Staying True To Values

Updated: Aug 14 2012, 09:55am hrs
We are all faced with choices in our lives at all junctures. Its the choices that we make that turn us into who we really are. Brands, like us, too have to make choices. As a brand you have to make the most basic choice whether you want to be hated or be loved. And while I am sure every brand sets out with the objective of being loved by its consumers but it's how the brand attempts to achieve that objective which pronounces the verdict.

Few years ago, Amul Macho came up with a distasteful ad in which a woman comes to the bank of a river and makes suggestive and naughty movements that resemble making love. You can never be loved by cracking silly jokes which offend the sensitivities of your audiences. At most, you will be an entertaining joker wholl be long forgotten. Recently, Jockey came up with a campaign that broke away from the clichd underwear advertising, a category that has till now focused on either manliness or sex. Jockeys recent campaign, 'Jockey or nothing' is based on the plank of no compromise and to have the best or nothing. The commercials show a girl and the dog's unconditional love for each other, while a second one, shows the spirit of young players who either play to win or not play at all. Jockey has not only done distinctive, unconventional work but it is also in good taste.

Another case in point would be the Mother Dairy campaign which came up with ads that said - The Country Needs You. Grow Faster with kids dressed as doctors, navy captains, etc. Compare it to generic health drinks who talk about giving benefits such as taller, healthier, etc. Either, you can give a clinical message to your consumers or communicate a larger purpose that the brand stands for in their lives. Mother Dairy did the latter by saying that they want the kids to grow up to something better.

It is always better to stand for a higher value in the lives of your consumers. If brands do not stand for values they will not find a place in peoples lives. It might not evince early on but sooner or later, it will show in their market share. If you want to be loved by your consumers you cannot afford to casually fiddle with their sensitivities or values. Unless you are sensitive to your audiences feelings, emotions, values and their culture, how do you expect them to give their money, value and dignity to your brand The choice is yours. And when you make the right choice, they too will do the same. If you come to stand for something bigger in the lives of people, then you will be more than a brand.

The author is national creative director, Leo Burnett India.