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December 6, 2011, 4:46 am UTC
There are definite benefits of retaining a campaign for a long period of time. However, one needs to keep some things in mind before one does that.
When two people who grew up before the advent of cable TV in India meet over a period of time, one of the things they invariably end up doing is talk about the TV serials and ad jingles during their childhood. It thus isn’t hard to find that someone born before 1980 still remembers jingles and catch phrases like: Rajdoot motorcycle’s ‘Jaandar sawari ek shandar sawari’ or Kapil Dev saying ‘Palmolive da jawab nahi’ or the ‘washing powder Nirma’ jingle or the ‘I’m a Complan boy’ or ‘chal meri Luna’ taglines.
A recent article in Economic Times, puts the spot light on brands that have retained their ad campaign or jingle for decades. In an age where a brand rushes to change its image every few years, does it even make sense to have such a ‘blast from the past’ for so long or is it counter productive.
Retaining a jingle or a tagline breeds familiarity and nostalgia. Brand that existed before the advent of cable TV in India have had a clear advantage over brands that are trying to win your attention today. They had a clutter free access to the minds of their viewers, something that brands today do not have. Retaining the jingle or the same tagline ensures that the relationship that was once built is maintained. In relationship familiarity may breed contempt but for branding and advertising, familiarity breeds nostalgia, a very powerful and desirable emotion for a marketing man.
A jingle that has remained the same for decades, gives another message to consumers – that of legacy. A brand that has had the same jingle, tells the consumer that one can trust the brand because it has existed for years or decades evident from the jingle. Brands that want to build trust in their product would do well to retain a jingle or a tagline, even if they change the visuals. Yet, it should not be done at the risk of seeming like a cheap brand which is out to save money by not investing in a new campaign.
Brands also need to consider whether it makes sense to change something that has hit the jackpot with viewers. Why change it for something that might not work. Would it have made sense for Nike to change ‘Just Do It’ when that tagline beautifully captured the essence and spirit of the brand?
Yet one must not forget the reason for changing a jingle, tagline or the entire campaign. The motivation should not be to save budgets. It should either be to arouse nostalgia or to ensure that the life of a campaign that has worked, is increased further.
The first test is to consider ones current brand campaign. If what you have something right now which correctly depicts your brand values and seems to be working with customers, there’s no point changing it. However, if your brand relies on changing campaigns, it then does not make sense to retain it. E.g. Pepsi and Coke are not products they are necessity. They depend on inducing customer choice. Their ad campaigns thus rely heavily on repeating their ads which can lead to customer fatigue. Hence, retaining a campaign for a long time, could prove counter productive.
There are definite benefits of retaining a campaign that has worked for a brand. Yet, if not thought out carefully, the disadvantages can outweigh the benefit. The need is thus to be conscious of the difference and choose accordingly.
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