Top-down touted advertising out, real conversations in

Tata Tea's Jaago Re campaign with Chennai Express brings to the fore agencies creating deeper conversations to strike a meaningful chord with consumers

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: Aug 12, 2013 9:05 AM
Top-down touted advertising out, real conversations in

No prizes for guessing which brand made waves with Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express, which released on Friday. It was Tata Tea with its ‘Jaago Re’ campaign! Tata Tea’s communication platform ‘Jaago Re’, created six years ago, is now encouraging Indian men to make their own small beginning to put women first with Chennai Express through its communication campaign ‘Choti Shuruaat’.

The campaign kicked off on March 8 International Women’s day this year with a TVC, wherein Khan takes a stand stating that women should not be equal to, but ahead of men in all areas of life, following which the journalist then asks him ‘Why does the hero’s name always appear before the heroine’s name in film credits?’

Khan decides to change this, after reality hits home and he is ‘awakened’ (read Jaago Re) to the truth after his cuppa of Tata Tea, and announces his ‘Choti Shuruaat’ which he kept with Chennai Express where the actress (Deepika Padukone’s) name appears before his.

“Tata Tea believed in the idea and took it on even though at that point there was no budget allocated to any media exercise. We wanted a symbolic expression that women from all strata could relate to and quote in their interaction with men. We thought that since films and film stars are responsible for much of the influence in India, SRK’s act of giving the leading lady importance over his name could be followed by anybody, in any sphere – at a bus stop or in parliament. Anyone can get simple courage from the idea that, ‘If Shahrukh can do it, why can't you?’ Chennai Express was one instance; another was at IIFA where the traditional Best Actor Finale was replaced by the Best Actress Award,” shared Amer Jaleel, National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas and Partners – the agency behind the campaign.

The campaign has garnered over 1.4 lakh people pledging their ‘chhoti shuruaats’. SRK’s pledge has also motivated other actors to make their own small beginning.

The brand, known for attempting to bring about a change thanks to its earlier campaigns, has been given a fresh lease of life with ‘choti shuruaat’ now a part of daily conversations.

“Brands and brand communication changes with generations. Today, brands are not top-down touted statements. Instead, they are level-conversation pieces. Brands are really conversations between consumers. Such conversations help build brands better than mere top-down touted adverting that is loud, in the face, and un-real,” explained Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults.

Keeping up with the times, agencies are increasingly churning out communication that is interwoven with the consumer’s daily life. We highlight some iconic messages…

Bajaj with ‘Hamara Bajaj’, which made the brand relevant to an entirely new generation with same values system as the original
Idea with ‘What an Idea sirji,’…Idea was a distant player in the telecom space but this campaign brought it in the limelight and made associating with social issues cool
Cadbury’s ‘Kuch meetha ho jaye’ made Cadbury so relevant to Indians that often we hear ‘kuch meetha ho jaye’ from someone at home or around us
Surf Excel’s ‘Daag ache hain’ changed the perception of Surf from a fuddy duddy brand to one that celebrates change

All these ads are part of our daily life today and we often hear these lexicons being used. This is what great advertising is all about, subtly interwoven within the fabric of the consumer’s life.
Airtel’s ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hain’ by Taproot India is another such example of a brand becoming part of a consumer’s life, thus working miracles. The campaign increased the brand’s customer acquisition percentage by 1.6 points, which is the highest growth seen across all players in this period (Source: Client internal research), with the 1.2 million visits, 760000 new fans added, 395000 friends tagged, 65000 friend types created and — a total of 29 million people reached across all online access points (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and various blogs).

“Brands are finding a purpose in the consumer’s life, who today value brand only if they serve a purpose in their lives. Communication today has come full circle from one-on-one conversations earlier to the era of television ruling, and now with the internet era, brands are orchestrating conversations between consumers. Strong values of brands evoke responses and emotions from consumers,” stated KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett India and Sub Continent.

If a brand propagates good values that you believe in as a consumer, you trust the brand; the brand then becomes your friend as you have common goals and values. More often than not, consumers will buy the brand they trust. This will be the way to go as paid advertising, as we know it today, will no longer stand true, added Sridhar.

In line with this thought, financial services arm from the Tata stable recently launched its ‘Do right’ campaign which is an extension of its core brand proposition ‘We only do what’s right for you’. Apart from young children sharing their views on respecting elders and importance of the truth, the brand took the initiative another step further by inviting parents to write on social media about what their children were doing right, which has evoked engagement and dedicated responses. Chances are these conversations will lead to the parents choosing Tata Capital while making a decision on their financial services provider.
“Brands that take the larger stance, brands that embrace the larger language, benefit much more than those that ‘talk the old brand language’. ‘New brand language’ is about conversations that are impromptu, real, and not thrust top-down. Instead, these are brand verbiage and sentiment created by peers consuming peers, said Bijoor.
As agencies continue to strive to create conversations around brand communication, we look forward to see how many strike the right notes with consumers and become an integral part of their lives by hitting the bull’s eye with ‘real’ conversations. 

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