Ad campaigns are perhaps the most visible, most repeated pieces of communication that most of us receive in our daily lives. We are bombarded with carefully created images, slogans, and catchy tunes to ensure that we think of a brand in a certain way.
And to ensure that the brand is perceived that way in a short span of time, huge amounts of money are spent in the media to reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
Does it work? If done well, certainly! Advertising has the power to influence thinking and change existing notions. Why else would savvy companies spend so much money if the returns were not worth it?
Unfortunately, most brands use this power one-dimensionally – to sell more for more profit. And most brands keep the conversation with customers safely within the confines of their product’s USPs. Staying miles away from any aspect of society or culture that might be considered controversial – by absolutely anyone.
But what about their duty to the society? Surely they owe something to the people of the society they target to turn into customers? If there are things that could be improved or changed in societal attitudes or perceptions, shouldn’t brands use their media muscle for it? People often think of a ‘cause’ as something in a brick and mortar form – an NGO, a project, a helpline – however a cause may well be a message, or an attitude change.
Talking about the research that companies do to figure out their audiences, Bill Bernbach, the father of modern, ‘creative’ advertising, once said:
“We are so busy measuring public opinion that we forget we can mold it. We are so busy listening to statistics we forget we can create them.”
That’s so true, I think! In my opinion, brands need to work on their communication planks and ad ideas to find congruence with society’s needs. It will automatically make their messages relevant and involving for our ad-filtering brain of today.
The benefits of ‘congruent’ ads would include greater noticeability and therefore, lower expenditure also! Not to mention a society that changes a bit for the better too.
The new Tanishq ad is a fine example of that. They could have done a big fat Indian wedding scene with a minor twist in the setting or ritual to justify the tagline of ‘A wedding to remember.’ But they didn’t. They chose to find congruence with one of the things our society sorely needed: a change in attitude towards remarriage to treat it like any other shaadi. And never mind the number of people doing the ‘pheras’.
A brave move that deserves to succeed. Judging from the reactions of friends and of people on the Internet, it looks like fortune will definitely favour this brave brand.