Audacious Marketing: ‘Great for a brand if done right’

Industry experts talk about the trends of Audacious Marketing and why it should be exercised with a sense of responsibility and respect for censorship

by Noel Dsouza
Published - 1 week ago
Audacious Marketing

Audacious Marketing has been gaining momentum and has received credit at the Cannes Lions 2019 festival as well, thanks to Nike's Dream Crazy campaign. 

Audacious Marketing is a strategy where brands take a stand on social issues. This buzz generates a conversation in the society which not only leads to brand recall but also creates a social impact.

We spoke to The Glitch, a full-service agency, which has been instrumental in using the audacious marketing strategy. The agency’s leaders Rohit Raj, Co-founder & Creative Chief; Varun Duggirala, Co-founder & Content Chief, and Pooja Jauhari, CEO shared their insights on Audacious Marketing. 

Speaking about the key trends of this marketing strategy, Raj said, “The first step is to craft a marketing strategy that suits best for a brand and sometimes that strategy will need you to bend the rules of traditional marketing. The key is to remove all boundaries when we sit down to craft these strategies. At Glitch, we have this thing where everybody collects into a room and throws out ideas and approaches for the brands we work with without worrying about any external factors like the budget, tone or brand guidelines. Sometimes when you are married to a brand long enough, you tend to build walls around you basis of your understanding of the brand which restricts your mind from opening up.”
According to Duggirala, “Audacious marketing campaigns get to grab eyeballs because they are not conventional. That will lead to a lot of organic chatter around the brand and if done right can be a great positive for a brand.”

Jauhari also talked about audacious marketers having to deal with censors. “Brands and agencies are at a position of power where they can influence culture. With that power comes a certain responsibility. When brands make advertisements, the media push tends to take that content across to people who may not necessarily be seeking them. Hence, the need to respect censorship is higher.”

Should agencies be worried about a backlash? Or should they put out content that drives home the point? 

Jauhari addressed this saying, “If a brand chooses to take a stand, they need to be prepared not just for the backlash but also for the impact they will have on the minds of people. So it’s important to exercise judgement on the message you put out even if it means flouting the rules. I remember Fastrack did a series of ads on ‘coming out of the closet’ way before the Supreme Court abolished Section 377, and it was well respected because they knew they were taking a stand for something that needs to be right, even though it deemed illegal at that point.”
Nike has been an audacious marketer taking a stand on issues they believe in even if it meant going against the status quo, thus winning the hearts of customers, say experts. 

According to Virat Khanna, Senior Marketing Manager, Male Grooming, The Glitch came in as a creative partner which brought in an absolutely fresh perspective on things. “The Glitch knows the perfect mantra to blend your brand's digital strategy with a tinge of wackiness packed in humour, which our TG - the millennial - absolutely loves and admires. By now, we all know that being creative and engaging is the best way to advertise any product to today's youth.” 

Arjun Kalra, Marketing Team Lead, Royal Enfield Apparels had started small with The Glitch putting basics in place for this Royal Enfield Apparel. “From digital creatives to POSM, we’ve seen exceptional improvements across metrics from CTRs to in-store conversions. The Glitch has surely made a business impact in a short duration.”

What works bold statements or playing it safe? Khanna says a lot depends on your brand's personality and the TG. “There's no one way here. While at times being bold does pay off really well, especially with today's youth. I would still be very cautious on not forcing the same if that's not the need of the hour. Remember, social media is a double-edged sword,” Khanna pointed out.

According to Kalra for a new brand that is shaping perceptions, it’s easy to be bold. However, for a brand like Royal Enfield it is important for an agency to understand the brand, its tonality and its marketing goals. “It’s fair to say The Glitch has lived up to the ask.”

Sitara Menon, Marketing Manager, OkCupid, says at OkCupid they pride themselves on building a platform that helps people present their authentic self to make meaningful connections. “In Glitch, we've found a partner who shares these values and beliefs to create a digital experience that's meaningful. Together, we've never looked at a story through the lens of being bold or safe-only, what feels true to the life our users live. No idea ‘works’ if it doesn't express the brand's personality and its users,” concluded Menon. 

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