IBC: Brands should do a lot of on-ground activities: Shashi Sinha, IPG Mediabrands

Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands, was speaking at the second edition of exchange4media’s India Brand Conclave

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 4:25 PM

At the second edition of exchange4media’s India Brand Conclave, Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands, talked about 'Creating Brands with Purpose'. He explained the topic with the help of examples of brands that he has worked with.

Watch the session here and scroll down to read:

Initiating his session talking about what brands with a purpose meant to him, he said, "My personal belief is that brands should do a lot of on-ground activities rather than just focusing on advertising or communication medium."

Sinha, whose association with Amul goes back more than 30 years, recalled the philosophy of Dr. Verghese Kurien. "Dr. Kurien said that Amul doesn't make any money. Whatever comes from the consumers goes back to the farmer on a daily basis. He used to say that since this is farmer's money, we need to have a minimal advertising sales ratio."

Consistency has been the key to Amul which is run mostly by women farmers, believes Sinha. "You must be consistent. Almost 40 per cent of Amul's advertising budgets go behind two projects,” he said.

Sinha went on to show the two key films of Amul which have been running for more than 20 years. The first film focused on fuelling spirit of entrepreneurship and economic independence for 36 lakh women farmers and the second film focused on uniting the length and breadth of the country with the "Taste of India. Sinha also quoted Mahatma Gandhi while talking about creating brands with purpose, "Find purpose, the means will follow," he said.

He then moved on to his next example which was relatively new when compared to Amul. Talking about how Reckitt Benckiser (RB) leveraged the Swacch Bharat announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their brands like Dettol and Harpic, he said.

"RB started its campaign 4 years back when the Prime Minister announced the Swacch Bharat programme across India. RB worked with the government extensively on the ground to build toilets and assist the government in the process of making India 'swacch'. This also led to RB winning the President's Award for making 200 villages and 40 cities open defecation free," Sinha said.

He also spoke about how for those two years, Dettol grew by 18 per cent when the market was growing at 6-7 per cent. However, he did not attribute the growth entirely to the campaign.

As he moved ahead, he highlighted two key points to create brands with purpose. "Firstly, it's not just about a marketing campaign. It's about doing it in depth. Secondly, the commitment of top management is required in making the process successful. The management has to believe in the cause and that it will do good for the company and it is their way of paying back to the society," added Sinha.

He concluded the session saying, "Everyone will follow the bandwagon of brands with purpose but if you do it properly, not only will it work a lot for your brand, it will work for your corporate image and will be gratifying to each one of us individually."

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