Low-involvement category brands redefine ad narratives in 2015

Ambuja Cement, Scotch Brite, insurance (HDFC Life, Tata AIA Life & Birla Sun Life) and plywood (CenturyPly & Greenply) brands weave interesting stories to get consumers involved with the brands

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Updated: Dec 11, 2015 8:28 AM
Low-involvement category brands redefine ad narratives in 2015

This year witnessed many low-involvement category brands coming up with captivating narratives of communication. Insurance (a category which is typically classified as low-involvement category) has been taking the emotional route to get the consumers involved for quite some time. This year, saw the trend of long format ads from the insurance companies.

One usually sees average and predictable narratives being woven when it comes to cement ads. But the latest communication from Ambuja Cement with brand endorser Khali is one of the most memorable ads for this category. Similarly, Greenply and Century Ply played on this emotional connect during their ad campaigns in order to engage more consumers.

Mythology has been used by a lot of brands before, but Scotch Brite’s ad hits the spot bang on in terms of the casting, execution and jingle. We take a look at the interesting ads launched in 2015 in the low-involvement category, which gave a boost to the brand.

Insurance Brands:

The year started with long format emotional ads from insurance companies, like HDFC Life, Tata AIA and Birla Sun Life. The ads were present across mediums and the highlight of the campaigns was that, it conveyed a positive message of getting on in life with grit, determination and a smile, unlike what we used to witness before.

Click here to view the ads:

HDFC Life: 

Tata AIA Life: 

Birla Sun Life: 

Ambuja Cements Ad Campaign:

Ambuja Cements in their latest communication with the Giant Khali broke the internet owing to the manner in which it was executed. It must be mentioned that Ambuja Cements is the only cement brand with a perceptible ad recall value. Though the ads have been pretty standard in terms of creativity, Ambuja Cements has up its ante since Publicis took over as the creative agency. The ad took the social media by storm, with people widely appreciating this unique creative approach ever made by any cement brand in India. Conceptualised by Publicis, it took a humourous and light hearted approach to highlight the story of Khali’s life, how the strength which gave him recognition was turning to be his biggest problem.

Click here to view the ad: 

Scotch Brite Ad Campaign:

In the month of July, Scotch Brite, the home cleaning solutions brand, released a humorous ad to re-launch their Scotch-Brite Scrub Pad. In a low involvement category with very little perceived differentiation, there are many small players with similar looking green pads. Grey Group, the agency behind the campaign understood the need to communicate the superiority of Scotch Brite in order to stand out from the clutter.  Using mythology, the attempt of the brand was to deliver the message in an interesting way.

The highlight of the communication was that usually these kinds of ads (scrub pads) are a blank spot for men, because somehow it doesn’t concern them, but this campaign from Scotch Brite did attract men’s attention as well.

Click here to view the ad: 

Greenply & Century Ply:

The humourous CenturyPly commercial titled ‘Khushiyon Ka Rangmach’, featuring Nana Patekar, hit the right chord with the consumers by shedding its core propositions which boasted of ‘strength’ and ‘durability’ and infusing humour to highlight the importance of products like a sofa or a table in our daily lives. Greenply’s campaign launched in July this year nudged the viewers to ask questions in order to help them make informed buying decisions. DDB Mudra on the other hand created an emotional spot to launch CenturyPly wood’s sub-brand named Sainik.

Click here to view the ads:




Century Ply: 

Experts speak:

Commenting on the spurt of interesting ads from the low-involvement category, Keshav Naidu, Co-Founder, Naidu & Panjabi said, “In general, advertising in India is far more interesting and entertaining than other countries. To add to it, this category gives enough scope to do a lot of exciting work. I would say it is more of a fortunate accident that many low-involvement category brands have come out with interesting ads and there has been no marked shift as such this year.”

Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand-Comm elaborated, “There has been tremendous effort made on part of advertisers, marketers and they are the ones who are pushing this traditional low involvement categories to moderate involvement ones. Today, people ask for a particular brand of tyre when they go to purchase one, which was not the case few years back. MRF was the only one that used to advertise, but now other players like CEAT, Apollo Tyres and JK Tyres have also started advertising heavily. There has been a shift and we are seeing low involvement category brands like cement, battery, tyres or scrub pads coming up with interesting communication.”

Speaking about the benefits of advertising by this category, Pranesh Misra, Chairman & Managing Director, Brandscapes Worldwide cited, “Interesting communication will always help the brand to stand out and get recognition. Innovative ads help the brands to overcome the barriers which low involvement category face and enter the consciousness of people. At the same time, it also helps them to become the talking points of the retailers. Fevicol became a cult brand only after its advertisements and Saint Gobain became a household name in India thanks to fabulous ads done by Lowe Lintas, which catapulted the brand altogether.”

With new narratives being deployed by these low involvement category brands, their communication strategy seems to be working for now.

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