Mumbai: Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is endorsing more than just a “fit body and active mind” these days. Dhoni, the brand ambassador for Dabur India Ltd, is also endorsing healthy financial results, albeit with a bottle of Dabur Chyawanprash in his hand.
Not just numbers: The two-in-one financial print ads of Dabur, Orbit and Hero Honda. Such advertisements help brands reach out to certain sets of target audiences with messages tailored for them.
Turn the pages of any business daily and you will come across two-in-one financial print ads, where the staid financial results of a company are infused with visual elements from the brand campaign.
In one appearance, the technicals and the image are communicated to targeted audiences for the price of a single ad, helping the company save on costs during the economic slowdown and, at the same time, draw attention to its financial results, if they have been particularly good, at a time when corporate performance is under greater scrutiny.
Sample this: The financial results ad for real estate developer Orbit Corp. Ltd, published in The Economic Times on 2 February, had the visual of the company logo, shining brightly from behind a grey cloud, accompanying the results table with the tag line: We look on the bright side, even in the darkest times (Mint, published by HT Media Ltd, competes with The Economic Times).
An ad for last quarter’s financial results by developer DLF Ltd had images of several upcoming projects with the tag line: Yes, DLF—India’s largest real estate company. The quarterly results ad for lifestyle retail chain Shoppers Stop Ltd carried images from its black and white print ad campaign: Shoppers Stop—start something new. The retailer has been publishing its financial results with visual elements for the last three years.
Dabur says this has been a regular phenomenon with its ads. “We utilize the quarterly result advertisement as a medium to showcase not just the company’s financial performance but also the new initiatives of product introductions during the quarter,” says a spokesperson for Dabur.
Agrees Anita Nayyar, chief executive officer, MPG India, the media-buying arm of Havas Media: “It’s a good opportunity to pass on as much information as possible.”
From the banking sector, an ad for Punjab National Bank Ltd’s financial results in the last quarter had an image of a potter’s hands moulding a pot. It said: Moulding success our way…Punjab National Bank Ltd—the name you can bank on.
Meanwhile, the results ad for Bank of Baroda ran against a bright orange background with the line: Baroda Sun—shining brighter every quarter.
“Not only does it help the brand stand out, but also reinforces the brand imagery and values, which in turn reassure customers that the brand is good and can sustain itself,” says Chandradeep Mitra, president, Mudra Max, the specialist media unit of Mudra group, about the two-in-one trend.
It is also a great opportunity to save expenses. Financial results ads attract rates up to 30% lower than card rates for display ads, and in these times, rates can at times come down by up to 70%, says a media buyer. So this is an opportunity for value-add to a regular financial ad with no premium charged, says an advertiser.
“With the economic slowdown, ad budgets are under pressure, so advertisers could use this as an opportunity to flag off with brand elements,” says Mitra.
Combo ads also help brands reach out to certain sets of target audiences with messages tailored for them.
So categories such as retail, consumer products, lifestyle, among others, which usually advertise in general newspapers or channels, may look at using financial results advertising to communicate with the professional or business audience sets.
When a firm inserts a financial results ad in a business paper, it is targeting a specific audience, from financial investors and analysts to banks, says Govind Shrikhande, CEO, Shoppers Stop.
“Almost 90% of all financial result ads are pure numbers. Sebi (market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India) has certain rules on how financial results are to be presented and some things are mandated. So there is no distinction in the results format,” Shrikhande says. “The visual element in the ad helps break this clutter and stand out in the sea of financial result ads.”