The New Age Crime: Advertising for the sake of it

29 Jan

Hanes Petal Outdoors

Driving down the streets of Bangalore, I was shocked (not as in mortified/ embarrassed – but as in ohmygod, WHO would DO that, and WHY!) at the sight of big hoardings showing the Hanes Bras with petal technology.

Now, it is a good message – not brilliant, and certainly not unique either in terms of proposition, or creative execution; but certainly topical offering (seamless yet concealing ) and visually eye catching.

What had me foxed was choice of medium – outdoor!. Not, because bras are so called “stay in closet” categories by the way! I like what is happening to lingerie – even in a relatively conservative country like India. But, because the media was so not “optimum” for the Target audience. Now, the Hanes brand is definitely targeting the “SEC A” – the upper class in income/ education and socio economics. Even there, if you were to further segment, it would be the modern/ urban/ relatively younger ones. These folks are ALL connected digitally – intact, many of them order everything online – including lingerie – because of some interesting new e- commerce retailers (which are also quite often dealers for Hanes themselves). These girls/ women are NOT likely to buy a brand because they see it outdoors. Even if, as in this case, the hoarding is placed on a road which contains a shopping mall, and therefore, may be intended to trigger brand recall.

Everyone knows that media is getting fragmented – and ofcourse, digital is increasing in importance. Many big CPG brands are actually thinking “digital first” (See Marc Pritchard, CMO of P&G saying digital is first thought, and in India, Pepsi allocating 20% of the IPL budget this year to digital ). (The only reason I have incorporated this link is because Deepika is a great friend! name dropping at its worst, yeah!)

Oh btw, the P&G – Sochi ad referred to in the article above is this:

On Sochi, since that is the other advertising thread running along, I thought the BBC trailer was a bit over the top – eventhough it kind of looked Middle-Earth-From-Lords-Of-the-Rings-ish…What did you think of it?

The other ad that I thought is a bit over the top, just because of the sheer generic nature/ and I-think-flop-attempt-at-laddering is the Axe Superbowl one. Axe and Peace??? huh? (OK, Coke and happiness I kinda get; even IBM and Smarter Planet – but Axe and Peace…nyaahhh..)

That ofcourse brings me to the most awaited advertising event of the U.S. year – the Superbowl. A google search on “Super Bowl 2014” btw, showed me 1.6 billion hits!!!! wow!) At $4bil a pop, here’s a look at who’s buying what.

I saw a few interesting articles on this:

– The top 10 most shared super bowl ads of all time

– The banning, for the second time, of Sodastream’s ad with Scarlett Johanssen. Apparently, Fox rejected it because they are scared of the sponsor Pepsi. It also looks as if a sure fire way to get viral is to get banned (at last count, the video had been viewed upwards of 7 mil times)

– The fact that the Superbowl, while arguably the most watched show of the year in the U.S., it is not so internationally (well, duh)

And finally, what Google autocomplete says about some top advertising brands – funny!

LGBT advertising Sec 377

I do think that the advertising that hit India when the Supreme court upheld the questionnable Sec 377 (On LGBT rights) was great – though in some cases, remarkably similar (I have also embedded one Coke clip from Russia – given the Putin government’s anti gay laws, there is immense pressure on Coke and other sponsors to boycott the Sochi Olympics!)

Some fresher perspectives were provided by my all time favorite outdoors advertiser – Amul (and another all time favorite though controversial advertiser Gap)

Amul Gap LGBT

On the subject of Amul, I think their latest take on a highly awaited but turned out to be damp squib interview by an Indian politician is, as usual, brilliant! Enjoy:

amul ad


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