Nov 16, 2006

Remaking adverts - reviving familiar elements in communication

Happened to see this old YouTube video today that I am sure most people, who grew up at about the same time as me in India, would remember. Before the advent of satellite TV, there was only one channel to watch. Those were the times with little clutter and media spend decisions simply revolved around getting the prime time slot. Consequently the range of ads and infomercials that we saw during those times enjoyed and still continue to enjoy, tremendous mindshare amongst consumers.

The video reminded me of an ad research I was part of some time ago, where a new brand entering the market targeted at kids, was trying to take the animation route to break clutter. Animation per se as a route could break clutter purely because of its novelty but there was something going against the ads that were being tested. The brand launch was going to be a global one and ads had been developed by an agency outside the country. It goes without saying that the situations depicted and the characters were alien to the audience. Each frame by itself was not difficult to understand but to decode the message behind the ad, they would have had to make the mental connection between the scenes which people were not able to ladder up in their mind.

When I saw the youtube video today, which happened to be an animation, I wondered why no agency has used elements from that video to develop any tv commercial around it? And logically extending that point, why don’t we see remakes of old ads.

Ads from the past, not only evoke the feeling of nostalgia associated with a brand and make us feel all warm and cozy about it but they also contain associations around brands that become indelible with the passage of time. Elements like…Mummy bhook lagi hai…bus 2 minute (Jingle for Maggi) or the swirling Nirma girl stopping the passer by are all too familiar. And who can forget Lalitaji from the Surf Excel ad?

And if you thought it was just the nostalgia factor at work, Caroline Whitehill talks about how brand associations get hard-wired over time in her write-up about how neuroscience is transforming research

Why for certain familiar brands, people still talk about advertising campaigns from ten years ago…. Neuroscience has shown us that it takes a long time to create connections. But with repetition and over time, cells that fire together repeatedly become literally physically soldered together. Neuroscientists say 'cells that fire together are wired together'. This process takes at least two years and is known as hardwiring. 'Brand associations that are already consolidated in long-term memory cannot be broken off

We do see this happening albeit in a limited way - with the Close-up reviving their old ad jingle to kya aap naya close up kartein hain or Lyril continuing to show the lime freshness through the waterfall as their backdrop. But for every brand & agency team trying to retain elements in their commercials, there are a dozen if not more fresh communication ideas thrown at consumers everyday – which one would probably notice for the short while those are on air but fade away into oblivion in no time. What remains with us are the ones from a time by-gone. In many ways then old adverts are like music, the vintage classics are the ones that are timeless



advertising,brand communication,advertising research,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very good and proof of Professionlism