Guest Column: Can the Indian Armed Forces make their brand felt on Independence Day?

They have not currently managed to leverage the power digital platforms to establish a connection with the target audience


As an advertiser, it is heartening to see brands give Independence Day its due in their communication roadmap. While Hero MotorCorp and Kotak Mahindra took their communication to the TV screens, every other brand gave their attendance on social media. The content varied from reducing the gender equality gap, increasing religious tolerance to various takes on Swachh Bharat Mission. Content and tributes for the Indian Armed Forces was on the pole position.

 

While researching for this article, I came across a very interesting piece of content by a passionate group of content creators titled, ‘Main Fauji Banna Chahta Hoon.’ The content revolves around the decision of a young protagonist to join the army and his parents’ apprehension against it. 

 

Amongst all the brands who engaged during Independence Day, I was expecting one to stand out; the Indian Armed Forces. While some may argue that there is no need to advertise when everybody is talking about you, I wish to share a different opinion on the matter.

 

In the shifting landscape of warfare, mental prowess has become as important as physical excellence. Programmers, Engineers and Scientists will be the differentiators in the battlefield of the future. A large segment of this Target Group (TG) resides in Metros and Tier A cities and is extremely digitally savvy. However, the Indian Armed Forces has currently not managed to leverage on the power of this digital platform to establish a connection with this TG. 

 

In terms of positioning, I feel the armed forces have an extremely effective one, ‘Live a life less ordinary.’ Grey Group India has done an excellent job of executing the communication. Despite such an effective positioning, there is still a large recruit pool which remains untapped. India being a nation with one of the largest youth population; many of us aspire to join the Indian Army at some point of time in our life. However, the drive often fades away as we grow up due to lack of proper guidance, inspiration or family support.

Independence Day is one occasion that brings out the most patriotic side of us. What lacks is the decision-making trigger to instigate our TG to take some action. A multi layered communication activity should have been planned to target this group, with communication focused on awareness and interest beginning a month before Independence Day. The week of the event should have been spent on inviting applications into various streams of the armed forces. The use of digitally concentrated communication would keep the message focused on the TG and avoid unnecessary spillover.

 

After a brief overview of the digital assets including social media handles and websites, a modern overhaul is very necessary with a focus on attracting the talent of the future. I write this article with a very selfish interest. I want the best of us joining the armed forces and more recruits pledging ‘Main Fauji Banna Chahta Hoon.’

 

Abhishek Gupta is the Founder and CEO of Sterling AG.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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