MORSELS OF ‘MAKE BELIEVE’

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day

But your kitchen can be!

And when bedtime comes around at last

Brisk LIPTON tea revives you fast!

“No more cavities” make mothers happy

Makes them feel that they’ve done well their duty.

From “open happiness” to “taste the feeling”

Coca cola did some relationship healing.

Some tears and “no more tears”

Absolut “drinks and memories” are here.

“Impossible is nothing” they tell you

“Just Do It” why don’t you?

I couldn’t agree more with Philip Kotler’s quote – “the best advertising is done by satisfied customers.” Advertising is a one sided persuasive communication with the customers, in which the customers are free to respond in their own way. A good advertisement appeals on many grounds and aspects of its customers – aesthetic, intellectual, emotional, and humorous.  I feel that an ad becomes truly powerful when the product’s essence is distilled, and a human connection is created. How the ad of Wildcraft, persuades us to ‘come alive’ by experiencing the outdoor and the boondocks, makes us desire to go to the mountains and how the Tata Salt tugs to our emotions with its emotive jingoistic tagline – “desh ka namak”. It’s a fact that people depend more on emotions than on information when it comes to making brand decisions, and those emotional responses become more influential on a customer’s intent to buy that product. The emotional marketing strategy serves a very important purpose, that is – it creates customer loyalty. It is true that people do not buy products; rather they buy relations, stories and magic. This is how a customer creates more customers, and the purpose of business and advertising is met. Advertising doesn’t build a business, it builds people and then those people build the business. It’s a belief that art and attention grabbing advertising don’t always work well together, but if for instance we take into consideration the example of Coke, its spot found a charming balance of romantic visuals, well crafted words and cultural resonance – all while effectively selling soda, a soda which even today after 127 years, pops and chats with us in our college canteens, becomes our movie-popcorn partner at the theatres, and we still ponder over its “hush-hush” recipe.

Let’s consider another example, which also happens to be the staple food of millions of young and old in the country. The quintessential “Maggie mother” and her “bas do minute” magic has been ruling over our hearts from the past 36 years or so. Maggie as a brand plays on nostalgia to win the hearts of the customers as well as their trust. Maggie has been an important part of the growing years of 80’s and 90’s kids, and “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie” is still etched in our hearts.

Paper Boat ads too tug to our nostalgia with its campaign that includes heartwarming lyrics penned by Gulzar and that magical soundtrack of ‘Malgudi Days’, however this experience of a childhood spent in running after the kites, climbing trees to eat guavas etc. wouldn’t be of much relevance to the present generation, but it does its duty well by providing its customers with a raw and healthy option in a maverick packaging.

The advertisements have created a convincing space for the customers to believe in that alternate space that may or may not exist. In simple words, the advertisements, by showcasing families, mothers, childhood and perfect households try to present that image of an “AMERICAN DREAM” that could be realized if the customers buy a particular vacuum cleaner, or a pressure cooker, or a barbeque grill that would be the ‘life’ of any house party and very mobile. The family picture doubtlessly plays its part well in persuading customers to go for a particular brand.

Apart from playing the family coin, some advertisements showcase gods and goddesses on the pedestal, advertising, for instance a soap bar. Take for instance a vintage ad of pears soap in which the image off mother Goddess Saraswati is portrayed in such a harmony with the brand.

The markets target all sorts of audience and buyers, the advertisers know what customers expect and how to bring to them what they desire. It is all about showing value, creating an experience, and always striving to meet or even exceed the customers’ expectations. Good advertising is simple; it simply makes good food taste better “taste kahan hai? Taste yaha hai” (Everest spices), it makes cars run better – “your journey, our passion” (Bridgestone tyres), it changes the perception of everything. Advertising is simply looking at usual things with unusual eyes and showing the same to the customers.

The ravishing “Wildstone perfumes and soap” seductively brings alive the power of smelling good in endearing ways. Though the campaign has evolved from being the usual tongue-in-cheek reference to what smelling good could do to a “Man”, and all those images of men drenching and dousing themselves with deodorants and women going haywire and crazy with lust, has recently broken all those “topless men and women in heat” conventions, to make it appear more intelligible and less sensual. Music, just like celebrities in an ad prove to be of a great use for the success of an advertisement and a product altogether. The songs in the backdrop consciously nostalgic and engaging, with all their lyrics and honeyed verses drive the audience to develop an emotional bond with the product. The Imperial Blue’s “pyaar ki raah me chalna seekh”, stands as a melodious example for the aforementioned. This strategy leads to instant happiness and gratification. An old adage fits best here – “people buy emotionally, and then justify logically.” Advertisements focus broadly on the middle class audiences, the prospective buyers turn out to be from the middle class and marketing to the present day middle class (the people who neither smell of some expensive cologne, nor of sweat), it requires a little fancy juggling, as the cash-strapped consumers are choosier when it comes to where they spend their shrinking discretionary income. This section of society has great expectations from whatever is introduced in the market. I would conclude with a quote by Zig Ziglar- “If the customers like you they’ll listen to you but if they trust you they will do business with you.”

 

Image courtesy : pintrest

 

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