On advertising as a strategic management tool
In the consumer durables industry, advertising is the second most important factor after product quality. And, I believe the competitive edge is brought about with the combination of the right product and impactful advertising to support it and create brand preference. In all this, of course, the Onida Devil has an intrinsic role to play in adding to the brand personality.
The Onida brand and Onida Devil are integral parts of my life. I am involved in the advertising initiatives when it comes to key strategic brand decisions.
Gulu Mirchandani, Chairman and managing director, Mirc Electronics Ltd (Photo by: Ashesh Shah / Mint)
On the trends in advertising
First, the shift in target group (TG) for conventional products and advertising. For example, TG focus for two-wheelers and four-wheelers has shifted to women consumers, while for fairness creams, haircare and bathing soap products, men are the new TG.
Unconventional media such as mobile marketing, online medium, Bluetooth marketing and social networking sites are emerging as the new modes of addressing end consumers. There is a shift in dependence on paid TV commercials. We see an increased focus on in-programme placements, as in popular soaps, promo integration in reality shows, films, etc.
Finally, kids are no longer kids, they are more like adults.
On Mirc’s advertising mantra
Advertisements that are well-executed and engaging give distinct long-term brand advantage, have brand fit, and consistently stand out as examples of good advertising.
We have possibly the strongest and one of the most recalled brand mascots in India, the Onida Devil. We believe in being consistent in our communication and not deviating just for the sake of it. There is a constant endeavour to keep the brand youthful, premium and technologically advanced. This is reflected in our advertisements—which show a sleek and suave Devil in a contemporary get-up.
Each of our products is developed in synergy with the overall brand objective. Case in point is Xaria, our new range of LCDs, which boasts of mesmerizing sound and picture quality. The TV commercial has been conceived to bring this proposition alive.
On diverse media platforms
Yes, other mediums beyond print and TV, such as outdoor, radio and digital, have gained importance. With the fragmentation of the broader entity we tend to call ‘consumers’, these unconventional and emerging media have a significant role to play in enabling the brand-consumer interaction.
It also depends on (the) objective of your communication. If it is to bring about a change in usage habit, it can only happen through sustained activities, through demonstrations, society initiatives and also through the digital medium. For brands in a mass-consumed category—such as durables, telecom, confectioneries—television would be the most cost-effective lead medium.
My favourite ad
I like the Vodafone customer service ad.