Guest Column: Sex, Celebrities, And finally a third: Arko Provo Bose, Group Creative Director, Lowe Lintas

Topicality is getting audiences to tune in from the word go, says Arko Provo Bose

e4m by Arko Provo Bose
Updated: Jul 17, 2017 8:03 AM

Advertising has evolved a zillion times over the last century. So have the audiences. But the two natural eye grabbers that have always lured the masses into watching a commercial has been sensuality and celebrated faces. Not that it is always the intent. But sadly, that’s how the ball’s been rolling. Until now. There is a new kid on the block, that is getting audiences to tune in from the word go.



Relevance and the pressure to catch the deadline has been the recent trend that’s been keeping agencies, clients and media agencies on their toes. Occasion-based bombardment in the form of advertisements, content, PR and activation is gathering enormous amounts of momentum. It now has a definite place in every Marketing MBA’s diary. And from the very beginning of the first quarter.


What had always exploited emotions draped in nationalistic fervour is fast turning its attention towards softer individual stirrings. What was always about catching the mood of the nation and riding the seasonal wave such as cricket, politics or festivals is now also tapping into the potential of Mother’s day, Women’s day, Father’s day, music day, environment day, your day, my day and faraday. And this is not a rant. I have surfed this wave myself, like many others, and with every passing day I feel it is fast becoming an essential marketing exercise.


The industry recently saw a bombardment of videos on or right before Mother's day. And then came Father’s day. Internet, the brainchild of modern connectivity, helped these land up on every palm. And shook people enough to command a tap on the share button. Some saccharine, some tear jerkers, some witty and some medium centric.


My favourite of the lot were:

The correct case of a brand using the medium to pass on a sarcastic but thoughtful message.


So did a video from a telephone handsets brand garner a lot of views and more importantly, shares.


This short film, shared by OLA on that particular day, was also part of the same herd.

We know as advertisers that audiences are loving the content when you see a Google commercial which had a simple father and son story being shared as a Father’s day message, even though that wasn’t the plan.

Though the industry has seen a lot of occasion-based advertising being used across mediums in the form of radio, television and print over the years, the interactivity strength of the internet helps register a better assessment of how audiences are reacting to the work.

This generous response from the audiences probably lasts a day or two, but leaves behind gallons of heightened love for the brand.


Topicality today, is also showing up in evaluation processes when an agency pitches for new business. It plays a gigantic role in displaying the legs of the idea. It ticks all the boxes on the criteria of proactivity and sometimes provocation.


At a personal front, I do feel we as an industry have struck upon a treasure chest. But I also do feel that a variation in messaging can help brands stand out. Admen and women need to cut, peel and chisel the communication in as many different ways. The last thing one wants is water-filled retinas dismissing the brand as the social message at end of a strenuously long video was a force fit.  Going after the occasion and emotion and not just the date might play an integral role in attaining shelf life and being away from the clutter.

And there will be clutter. Happy Independence Day in advance.


(The author is Group Creative Director, Lowe Lintas)


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

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