Monday, March 20, 2006

Marketers are not Entertainers

More and more, trend is towards ‘entertaining’ advertisements. The ads are so fascinating that many people like me, prefer watching these ads to any of those ‘Ekta Kapoor’ K-series.

But then, is that the objective of marketers – “to provide entertainment to ‘poor’ people, who are not finding good entertaining soaps these days”. OR is it something more?
Is an entertaining ad necessarily a good ad?
Shall the success of an ad be judged by the ‘best ad nominations’ or the sales figures?

Let me take example of one of the ugliest ads you would have seen. People claim that they switch channel instantaneously as the ad starts………the “beautiful Harpic ad” – in which they show a (really) dirty commode closely and Harpic claims to turn it into a shining one (there had been different versions of the ad - the commodes and the proud owners of the commodes keep changing but the basic theme remains the same)

What’s the outcome of this repulsive ad – ‘lovely, wonderful, mind-blowing’ – says the marketing folks at Reckitt Benkiser – the sales for Harpic was increased by 40% after the ad was aired, and mind it, 40% is a big number by any means.

Another ad – one of the most popular ads - ‘Badiya hai’ - everybody remembers and likes the ad - ‘Badiya hai’ became the most used phrase. But when I asked people the brand name, hardly 50% of the audience could tell me Asian Paints. Though most of them could recall that it is a paint ad, but the worst part was around 30% people said Nerolac.

(note that the sample consisted of common people, and not those MBAs whose hobby is to track ads :-)

So as a marketer, what will you go for - an entertaining ad or an ugly ad – take your pick.
But make sure the ad does its job – and that’s definitely not entertaining people.
If it can do both, like ‘Fevicol’ ads, nothing like it……..