Can we can the crocodile tears and fake caring now ?

May 14, 2013 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

More than once, I’ve griped on this blog about a brand purportedly speaking up for women but doing so in such an opportunistic and artificial manner that it put me off.

Well, here’s one that came close to getting it right, though even this one is almost but not quite there : 

One thing that worked for me, they went for a small part of a larger problem, and didn’t try and tackle the whole problem itself. Also, they leavened it with a bit of humour and didn’t end up sounding sentimental, melodramatic, over-sincere etc. As I’d said in this post, a heavy message is better delivered with a light and deft touch.

Though it’s ironic that the vehicle chosen to deliver this message is someone who danced to lyrics as misogynistic as ‘wanna be my chhammak chhallo’, the only reason I’d perhaps pardon that bit of mis-casting and refrain from mocking it is that since he also did the self-mocking parody ‘Dard-e-disco’.

A few quick tips for brands thinking of appropriating causes :

  • You have to sound authentic and empathetic
  • Not just in communication, but this has to show in other aspects of what the firm does too, else it sounds hollow and shallow ; think ‘Body Shop’, for a great example of this
  • The link to the earlier campaigns and to the firm’s image has to be natural and not a force-fit; this is one thing that totally works for the Tata Tea ‘Jaago Re’ campaign and for this ad in particular. Watch earlier ‘Jaago Re’ ads here, here, herehere  and here
  • And if it’s a cause, maybe the message can be one that makes people question status quo, and doesn’t just say things in a melodramatic manner ; even better, one that links to a specific action that furthers the cause ; no, buying the product or service is not the type of action I’m referring to here

Incidentally, while discussing the specific question raised in this ad, ‘why isn’t the woman’s name ever mentioned before the man’s ?’, a friend just mentioned to me that the ancient call was always ‘Jai Siya Ram’, so tradition does not demand that the woman’s name always follow the man’s.

Now that’s a good ad, one that gives rise to an involved discussion !

Zenobia Driver

Entry filed under: Advertisements, Branding. Tags: , .

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