Old is gold: Why are iconic ads of some brands still so popular

While lot of brands have changed their identity to stay relevant, brands such as Amul, Britannia, KFC, Nike and KitKat have refrained themselves from any alteration; be it logo, philosophy or tagline

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 8:46 AM

Digital medium has changed the way brands used to work. Today, every other brand can be seen changing its identity, logo or the philosophy for a fresher look. The trend has come up because brands believe in staying relevant to their target audience. The idea is that if they don’t evolve themselves, they might be left out of the race and it will be tough for the customers to recognise them.

In the last few years, popular brands such as Blackberry, Zomato, Airtel, Apple, Dabur, Hero Honda and Snapdeal have completely transformed their image to shed their old identity. While a lot of brands have followed the trend and donned a new identity, there are some that have refrained themselves from any alteration; be it logo, philosophy or tagline. Amul, Britannia, KFC, Nike and KitKat are prominent examples of how some brands have been ruling the market for past so many years with the same idea and identity.

In the present time, when competition among brands has become so intense, how do some iconic advertisements of brands still manage to strike a chord with the audience?

RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Amul, gives us the answer. According to Sodhi, the secret to iconic advertisement by brands lies in their ability to be consistent in their communication and delivery of its brand promise. An advertisement can become iconic only when it delivers the experience it promises through its advertisement, he says.

Amul is one of the best examples of brands that have never changed their positioning. ‘Amul-The Taste of India’, ‘Amul Doodh Peeta Hai India’, ‘UtterlyButterly Delicious’ are the taglines associated with the brand since the time it entered the market.

When asked how the brand manages to stay relevant with the same taglines, Sodhi replies, “The Amul Girl has been talking to our consumers in her witty style through all mediums for over 50 years. She speaks about the topics that matter to the Indian households and that’s how the medium evolves and our message adapts to it, thus making us stay relevant to our consumers.”

Brands are also betting on nostalgia, reviving their old campaigns. Recently, FMCG brand Britannia revived its iconic ‘Britannia Khao World Cup Jao’ campaign that was launched 20 years back.

“There is a merit in consistency, and holding on to certain things because it takes consumer longer to register a particular idea,” said Ali Harris Shere, VP-Marketing, Britannia, in a recent interview.

Nestle’s confectionery brand Kitkat could also be a case study on how the brand has relied on one tagline. Its first tagline ‘Have a Break. Have a Kit Kat’ made its television debut in 1957.

‘Give Yourself a Kit Kat. Give Yourself a Break’, ‘Karo Jo Karna Hai, Break Mein Banta Hai’ and ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat’ are some of their iconic campaigns. The campaigns have always encouraged people to take a break and enjoy the moment, and have always adhered to the same idea.

According to Moksh Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India, iconic advertisements cut through the clutter by being both catchy and connecting with the consumer.

“Brands that create iconic advertisements are able to establish a consistent style of advertising that communicates the brand promise in a distinctive & culturally relevant way,” he says.

The fast food brand has been an extensive advertiser since it established its first franchise in 1952. The brand is well known for the ‘Finger Lickin' tagline that originated in 1956.

“Memory structures, like taglines, jingles, characters and tones of voice, help the advertisement register a presence and drive brand recall at buying occasions,” says Chopra.

When asked what advantages such taglines or ads give to brands and in what ways it resonates with the consumers, Sodhi explains, “A brand tagline offers many positives that a brand can leverage. They offer a simple yet effective phrase or jingle that will establish the brand in the mind of the consumer. It helps create a faith in the brand. It also helps our existing consumers advocate our brand promise to new and young consumers.”

“If done in a way that is culturally relevant, it helps drive a deeper and meaningful connect with the consumer,” adds Moksh.

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