Targeting Hedonic Persuasion - Current tactic in Advertising

Monika Bhatt
Lecturer (Marketing)

Those days are gone when Company's had to spend extra money on what is called as Advertising. Here I do not mean that Advertising has vanished but it has to try new methods especially for those big brands as they do not need any introduction or are not dependent on conventional marketing. The advertising company's of the top brands have to do the out -of -the -box –thinking for marketing them. The fundamentals being the same that Philip Kotler wrote in his book "Fundamentals of Marketing" way back in early 20th century. Advertiser's strategic move has really revved up the sales of the company's though they are not able to give the exact figures because of the multi factors effect acting on it.

Advertisement is for creating the awareness amongst the prospective customers or enticing them to buy the products. The most popular is celebrity endorsement, editorial space in print media, hoardings etc. etc. and the list is on and on. Kotler in his book has talked about 'Subliminal Persuasion', which means entering the consumer's unconscious state of mind. The concept was very well utilized by the then marketer's ' Eat popcorn and drink coca cola' flashed on the screen of theatres just for 30 seconds during interval it was observed the sales of both increased. Now, as the times are passing this kind of advertising has taken lots of twists and turns.

The only thing to be watched is the trend and it is made by the younger generation, this young group has also been redefined as people within the age group of thirteen years to forty five years. This generation is so unpredictable but has ample of unique ideas and is ready to change. Initially advertisers flooded the ads. during the serial breaks, later on the era of sponsoring  any one particular serial like Close- up antarkshari, now, Samsung Antarkshari, Bournvita quiz contest etc. etc. In India census says that the most popular medium for entertainment is movies and these effect the young mind a lot. Like fashion, style of speaking, body- building (men), perfect body (women) etc. most of the business's in India are gearing up with the support of Bollywood. Here I would like to quote an example of 98.3 FM (Delhi's Radio channel popular as Radio Mirchi its hot), in one of there programme they invited small girls to come dressed up as Kareena Kapoor (as she dressed in any of her films) on her birthday which was in the month of September. The place to assemble was told and also from where you can get those dresses. Many girls turned up and finally photographs were clicked and sent to Kareena Kapoor in the form of collage. What does this show?….. technique for marketing channel (98.3 FM), stores and also to some extent the Celebrity.

So, now industry's inclination is towards bollywood, no not as an advertisement in between the movie but as the very part of movies this means proper blending of the brand in the movie is required. If you have watched the latest movies, which were blockbuster in the recent past, you'll then realize what I mean by a proper blending.

In "Hum Tum" Saif Ali khan is a Times of India cartoonist. Is it the director's mind to give its film a reality or is it just a technique to manage finances or is it the company's strategic move that brands along with the films story is blended so well that it becomes the part of the movie. I will call this a smart move as both the parties are being benefited.

People do not know that unknowingly they are putting brands at the back of the head because of the stealthy advertisement by the marketer in the movies. This in-content branding is considered to be thematic brand support as they are projected to be in day to day activities of a common man.

In "Baghban", Amitabh Bachchan is an ICICI bank manager. The companies like Tata tea, Archies, Zip Telecom, & Ford also have been contextually fit to give movie a real touch. 

In "Main Hoon Na", Shahrukh Khan is seen wearing levis apparel, Reebok  shoes , eats at Pizza Hut, sips coffee from Café Coffee Day, rescues Sushmita Sen from abductors who carry her in Santro, seen munching Lays   (potato chips) & sipping Pepsi. Does it ring bells in your mind, I mean are you able to find some link with real advertising world and the above mentioned insidious or I must say subliminal marketing tactics. Yes, you are right SRK is the official brand ambassador of Pepsi, and also Hyundai Santro Car.

It is clear from above examples that to some extent conventional marketing are taking a backseat and the subliminal marketing or persuasion is gearing up especially for those brands which no longer require branding. As said by Sanjay Purohit, General Manager (Marketing ) Cadbury India " Our brands no longer require mere branding, but need to send out a stronger message". In Hrithik Roshan starrer "Koi Mil Gaya" Cadbury's India brand team started working with its director Rakesh Roshan for the milk additive brand Bournvita right at the story stage and if you have happened to watch this movie you'll see that the product placement is a contextual fit. Bournvita brand is very subtly entering the subconscious mind of the consumers though the company is engaged with the other conventional advertising & marketing strategies also.

Above I mentioned about blending of brands in the movie but recently we will be also coming across some social ads. during the movie itself  like in between any hot scene an ad of condoms will be shown. Any kind of ad with a social message, which fits in the scene, can be shown. People have a mixed idea about it but most of them are considering it to be beneficial for the society and are positively looking forward for it. What is your idea about this?

Monika Bhatt
Lecturer (Marketing)

Source: E-mail April 27, 2005


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