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Asia Brand Congress 2008: ‘For a brand connect, dig out the hidden truths of that brand’

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Asia Brand Congress 2008: ‘For a brand connect, dig out the hidden truths of that brand’

The day two of the 17th Asia Brand Congress 2008 saw ad honchos sharing their views on the tools that become today’s modern ideas in creating a good communication for the brand, thus helping a relationship building exercise for the brand. The two-day event was held in Mumbai on September 25-26 and was presented by Times Now. was the online media partner, while Pitch and Impact were the trade media partners.

The session has panellists like Ravi Deshpande, Chairman & CCO, Contract Advertising; Josy Paul, Chairman & NCD, BBDO India; Derek Turner-Smith, CEO, JWT International; Balki, Chairman & CCO, Lowe; and Shanta Kumar, Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, who also chaired the session.

Deshpande kicked off the session explaining how some good ideas needed to be dug out to connect, engage and inspire the consumers for a particular brand. He said, “To have a brand get the right connect and engage a consumer, one needs to dig out the hidden truths of that brand. An audience’s mind is as important as the socio-economic state. An idea connecting with people can come through some emotions like hope, shyness, arrogance, honesty, patience, or being optimistic and many more.”

According to him, a good idea came through honesty, emotional property rights, conversation, and not by pushing a brand’s sales point of view. A good idea could also be instituted through humour and music. However, Deshpande pointed out that a good idea needed to connect well with the audience of today and not the audience of 10 years ago. Some examples that he shared were of Honda, Apple, Mac, Nike, Skittles and Blentic, a blender company that used the medium of viral as an effective tool.

Continuing with the session was Balki, who very briefly explained that one needed to come up with a good and new idea every time he was communicating his message. He said, “Today, what we see as a medium of advertising is ‘Video’, which is used in different forms, but still remains a video.” Speaking about the work for Idea Cellular, Balki said that they had managed to present the brand every time in a new way.

Josy Paul explained that a product became a brand beyond the sales, as the product was not just about selling, but also serving a social cause and hence, becoming a part of the conversation of a brand. He added, “Today, brands are organic in nature. It is like wate,r which has to go with the flow. Today, as an advertising individual, we need to merge all the mediums together and come up with a new mix of media. This is because the brand today is like an organism that is living in the new medium of communication.”

Paul shared some classic examples like Cadbury’s Gorilla commercial, Dove and brand Sunsilk, which also merged itself with the new age media by forming the Sunsilk Gang of Girls.

Sharing his views on consistency versus engagement, Derek Turner-Smith explained, “Engagement needs to have a local flavour to it. As for consistency, it is the last refuge of the unimaginative. It is the driver of confinement. Hence, brand building should be done through a purpose and coherence rather than inconsistency.”

To elaborate his point, he gave examples like Citibank, which had supported the drive for coherence across Citibank’s Consumer and Corporate businesses throughout the developing markets of Asia. Similarly, in the case of ABN Amro, the bank worked globally to improve the power of their brand, supporting global re-branding and then using the brand to help management drive operational and strategic coherence across the many business units.

Shanta Kumar presented his views on ‘Lovemarks’ that Saatchi & Saatchi has been promoting. He explained that this philosophy was about a consumer who would not think of replacing or compromising his brands to another, thus converting it as a ‘Lovemark’. He said, “Today, we talk on consistency and engagement, but what is more important is about building relationship with the consumer. Building relationship is the first step that would help in transforming a brand into a ‘lovemark’.”

For Kumar, some of the brands that he related as the most obvious lovemarks for any consumer were Adidas, Cadbury, Amul, and Britannia, among others.


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