Shruti Maheshwari, Strategy Associate, Brandmovers India lists out notable campaigns and digital trends that can help brands get their festive marketing game right.
“If you aren’t creating a stir during the festive season, are you really talking?” Yes, it’s that time of the year again when brands, agencies, and consumers together get completely psyched. While brands hustle for a share of the consumer’s wallet (in sync with digital festival trends), consumers are quick to pin down brands that try too hard. So, how does a brand place itself just about right in the flooded festive scenario with the right festive marketing plan?
The trick lies in understanding what the audience really connects with and how that can be delivered to them in the most organic way. Let’s have a quick sneak peek into festive marketing brand campaigns that showed an appetite for something beyond the obvious and got talking to their audience:
MTS Durga Pujo Pandal Awards: Integrating sentiment and engagement
A great example of how brands can tastefully leverage cultural truth and consumer sentiment, the once upon a time telecom giant MTS took Pujo a notch higher back in 2013 with its ‘Digital Pujo Awards’. The campaign was an online and offline initiative that allowed Pandal visitors to vote for the best pandal with their RFID enabled Like-O-Meters. This goes down as one of our favourite campaigns owing to its uniqueness and understanding of the festive sentiment.
Swiggy’s ode to every foodie’s favourite festival: Notching up regional insights
A catchy Bengali anthem, mouth-watering visuals and a fitting take on ‘Aashchey bochor abar hobe’, ‘Aashchey bochor abar khabo’ was Swiggy’s successful stint at reversing the post-Pujo mood to a happy one by reiterating that it will be there for the next 365 days to fix Kolkata’s food cravings. Also the first piece of regional communication for the brand, the film had us filled with joy.
Brooke Bond Red label’s powerful message with Swaad apnepan ka
Of course, brands have had their fair share of attempts at thought-provoking campaigns, but what really worked for Brooke Bond Red Label’s Ganesh Chaturthi film last year was its sincere effort in reflecting deep-rooted prejudices in spite of knowing that there will be a possible backlash. The result? The audience loved the film and space for effective dialogue opened up.
Spykar’s Fast meets festive: A fresh take on festive
Another Pujo surprise package, ‘Fast meets festive’ campaign by Spykar got talking to the ‘young and festive’ crowd of Kolkata a tad bit differently. An edgy score coupled with a careful curation of the most loved faces in Kolkata complete with an outdoor takeover sky-rocketed the brand’s recall amongst millennials.
Pujo maanei Pantaloons: The perfect culture-brand connect
While Pujo hits Kolkata around September-October, the preparation begins months in advance accompanied by frenzied shopping trips and much-awaited reunions. Pantaloons saw an untapped opportunity here and got talking to the consumers in Kolkata with a digital montage film bound by a lyrical narrative that reflected the very same Pujo sentiment with a seamless brand connect.
Digital festive marketing trends
Cut to this year, the festive playground is going to be bustling with possibilities. Storytelling, platform innovation, influencer marketing, CSR delights; brand custodians just need to pick their favorite sport:
Ditch the act, authenticity is key: We are now in the advertising age where there’s a new content piece doing the rounds almost every second and going for a miss every millisecond. Users today are smart; they are quick to identify and reject a gimmick as opposed to a real conversation.
Stick up, retain your authenticity and talk to the users in the language that they truly resonate with.
Vertical for the win: We are hooked to our mobile phones and how, spending hours scrolling and tapping but attention spans are just reducing, more so with the onset of the festive season. It’s time brands get ahead of the game, adapt to the ‘vertical video format’ to create an immersive experience for the user as they slip into the festive mood. Facebook
Thumbstoppers, Instagram stories, vertical visual storytelling, take your pick and craft the story just right.
Integrate TikTok into your festive game: TikTok’s success has been an unpredictable one but a noticeable one really! People glued to the app on the metro and local trains, spending hours binge-watching the short videos backed by 88.6 Million new users from India alone in the first 3 months of 2019 is an opportunity that brands need to lap up.
Throw in a festive challenge, tap into the raw potential of the community, debunk the norms and bring in the celebrations the fresh way.
Look out for micro-moments: The festive season marks the onset of consumer’s ‘I want to buy’ syndrome coupled with increasing online shopping behavior that spikes up at least by 30%. Hence, brands need to step up their game and be present and relevant during these micro-moments and ease the experience for the user.
Create an integrated strategy early on: video content, media, platform innovation, influencer collaboration coupled with strong creative packaging.
Go local, make a better impact: If you want to ‘really’ connect to the audience and organically join in the festive celebrations, it’s essential to speak to them in their language.
Considering user sentiment, vernacular content has never gone wrong, in fact, it has only fueled conversations and marketing efforts.
While there’s only a whiff of festive spirit in the air right now, it will be interesting to witness what brands and agencies have in store for the consumers.
This piece is authored by Shruti Maheshwari, Strategy Associate, Brandmovers India.