Festive Advertising: Importance of seasonal marketing campaigns

Sameer Makani, Co-founder and Managing Director, Makani Creatives unravels the importance of relevant festive marketing and advertising.

India is known to be a land of festivals. Be it Diwali, Christmas, or Eid, every festival is celebrated with equal passion. Occasions are a time for celebration, sharing happy moments and a shopping high, so brands often leverage this to showcase their product lines specific to the season through what is known as festive advertising.

Festive or occasion-based advertising has typically been of a tactical nature with brands focussing on discounts or freebies to trigger a purchase. It is only now that the brands have started crafting festive and occasion communication around insights relevant for the time or the season. A great example being Mauka – Mauka World-cup campaign built around the emotions that run high during the cricket world cup.

Understanding the approach

Festival season witnesses a surge in marketing efforts. Thousands of brands attempt to spread awareness and drive sales by releasing campaigns that leverage the festive spirit. While discounts can work in the short term, there is a possibility that they get lost in the plethora of similar discount-based communication. Also, most of the freebies offered come from the manufacturer’s/client’s point of view and may have little or no relevance to what the customer is looking for during that period. What can differentiate is an emotional, intangible connect that makes a brand suddenly more relevant in the crowd. So that as a customer, I am subliminally predisposed towards that brand even as I step out for shopping.

Very recently Mochi — the shoe brand — did something interesting for Raksha Bandhan. Their campaign was about great hacks that a guy can use to avoid getting into the dreaded bro zone on Raksha Bandhan. So, no ‘Happy Raksha Bandhan’ message, no discounts upfront, just insightful and relevant communication that managed to touch the right chord of the millennial customer. Driving greater engagement and conversions compared to any discount.

Similarly, a brand like Shoppers Stop tried to break stereotypes by urging women to celebrate sisterhood. While the true essence of Raksha Bandhan is about sisters tying Rakhi on brothers who protect them, this campaign paid tribute to all the caretakers of the family which includes house help as the true protectors of modern Indian women.

Bajaj Allianz, on the other hand, urged people to support their sisters more than protecting them with their #ProtectSeZyadaSupport ad film. The idea behind the campaign was seeded by the results of a survey did by the insurance company which stated that 1 out 3 women have travel as their life goal. This insight fuelled the idea of creating a campaign which redefines the brother-sister relationship. #ProtectSeZyadaSupport was Bajaj Allianz’s take on the depiction of this relationship on Raksha Bandhan. This campaign highlights the need for a change in perspective of the society to help the aspiring women who are determined to create a path which will lead to success. We live in a world where a brother is always taught to protect the sister but with this campaign, Bajaj Allianz conveys a very strong message of going beyond protection and supporting sisters to enable them to become an independent woman so she can achieve her life goals.

In this new approach to the festive season, brands can create greater awareness and deeper connection and even a change in perception altogether.

Business Architecture

Brands often spend more than 25% of annual ad spends on festive advertising which includes a mix of marketing and advertising promotions on festive offers along with discount offers across channels such as television, print, outdoor, radio, and digital media platforms.

Despite the slowdown of the consumer spends during the festivals, festive advertising is still expected to grow over 10% due to the marketing push, which is expected to revive the consumer sentiment in the remaining months of 2019.

Also Read: Ultimate Festive Marketing guide for 2019

In a market where there is a never-ending competition of similar products, brands are working towards creating a seamless consumer experience to drive sales. It is important to create a seamless, omnichannel experience for potential customers as it may become a differentiating factor. Digital has become a key medium to reach the consumers due to their high digital availability across channels such as Instagram, Facebook along with other socially driven sites where brands often place their products.  

With over a billion users worldwide, hyper-targeting has enabled brands to reach consumers in a concentrated manner. Options ranging from ethnicity, income level and specific interests, Facebook ads allow you to reach your target audience efficiently. Brands spend quite a lot on Facebook ads in addition to driving sales, these ads create awareness and educate potential buyers about the company, their story, and product offerings.

This piece is authored by Sameer Makani, Co-founder and Managing Director, Makani Creatives.