Friday, June 03, 2005

"Topical" Iceberg...

Having spoken about the creator - the Ad Agency, and the Ramayana behind it, time to talk about the creativity - the Strategy behing the campaign!

Time again, Amul has been cleped as a “Social Observer”, with the Friday-to-Friday star coming out with a verdict on the most talked about topic in the country, and of course, what it means to her in her own “priceless” world! (that’s where Amul is derived from – Amulya=priceless in Sanskrit)

"Only a serial or event that is very popular or very unpopular and controversial will feature on the Amul ads," "We try to identify the most popular aspect of a serial in terms of a particular character, a catch line or an event that got the common man talking about it. There has to be something about it to make it stand out from the rest," – This is what you would get from the creators of the Ads, on the Advertising Strategy they follow for Amul Campaign.
Another area where Amul has expanded its multi-media campaign, including TV, press, hoardings, is Internet - putting its creations on the web.
Discussed in Strategist, the article explicates that on the Internet, Amul's topical campaigns are converted into banner ads and advertised on the web. Says Jayen Mehta, head, marketing at Amul in Anand, "Displaying our topical messages on the Web has helped us revive our relations with thousands of Indians residing abroad.'' Bharat Pandya, senior group head, da Cunha Associates-the agency that handles the campaign-confirms that not only do the banners lead to brand enhancement, but also result in a significant click through to the Amul site, where people are treated to recipes, and more topicals.
This is reiterated by Bharat Dabholkar, Ex-MD of DaCunha Associates, who comments on the present trend in the business of advertising, elucidating that agencies are now moving in two directions. "It is either the big global agencies with big brands, offering all services or there are these local creative hot-shops,'' he says. He believes that the concept of a mid-sized Indian agency is disappearing fast. "Either you are a global agency or a you are a specialist,'' he adds.
Incidentally, as I was preparing this write up, there was a nice article in ET on 30th May, on the Importance and Relevance of Humor in Advertising. Talk of the wonders humor does to the brand, and not talk about Amul? Check this -

Encouraged by the response to Fevicol and Amul advertising, a number of brands like Alpenliebe, Center Shock, Sprite, M-Seal, Idea Cellular and Lehar Kurkure have adopted the strategy to take the humour route regularly quite successfully. Not only are the ads are working for them but are also picking up loads of awards at advertising events too.
Theoretically speaking, what is it that pulls the consumer towards this form of advertising:
Based on an initial assessment, it should be:
(a) Humor that entails Interest towards the advertisement, and subsequently, the brand.
(b) Top of the mind recall for the brand,
(c) Consistency in the campaign, similar to the legendary RK Laxman’s “Common Man”
(d) A different perspective to the things that stress your brain, and pointing to events in a lighter vein.
(e) The intention of the Advertiser seems to be more of arousing humor for the consumer than trying to market it’s client’s products. This ensures a certain level of acceptability in the consumer’s mind. This is then leveraged to market the product.

Thus, the features or attributes per se are not marketed, but just the brand name and likeability for that brand, which is converted to sales at the POS itself. Even Da Cunha avers that it is the product’s taste and price that are the linchpin, with ads just ensuring high recall
“There’s a constant dialogue between the product and the consumer. As an icon, she’s contemporary – she changes every day with the world.”

An excellent persistent effort I must say. And this is not something that reflects my line of thought, but something that is evidenced by the national and International recognition given to the Agency. 2 years ago, the Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, conferred the "Dr Kurien Award" for 2001-02 on Mr Sylvester daCunha. According to Business Line, the Chairman of daCunha Communications Pvt Ltd, was given the award at the 33rd Dairy Industry Conference here "in recognition of creating unique brand images for Indian dairy products as well as keeping alive the Amul butter campaign for four decades".

The consistency also fetched the campaign an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, for being the protagonist of the longest running campaign ever . The clock currently says 39 years! A part of the credit is attributed to the client also.
In an article in Magindia.com, Da cunhas mention that they have the perfect client in Amul’s Dr Verghese Kurien who has always given them complete support, inspite of repeated protests and criticism.
There are other forums also, where Amul has been a front-runner. A couple of blogs have discussed Amul – one by Jivha and a nicely covered entry by Nimmy.

Work-wise also, Da Cunha has a different style of functioning.
On other occasions, Amul has made a conscious effort to enhance visibility –
Da Cunha Came out with a special Topical - "Vande Matramul" on the 50th Anniversary of Independence Day
It also started another campaign - The search for an Amul Butter Girl and an Amul Cheese Boy, which ended in January 2000, in which the Gujarat Cooperative Milk and Marketing Federation(GCMMF) announced the real life Amul Butter Girl and Amul Cheese Boy through a national Amul Surabhi search contest.

That’s the story of Amul. Before I end this, how can I sign off without decorating this article with topical” iceberg? These are my pick of the stars, and for the rest of them – Refer to the Hits of all the Amul Ads
"Picture" this:
Affiliate Marketing – Critiques on fellow brands

Airlines – Since I have covered those areas, am morally bound to cover the Amul perspective too ;-)

a latest naughty one – Mallika

And finally, for the movie buffs..Can you get them all correct? ;-)


Waiting for one on Bunty and Bubbly or "D", if they don’t put it, I will :-D ! Mr. Rane, are you listening?

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