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Returns for the brand from social concern initiatives accrue only when something useful is effectively contributed and is also appreciated. The return is in proportion to the social value of such initiatives and the extent of larger consumer awareness about it.

Branding by social concern initiatives is hard. It is at least ten times riskier than trying with advertisements and as many times harder to be effective.

12 November 2013

Havells

 

The new TV ad for Havells developed around the issue of old age concerns under the brandís promotion theme 'Hawa Badlegi' for the Fans is - truly, truly exceptional unlike the other ads from the theme. In fact the ad by being strikingly sensible simply turns the rest in the set and also the others for Fans (Havells) absolutely redundant. The execution of the ad is very praiseworthy. It tells of certain superior maturity about telling with a commercial ad.

 

An ad killing the very theme from which it is developed ought to be a bit of a strange phenomenon for the folks in advertising. And, even the company may be appreciating it only as the best in the lot and not, I guess, as an altogether special bit of opportunity to work with. Ironically, for Havells, I believe, it is a Hawa Badlegi situation should they perceive it so. Havells surely can achieve a lot more with that.

 

What is splitting it away from the lot of supposedly its own kind? Very simple, it is hardly similar. It does lots more. It implants a doable idea very effectively in the psyche of the society. It surely does make people appreciate it and of course make them think in some depth about it. It has the potential to cause some soul kindling action, even if numbers show nothing in time. Thatís just too large an accomplishment to crack out of an ad.

 

Yes, Havells can achieve a lot more with the ad. It can be hard. I know by experience, managements find it harder to take simple decisions. To discard a whole set of ads for a more purposeful initiative that can powerfully charge the brand as well Ė is a simple decision, considered any way.

 

Implanting a very worthy and practically feasible idea is probably the most potential macro level social intervention companies can try out for optimum returns for the society and thus for their brands as well. Government wants large companies to spend 2% of their profits on social welfare. Explaining that your commercial ads are doing just that is, surely, not being too clever if the ad is addressing the right issue the right way - for sure, considering the fallacy of the very dictum.

 

I believe, all large companies having to meet the social obligation and also the smaller ones keen to compete with large ones, should note, it pays - to think through this ad.

 

Branding Logic: (as evolved from my practice and research)

 

Returns for the brand from social concern initiatives accrue only when something useful is effectively contributed and is also appreciated. The return is in proportion to the social value of such initiatives and the extent of larger consumer awareness about it.

 

Hard Marketing Logic: (as evolved from my practice and research)

 

Branding by social concern initiatives is hard. It is at least ten times more difficult than trying with advertisements and as many times harder to be effective.

 

Adve Srinivasa Bhat

 

 

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