Making Advertisements Speak More

Posted on Sep 6 2012 - 5:30am by Fayaz

Advertisements are all around us. And about everything.  Right from Fast moving consumer goods to gadgets and devices. As it is said, main job that advertisements perform is inculcating a product in the minds of the customers. If they see a specific name over and over again, there is high probability that they will ask for the same name once they are in shops or stores.


One of the most striking features about a brand is the brand ambassadors. There is no doubt that brand ambassadors are very carefully chosen by the brands Advertisements and they put their best in promoting the brand. Be it the convincing way in which they promote the brand or the promotion events which they attend and speak volumes about the brand. And this is at it should be, given the huge amount of money they charge.

My question, however, is, do all products /brands need a brand ambassador. For example, Shahrukh khan is the brand ambassador for Colgate Advertisement. Being from a completely different industry, he has no idea about the brand and only promotes it because he is paid a lot. Wouldn’t a renowned dentist do a better job in promoting toothpaste?  Wouldn’t you get more convinced about the quality of the toothpaste Advertisement if a dentist speaks about it for 15 seconds and mentions all the important features about it rather than a film star.

The main idea is to involve an industry expert in the product you are advertising. Instead of flashing the advertisement again and again and showing some film star promote it , it would be wiser and more convincing if an expert talks about it. When I say an industry expert like dentist promoting toothpaste, I don’t mean a film star portrayed as dentist by making him wear a white coat. Everyone knows who he is. He is not an expert and hence, one cannot really rely on what he says. A typical famous  FMCG product advertisement is repeated every 30-45 minutes. Broadcast time is expensive.  Instead, if an expert advertises it, hopefully the frequency required will be lower. Similarly, instead of having Hritik Roshan promote Hero Honda Karizma, an engineering head of Hero Honda Bikes can broadly outline the USP of the vehicle. It is true that things need to be connected with an x-factor. Probably the 2 different schools of marketing thought can be used on alternate basis.  Combining the 2 types of marketing.

One perfect example is Maruti advertisement which shows every Indian as obsessed about mileage and repeatedly asking “Kitna milegae deti hai”. This advertisement in a humorous way, explains what an indian wants and convinces them to buya maruti car if they want a good mileage.

If not an industry expert, users of the product can be interviewed and asked to share their experiences. Many brands have started doing that. Dove has made a significant place in this category and many others are following. Again many products like washing powders and food products portray models as common people. However, we know they are not common people. Hence it does not matter what who they choose. Harpic on the other hand, interviews common people. Hence, making the advertisements more real would surely help in creating a better image. As far as memory factor is concerned, star brand ambassadors and great themes are definitely important. Hence, it for the brand marketing departments to understand what their product will benefit the most from.

Another thing that I would like to point out is showing unrealistic things in commercials. I certainly don’t think they work. Showing a motorcycle flying off a cliff and landing on to the other end safely is something that will never convince anyone. if at all, it will be a fatal ambition. Similarly showing that a shampoo can make your hair strong enough to pull a truck is also a waste of 12 seconds of broadcast time.  Even  though a brand needs to have something to make people memorize it, it is important that they believe  what they see.

The above mentioned things may not be a flaw as big as the next one. Some advertisements having an amazing theme and a superb memory value don’t portray the product or give any clue about the brand till the last 2 seconds. So even though you may get totally convinced you want to buy this product, you don’t really know what brand  is being endorsed only till the advertisement ends. So, finally after some time has elapsed after watching the commercial, we remember what product was it endorsing, like a soap, but don’t remember which one.

Another variant of the above issue is, when we fail to recognize the product in the first place. We don’t know if the advertisement is marketing a coffee brand or a mobile phone brand. We all have faced this situation at one or the other time.

“Out of sight is out of mind” is a mantra in advertsising. But as they say, too much of anything is bad. A very strong check should be put on the frequency of commercials. Yes, too many commercials of a same product brand irritate the viewer. During survey held many years back, it was found that viewers get irritated and may decide not to buy a product brand if it is telecasted again and again.

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These were few general observations which could probably improvise the TV commercials by making them have a long lasting effect and convincing the viewers in a much better way.

The article is authored by Shivani Ghildiyal from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research.

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About the Author

Fayaz is the founder of Marketing Bloggers. Apart from the jibber-jabber he is Human by birth, Engineer by mistake, Marketer by Choice.. That says it all :)

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