January 16, 2009

In recent times, two advertising campaigns - Jaago Re (Tata Tea) and What an idea! (Idea Cellular) - have caught the attention of marketers. These two campaigns are not only examples of innovative marketing but also of integrating social relevance into brand values.

In a cluttered world, a brand has to rise above clutter. Integration of social relevance into brand values is one of the differentiators that can help a brand stand out positively from the rest. Association with a visible and important social cause gives brands an air of respect and familiarity. This in turn not only brings a brand closer to the heart of consumers but also encourages the consumers to do her bit to address a social problem. An astutely run campaign that aims to integrate social relevance to the brand values helps the brand to emerge as a catalyst for social change and stand for something much larger than its self.

Jaago Re campaign focused on enlightening the masses about the importance of participating in the political process of the country. They set an audacious goal to ensure that one billion voters speak up for their rights. They partnered with social outfits to activate the message on the ground. The integrated marketing campaign ensured that Tata Tea didn't just mean a tea but a reminder to become physically as well as mentally awake and do our bit to bring about social change.

Similarly, "What an Idea!" campaign took up the task of sensitizing the masses to some of the burning issues of our times like universal education and political corruption. It was an original and innovative thinking to connect brand values with social relevance resulting in an instant connect with the consumers.

As brand differentiators, with potential to raise a brand above clutter, turn elusive, I expect more brands to embrace the social bandwagon in near future. Like all brand differentiating ideas, integration of brand values with social relevance too would be done to death once everybody starts thinking social! But that would take some time and till then a few early birds can expect to create a larger than life identity for their brands.