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Creativity that clicks- a roundup of recent Indian ads we loved

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Note: We believe that the ultimate success of an ad campaign is determined by whether it increased brand equity and drove revenue for the brand. However, it is not always possible to know the results of the campaign as brand financials are proprietary information. Hence the ads we are showcasing in this article are the ones we felt were great in terms of brand relevance, strategic intent and creativity.

Here are some ads from the last 12 months from India that we felt scored high on these markers

Spotify’s Regional Magic

Spotify has proven itself to be a master at the communication game (we covered it in more detail here). In March 2022, they launched a set of ads that were built on the insight that even in the midst of the chaos of everyday life, music provides a personal bubble of serenity into which the listener can withdraw. This insight was a powerful one to capitalize on.

The insight was captured with a brilliant creative hook- the fact that the protagonist feels that everyone around him/her is lip-syncing the song is a great manifestation of zoning out. Plus, the template allowed easy regional adaptations with minor tweaks that captured regional nuances, combined with the chartbusters from that region.

It is endearing for a global brand like Spotify to showcase everyday Indian situations and how the brand seamlessly fits into these.

Jaquar turns confusion into creativity

Jaquar lighting’s 2022 ads are a great example of how to cleverly tap into core brand equity to support and launch brand extensions.

Jaquar’s lighting division is not new. Launched more than 6 years ago, it had been languishing in brand awareness hell for a long time. Jaquar had consistently struggled to build independent brand equity for the lighting division. This brand extension was constantly overshadowed by Jaquar’s core brand – its much better-known bathroom fittings offering.

Even the use of a strong celebrity like Deepika Padukone did not help matters.

However, in 2022, the brand turned around its perceived weakness to its advantage.

Instead of trying to run away from its overpowering core brand equity of bathroom fittings, Jaquar decided to leverage it. It went to the extent of making it a key executional device in its ads. The ads creatively brought alive the same confusion consumers had when they heard that Jaquar, a well-known bathroom fittings brand, also had a lighting business.

And the result was a campaign that turned a weakness into a strength, letting the core brand’s strong equity create a halo for the lighting fixture extension.

Indeed, a brilliant move we must say.

Lenskart marries style with affordability

Lenskart was launched in 2010 with “an aim to provide every Indian access to high-quality designer glasses without shelling out their pocket”. Over time, as eyewear evolved from just a functional utility to a fashion statement, the brand kept pace with trends.

However, this evolution also poses a challenge- fashion is aspirational and being positioned as a value-for-money or affordable brand, Lenskart could potentially drop out of consideration of the lucrative segment that views the category with this lens.

The recent series of ads with Karan Johar is a great move to address this challenge. The creative stands out for many reasons:

First, rather than simply slapping on a celebrity to the brand, the ads squarely acknowledge the problem- that the quality and style of Lenskart sit in contrast with its low prices. The fact that Karan, a well-known style icon, is super-tempted by the trendy Lenskart range, but is hesitant given the value-for-money perception coming from low prices- perfectly captures the consumer dilemma and resolves it in a humorous and entertaining way, without sounding preachy or boring.

Further, the way creatives weave key brand features like a vast range of exciting designs, eliminating the middleman to achieve low prices, AR try-on app, Gold Membership- and communicate all of these through a fun banter between the style icon and the purpose driven founder is quite clever.

Vicco eschews fun for functionality

Vicco Vajradanti, a well-known 70+ year old brand, needs to retain its relevance in a cluttered oral-care category where brands have talked about almost every functional benefit and product USP- ranging from sensitivity to salt and confidence to cool crystals. The story of Ayurveda has also been oversold- with brands from Patanjali and Dabur to Colgate Ved Shakti talking about chemical vs. Jadi-Booti in the toothpaste.

With its recent communication, Vicco seems to have found its unique voice. In a stark ad in a somber tone, the celeb Alia Bhatt explains that Vicco toothpaste is not about the fun, but the “effectiveness”.

“When you try to stand for everything, you stand for nothing” is a brand building principle that many marketers preach but don’t practice. This communication from Vicco works because it delivers on this time-tested principle.

It’s also a refreshing approach in the category, where the brand talks about what it “doesn’t offer” and in the process the core proposition of what it offers stands out beautifully.

The brands’ claim of ‘mazedar nahin, asardar’ stands true for this ad as well.

Summary

That finishes our roundup of recent Indian ads that we have found interesting. For us, the key takeaway from these pieces of communication is how they blend insights and creativity.

Do you have any favourite ads from the recent past that feel deliver on these principles? Do let us know in the comments, along with a brief explanation of why you like them. If we love your choice, you can win a surprise gift from us!

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