Tough times call for imaginative recourse

Tough times call for imaginative recourse

Mumbai: In difficult times such as these, any communication effort needs to give you even better returns. Four creative directors talk about the marketing and advertising strategies companies tend to adopt, the inherent risks and potential benefits—and brands that have taken an unconventional approach

Adrian Mendonza, National Creative Director, Dentsu Marcom Pvt. Ltd

A creative risk taken by a brand in recent times is Aegon Religare’s ‘Kya aapko KILB (kam insurance lene ki bimari) hai’ (Do you have a tendency to take minimal insurance cover?) campaign. First, the ad came out when recession had already begun in the West and it was starting to impact the market here and, second, it was done when people had more trust in safe avenues such as fixed deposits. For the category itself, the technique was new. It’s an interesting way of getting people to invest in insurance.

Josy Paul, Chairman, BBDO India

Today’s times call for tectonic shifts in creative thinking. They question the basics, are counter-culture and challenge convention. A fairly recent example is the “campaign for real beauty" by Dove (which is ongoing). It defies current attitudes and changes (people’s) perspective. Or take the work done by Fallon Worldwide for BMW which really began the branded content revolution on the Web. It was the first time that an ad agency and its client turned advertising into engaging content that you didn’t mind paying for. The entire budget of BMW was put behind creating five deadly short films directed by the world’s greatest directors. Audiences had to download the films from the Internet. This unconventional approach paid off and created history for the brand.

Ashish Khazanchi, National Creative Director, Ambience Publicis Advertising Pvt. Ltd

A brand that has taken a creative risk in recent times is IDBI Bank with its new ad which has the tag line Not just for the big boys. It would have been far safer for the brand to take on a simple message such as “We are available via ‘xyz’ number of branches. Come and bank with us. We are in your neighbourhood". But IDBI chose to stay away from this predictable path. In my book, their stand is vindicated; it’s an unusual ad and, hence, noteworthy in its approach. Also, it has been executed at a time when people were withdrawing money from various banks and were losing faith in financial institutions.

Raj Kurup, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Creativeland Asia Pvt. Ltd

One brand that takes risks all the time and comes out looking good is Apple. The Apple iPhone was launched in India when recession had begun globally, and financial troubles had started in India. It was targeted at the correct audience: there was no unnecessary wastage of resources or hype. (The launch of) its ads was a combined effort with cellular service players such as Vodafone Essar Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd and brought media costs down. They also launched (the iPhone) at InOrbit mall in Mumbai and targeted the right audience. Apple has the talent of keeping its creative topical, without wastage of resources or unnecessary hype. It also focuses on a set target audience. Its technique could suit a lot of brands in the current environment.