who was the first degreed female engineer at Ford Motor Company. It showcases the trials and tribulations like gender disparity that Gupta had to go through during the course of her career and life.

Industry experts laud the piece for tightly weaving the ad within the editorial flow and narrating the story in such an engrossing way.

Says Alvin Dsouza, Managing Director, 121Xp, "Ford has used the strength of native advertising to tell a heart-warming story of generational change and power of education and women’s empowerment in India; and the pursuit and fulfilment of not just the American dream but also the dreams of a young woman.”

Priyadarshi Banerjee, National Revenue Head, Digital and Marketing Head, International Brands, Worldwide Media, believes that the piece is beautifully strung around the key aspects -- brand messaging, audience connect, and brand recall.

“Contrary to today’s scenario, where we witness blatant integrations and in your face mentions, this is a simple yet impactful narrative that fits as a perfect example of brand ethos establishment,” opines Banerjee.

Naren Kaushik, Sr. Creative Director, Happy mcgarrybowen, feels that the storyline and execution of the ad make it shine. “One-line messaging and simplicity pretty much works in advertising and this one proves it,” says Kaushik. He believes that when doing such a content, people tend to go overboard with the idea or execution because of which the simplicity gets lost and the message gets diluted.

Dsouza and Banerjee contend that the allure lies in how the piece of content weaves a narrative which is genuine rather than something made up because Ford belongs in the story.

“In this day and age of digital, story-telling formats resonate with the masses. The story weaved around the brand's culture and values subtly induce the messaging and builds an emotional connect with the audience and this will work well towards generating the required traction for the brand,” says Banerjee. Dsouza too agrees that the story fits in beautifully in the series on "Firsts" that Time has created.

Rajavi Shah - Account Director, FoxyMoron, is of the opinion that Ford has successfully broken the stereotype with Damyanti Gupta's remarkable story. “In a male-centric industry like auto, it’s motivating to see a brand like Ford highlight that women can be leading inspirations too. In fact it's high time now that brands shed light on such crucial matters," says Gupta.

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