On advertising as a strategic management tool
Advertising is essential for every company—big or small. It (advertising) is the way the company communicates its products or services to its consumers. Whether a company is promoting its brand or launching a new product, it first defines its strategy and then develops communication vehicles to make it known to consumers. Especially now, with so many brands in the market, advertising is part of every brand’s management and strategy.
On current trends in advertising
Perhaps the biggest advertising trend in India is the number of touch points advertisers can now use.
Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India (Photo by: Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint)
On Coca-Cola’s advertising mantra
Coca-Cola as a brand is impulse-driven. So, our approach to advertising and our philosophy is holistic. Right from (the) packaging of bottles and cans to (their) display on shelves and (the) commercials on vehicles such as television, print and radio, etc., every message is strategically thought of and planned.
For me, good and effective advertising is when consumers actually enjoy the experience of watching an advertisement and can recall it at a later time. Such advertisements could lead the viewer to purchase the product or service.
An advertisement that triggers the thought of the product in the minds of the core audience and leads to action is an ideal advertisement, while ineffective advertising is where no impression is left on the consumer’s mind.
On diverse media platforms
It is obvious that in our country, television is still the preferred choice over other media. But, the Internet, telecom and other digital platforms are opening new avenues to reach out to young adults and teenagers who are exposed to more outlets than just television.
However, with the increase in media options, advertisers need to maintain the right balance between the message and the medium. Often, the message gets lost if the medium is not right. For instance, during a radio advertisement, which has no visual support, the voice should be clear and punchy so that the message is communicated to the audience and people actually listen to it. Similarly, in a television advertisement, the visuals need to create an impression instantly to attract consumers.
Coca-Cola uses the 360-degree approach—where what you see on television is supported by what you see in print, on the Internet, (on) mobile (phone) and other platforms.
But, it is not necessary to use the 360-degree approach if your core audience is not too diverse and can be reached with the use of limited mediums. Every medium communicates something different to different audience groups, so it is important to define your target consumer.
My favourite ads
Apart from Coca-Cola’s advertisements, one of my favourite ads on television is that of Vodafone because it has a single-minded message that appeals to the audience and delivers the message that the brand intended.