The Role of Advertising in Today's World

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What is the most powerful function that advertisement performs today? What is advertising and communication in today’s world?

Advertising bears the burden of building brands.

What is brand building? How does advertising build a brand? By taking a simple product, what does advertising do to build it into a powerful brand and how does advertising do this?

Let us first understand what is a brand. A brand is a consumer’s idea of a product. This is a quote from the doyen of advertising – David Ogilvy.

Let us take a deeper look at the brand.

|Product |Brand | |Exists on the shelf |Exists in the mind | |Made of raw ingredients |Made of feelings & emotions | |Belongs to the manufacturer |Belongs to the consumer | |Eg. Bajaj Scooter |Eg. Hamara Bajaj |

So, let us now understand how does advertising make a brand strong?

The ‘fundamental equities’ of product, price, packaging and performance are only revealing one side of the picture. Today the consumer takes these elements of a product for granted and looks beyond performance of a stronger, value-addition to the brand.

Take a closer look at the consumer. Every human being is a combination of head and heart. Bill Bernbach once said “facts are not enough”. Added values of soft equities are now being focused on to get the core of the relationship between the consumer and the brand. It is a relationship marketing today.

It is the softer side that seems to carry the value in terms of personality, image and relationships. And it is a stronger “soft” side that makes a brand stronger.

Can you think of some examples of strong brands’ “soft” approach stirs up feelings and emotions? How about Garden Sarees?

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In the past brands were built on superior & unique performance. This was known as USP (Unique Selling Proposition (also Unique Selling Point))

Then came along the era of exclusive benefits positioning.

Today, the relationships have to be built on more subtle grounds by conveying relevant values and emotional pay offs. And it is advertising that does this.

Eg. Teepol – is a liquid detergent positioned for cleaning crystal and expensive crockery

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In the new world, advertising works as a catalyst. It creates feelings between the consumer and the brand. Eg. Maximum moisturizer Pond’s dream flower talc

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Advertising is not merely a message about the brand; it is a part of the brand itself. Look at Charms, Lakme winter care lotion, jumping.

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The advertising becomes the main depiction of the brand’s personality. Of course this works only if it becomes relevant from consumer’s view point.

Try and recall some examples of relevant advertising. Wills depicts togetherness. CHL had no relevance. [pic][pic]

That is why motivational research is interlinked with advertising today.

If a brand’s advertising is meaningful, consumers can depend on it. By doing this, brands provide a service way beyond the function they perform as like products.

Advertising creates the personality and characters with which consumers have interactive relationships. Think of ‘La Opala’ crockery.

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Brands with strong equity are storehouses of meanings that consumers use to define their actual ad aspirational selves… I aspire to be a graceful hostess. By laying out La Opala crockery, I define this image.

Eg. Santoor soap ….. Young mother.

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The advertising, more than anything else is central to what the brands stand for.

Unilever has laid out principles for great advertising. It focuses on the pursuit of the ‘Big Idea’ supported by advertising properties to build brand equity.

Positioning simply stated as ‘an idea’ a brand represents in the minds of consumers. Eg. Sunflower cooking oil...
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