Over the last few weeks, team Melt has been going through a lot of campaigns released around the festive season. Traditionally, the festive season accounts for the largest advertising spends, and though this year has had its challenges, it seems like that trend will continue. Diwali itself comes almost a month late this year and that has given brands a longer window to try and drum up consumer sentiment, and sales. This meant that we at Melt saw a lot of advertising – most of which, we could bucket into two sets. The first set of ads are traditional catalogue ads – where the only objective is to drive sales. The second – is where brands have tried to connect themselves to the spirit of the festive season. It is this set that’s proven to be the more enjoyable one, and that’s the list we’re sharing with you in this episode.
Let’s begin with a category that’s probably had the fattest marketing wallet this season – eCommerce and retail. The two giants – Flipkart and Amazon India began their advertising almost two months back – to drive interest to their online festive sales. Flipkart took a celebrity route – and had a star-studded lineup featuring Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Sudeep Sanjeev and Mahesh Babu… while Amazon India played it softer – only in tonality. Between the two, team Melt enjoyed the Amazon India campaign more – it was relatable, simple, and just the right amount of tactical.
From e-commerce, let’s move to FMCG. One of the best campaigns in this festive season comes from Mondelez India for Cadbury Celebrations – the “Not Just A Cadbury Ad” campaign. Yes, we featured it last week, and we’d like to feature it again – because it’s one of the few ideas that’s truly innovative. Apart from this campaign though, Mondelez India has been clever with its media planning and buying as well. On many movie channels and GECs, the brand has bought the first ad slot within a commercial break – increasing the chances of a viewer spotting the message to gift chocolates in the festive season. Let’s have a look at both the campaigns.
Another brand that’s been clever with their media strategy is Hindustan Unilever – the FMCG giant has brought together all of its beauty and cosmetic brands under one campaign, named BeautyFest. Featuring brands like Tressemme, Dove, Sunsilk, Lakme and more, the lead BeautyFest film urges viewers to usher in the #TyoharWaliFeel. The ad also has a good contextual fit with the current times. Take a look.
Rounding up our pick of the most enjoyable FMCG ads are two commercials. The first one is for HUL’s Kwality Wall’s range of ice creams and frozen products – it is a short and sweet ad that places the ice-cream as an alternative to mithai. The second commercial is by Godrej Hit titled #SuperHitDiwali – a film that captures the festive spirit and shows how we all ‘need’ to celebrate Diwali this year. Putting the ‘Hit’ in SuperHitDiwali is also a clever brand integration which works well.
Of course, it isn’t Diwali advertising without a jewellery ad. This next one comes to us from Kalyan Jewellers that focuses on the tradition of togetherness while also saluting frontline warriors. The ad reiterates the message of unity and the need for each of us to support one another while also keeping alive the festive spirit.
Consumer Durables companies have been advertising a lot during this festive season – almost all the mobile phone manufacturers have a big budget TVC. But two commercials really made us take notice – one is by manufacturer Phillips India, and the other, retailer Reliance Digital. What’s surprising though is that both the films have a similar message about how the little things we do often set off its own ripple effect. While for the Reliance Digital film, technology happens to be an enabler in fuelling dreams and bringing people together, the Philips India ad tells us when we buy something for our home, we light up many other homes.
Moving on from consumer durables to BFSI. Almost all the large public and private sector banks have been advertising easy to access loans, while digital payment solutions and merchants have repeated previously released campaigns. We’d like to focus on ads by two banks – Axis Bank and State Bank Of India. Axis Bank’s campaign talks about caring for your loved ones and positions the bank as one that understands the untold needs of consumers. The ads are simple and will strike a chord with Indian consumers. SBI’s ad is inspiring and drives home the message that the true joy of this festive season lies in making others happy and touching lives of those around us. Take a look.
Another ad which we really enjoyed was the TVC released by Google Pay India. The ad is basically a push for its in-app game – ‘Go India’ that allows users to virtually ‘visit’ Indian cities. It is fantastic how the brand has structured the ad in the context of Diwali when most people would travel to their hometowns to celebrate with family. In this case, the ad gives us a different meaning to what people consider to be home while subtly urging viewers to stay home.
Lastly, let’s a take a look at the homeware category – that spans everything from cement, paints and tiles to interiors, furnishings and even mattresses. Two campaigns that ticked the right boxes for us at Melt include the new Duroflex TVC, and the long-format commercial for Birla White cement. Duroflex’s film conveys a unique message of gifting good sleep to yourself and your loved ones this festive season. It encourages consumers to prioritize health and safety of themselves and their family. On the other hand, Birla White’s ad tells us how one small decision can spread happiness and help many in need. Through this commercial, Birla White is urging people to come out in support of the painter community and people who depend on homeowners in the economic cycle. Take a look.
In the e-commerce / retail space, another brand that caught our eye was Pepperfry. This ad is a straight-up example of how you can make a Diwali furniture sale ad look interesting and creative. It shows a father-daughter duo fighting for an armchair as they look for the best WiFi spot in the house. Pepperfry comes to rescue with its Diwali sale and an underlying narrative of ‘thoda apne liye aur thoda apno ke’ liye. This one’s quirky yet relatable!
Once again here’s wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous festive season!