On advertising as a strategic management tool
I strongly believe that great advertising has got the power to make or break businesses because it communicates what your company is all about. In today’s competitive environment, your advertisement is the only differentiation from competition.
In my book, good advertising is a single yardstick that measures an increase in consumer preference for one’s brand and ineffective advertising is the exact opposite—an advertisement that wins awards but fails to achieve tangible results in terms of sale and changing consumer preference is, to me, the worst kind of advertising.
Sanjeev Chadha, CEO, beverages, PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. LTd (Photo by: Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint)
On current trends in advertising
In today’s age, consumers and consumption trends are changing rapidly. And the advertising industry is finding it difficult to keep pace with this change. Even role models are changing; so, advertising is going through a credibility crisis.
The trust on old traditional media is not as high as it was, so advertisers are looking at other sources of media such as word-of-mouth and digital media to win over consumers.
On PepsiCo’s advertising mantra
PepsiCo’s advertising philosophy is clear—we believe in building advertising based on deep consumer truth, and we get that by investing in research on consumer behaviour. Second, advertising must strive to create new trends rather than follow industry trends. Also, consumers need to be entertained, not interrupted. Our campaigns this year follow these core principles.
The Youngistaan campaign, for example, basically captures and builds on the mood of the country, which is young and positive. The Mountain Dew and 7Up Bheja Fry campaigns are others that trigger consumer truths.
On diverse media platforms
With media proliferation and changed consumer behaviour, advertisers need to leverage new media opportunities. It is important to reach the consumer in every which way. Brands need to figure out where their consumers are spending time and what they are doing, so they can be accessed, whether it is through digital or traditional media. Advertising agencies today are trying hard to keep up with consumers and, while they are doing the best they can, they need to invest significantly in research tools that help them understand the consumer better.
My favourite ads
I liked the Happy Dent commercial that came out last year. It was excellent work because at JWT (where Chadha worked earlier), we were taught that great advertising has either a vivid script or vivid metaphors, and this has exactly that.
Motorola Yuva, where a father overhears his son on the phone and then tries to copy him, is also one of (my) favourites. I like it because it nicely brings out the changing relationship between a father and a son and doesn’t portray the father as this forbidding figure, as it was earlier portrayed.