Introduction Some over two decades ago, there was a big rivalry between Pepsico and Coca Cola in India. The two brands were selling like hot cakes. Pepsico even sponsored the IPL for one year or two. However, Coca Cola wanted something very memorable. It needed a "zing thing". One of the most memorable advertisements in the history of advertising in India was scripted with the help of the Hindi hero, called Amir Khan. The setting was a village in some remote part of India. A group of college girls would ask for Cola and would be surprised when Amir Khan the villager would pull out at least six bottles of cool Coca Cola from a well, with the traditional rope from a well.
The advertisement came with the most memorable tagline "Thanda Matlab CocaCola". Translates into the meaning of cool is CocaCola. It was reported that the product sold like hot cakes thereafter and recorded sales of over one hundred percent in a period of 18 months. This is the role of advertisement in building a brand. It will be interesting what role advertisements can play in building brands. The advertisements, as a rule, a) Enable the big emotional connect with customers b) They create interest in the product c) They go far beyond "try it once" experiences and built loyalty d) They increase repeat sales and improve profitability and e) They define the character of the company itself.
Enable the big emotional connect with customers The aforesaid advertisement featuring CocaCola was the best example of emotional connect. It later became known that the location was in a village near Pollachi, a beautiful town near Coimbatore, which is itself a lovely town in Western Tamil Nadu. The advertisement reportedly motivated many producers to shoot so many movies in all languages in the villages near Pollachi.
Cut to another memorable story. This relates to the advertisement that makes it abundantly clear that Surf Excel is very tough on dirt. The memorable advertisements are at least two. A small group of very young boys is playing cricket. The coach would say that since they were losing match after match, they would temporarily suspend the coaching itself. The young boy would roll on the ground and pull out a hose pipe to wastewater all around. The coach would turn around and argue with his coach that defeats are always temporary and they could win again. Why then should they suspend the coaching? The coach laughs and simply says that the coaching would start the next day. The background shows Surf Excel. The advertisement preaches hope and positivity. In another advertisement, a very young boy would go shopping with his grandmother. He would go after one ten rupee note. He would get his shirt dirty and his grandmother would meet up with the boy's mother who would simply say, "just don't worry". The same ten rupees would do the trick. The emotional connect is excellent.
They create interest in the product With every single advertisement, people would always be tempted to try out the product. The fevicol advertisements that had straight messages, created a big sensation in the market. Havels created a sensation with a range of quality products. People were attracted towards the big brand called Harpic since the product shows the restrooms and what it can do to keep the restrooms very clean. This is exactly what products can do. They create interest and people flock to the shops to ask for the new product.
They go far beyond "try it once" experiences and built loyalty The legendary Amitabh Bachchan advertises for the Jupiter scooter from TVS Motors. He also advertises for a waterproofing brand. Since he is such a big hero, the brands have become sensations. Jupiter's sales have zoomed. The sales of the waterproofing product have increased too. What is most important is that if the quality is good, the customers become loyal to the brand for a very long time. Hindustan Unilever has Lux, which is always advertised as a beauty soap. It also has Rexona, which is a good brand for purity. It has Hamam, which is shown as tough on dirt. Recently, it also reinforces the power of the empowered woman. Each brand has a niche and this niche has several hundred thousand customers who buy the same product again and again. Liril from the same company is said to be purchased by millions of men, who simply like the girl enjoying a good bath in the background of a huge waterfall. Just imagine the power of such brands.
In Chennai, the local retail players play it straight. The advertisements in Tamil, often with the owner himself endorsing the brand has been very successful in the case of Saravana Stores and Lalitha Jewelry. There are thousands who make fun of the 55+ owner of Saravana Stores dancing with such young girls. Yet, the advertisement has been so successful in building the brand.
They increase repeat sales and improve profitability Without advertisements, there are no sales. The repeat sales keep on increasing the interest in the brand and increases it through word of mouth publicity. Repeat sales are very powerful when the brand is exactly the same as what is shown in the advertisement. That is, the brand should have the same qualities as what is mentioned in the advertisement. For example, the brand called ICICI Bank is so powerful with customers, as the rules are different for salary accounts. Including the minimum balance requirements. Since the IT infrastructure is so advanced, people prefer this brand over others. For a very long time until very recently, Indigo Airlines was too good. Its flights took off on time and it was the only profit making airline. However, in the recent past, it has taken some beating. It is reportedly setting its record straight and improving customer service. It should be noted that any customer-facing official's behavior is never appreciated by any customer. The very bad word-of-mouth publicity in such cases can ruin the brand.
Over a period of so many years, Brittania's brands have become so good and have it a very profitable company. Similarly, Hero Motorcorp stands for quality. Since the customers already have the brand firmly established and implanted in their minds, the products are advertised with the durability in focus and this helps a great deal.
They define the character of the company itself Karur Vysya Bank is a growing private sector bank. However, a good deal of advertising with a green background has made the brand very famous in the minds of customers. The workforce is so young and raring to go. The customer service is so good and the net banking services equal that of Axis Bank and even ICICI Bank. The brand is so famous. This is what can happen when the customer finds the connection between what is sought to be advertised and the reality in the field. Most service-based organizations have grown on this proposition only.
Conclusion The advertising profession is growing by leaps and bounds in India. It is a separate career by itself. It is so important in brand building. Certain relevant points have been discussed in the above paragraphs.