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The Impact of Creativity and Wow Factor in Advertising


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The approach used in this report is a case study approach. It essentially deals with two aspects; creativity and WOW factor. These two terms have been defined and the impact they have in advertising has been studied. The objectives of doing such a study were to understand creativity, to define it and to find factors that elicit a WOW response from viewers.

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The Impact of Creativity and Wow Factor in Advertising

  2. 2. DECLARATION This is to certify that the project titled “The impact of creativity and wow factor in advertising” submitted by me in partial fulfillment of the requirement of Master of Business Management course, is based on research work done by me under the guidance of Mr. Jairaj Nair, faculty member, M. P. Birla Institute of Management. This project has not previously formed the basis for the award of any degree or diploma. Place: Bangalore Date:
  3. 3. CERTIFICATE I hereby certify that the research work embodied in the dissertation entitled “THE IMPACT OF CREATIVITY AND WOW FACTOR” has been undertaken and completed by under my guidance and supervision. I also certify that he has fulfilled all the requirements under the covenant governing the submission of dissertation to the Bangalore University for the award of MBA degree. Place: Bangalore
  4. 4. CERTIFICATE I hereby certify that this dissertation is an offshoot of the research work undertaken and completed by under the guidance of, Professor M.P.B.I.M. Bangalore. . Place: Bangalore nd
  5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am happy to express my gratitude to for their encouragement, guidance and many valuable ideas imparted to me for my project. I extend my sincere thanks to Professor Jai Raj Nair MPBIM, Bangalore for providing me all the information required and the guidance throughout the project without which this project would not have been possible. I would also like to sincerely thank all my lecturers and my friends for their help in completing my project successfully.
  6. 6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The approach used in this report is a case study approach. It essentially deals with two aspects; creativity and WOW factor. These two terms have been defined and the impact they have in advertising has been studied. The objectives of doing such a study were to understand creativity, to define it and to find factors that elicit a WOW response from viewers. Primary source of data comprises of interaction with people from advertising agencies with a reasonable amount of experience. A significant part of the required information has been collected from this source. Data collected through the secondary source includes the theoretical aspects of advertising and creativity as well as quotations from various advertising men. The case studies were carefully hand picked after countless discussions with professionals from the advertising fraternity. The cases have been documented, analyzed and ‘lessons to be learnt’ have been listed.
  7. 7. Table of Contents Introduction 3 Definitions 4 3 Basic Functions of Advertising 5 Five Players in the Advertising World 5 Research Design 7 Objectives of the Study 8 Research Methodology 8 Primary Source 8 Secondary Source 8 Tools for Data Collection 8 Scope of the Study 9 Limitations of the Study 9 Understanding Creativity 10 Advertising professional perspective 11 Layman perspective 18 Impact 19 Contextual Impact on Advertising 20 Extent of Impact 23 Wow Factor 25 Case Studies 28 Doodh Doodh – NDDB 29 The Axe Effect 36 Frooti (Digen Verma) 49 Saint Gobain 54 Social Ad (Save Water) 57 Durex 58 Volkswagen 60
  8. 8. Summary of Findings 63 Conclusion 66 Bibliography 68
  9. 9. Book definition of advertising: Any paid form of non-personal communication about an organization or its products that is transmitted to a target audience through a mass/broadcast medium. But we already know that, don’t we? Here are a few select definitions, which I thought were pretty interesting. "Advertising is what you do when you can't go see somebody. That's all it is." - Fairfax Cone (1963), ad agency partner, quoted in James B. Simpson, Contemporary Quotations, 1964, Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press, p. 84. "Advertising is, actually, a simple phenomenon in terms of economics. It is merely a substitute for a personal sales force - an extension, if you will, of the merchant who cries aloud his wares." - Rosser Reeves, Reality in Advertising (1986), New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., p. 145. "Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret . . . to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink." - Leo Burnett, quoted by Joan Kufrin, Leo Burnett: Star Reacher(1995), Chicago, IL: Leo Burnett Company, Inc., p. 54. "Advertising - a judicious mixture of flattery and threats." - Northrop Frye, quoted in Robert I. Fitzhenry, The Fitzhenry & Whiteside Book of Quotations, 1993, Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, p. 18. "Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it." - Stephen Butler Leacock, quoted in Michael Jackman, Crown's Book of Political Quotations, 1982, New York: Crown Publishing Inc., p. 1. “Advertising is a ten billion dollar a year misunderstanding with the public." - Chester L. Posey, Senior V.P. & Creative Director, McCann Erickson "The simplest definition of advertising, and one that will probably meet the test of critical examination, is that advertising is selling in print." - Daniel Starch, Principles of Advertising, 1923, Chicago, IL: A.W. Shaw Company, p. 5. "Advertising is selling Twinkies to adults" - Donald R. Vance "Advertising is legalized lying."
  10. 10. - H.G. Wells, quoted in Michael Jackman, Crown's Book of Political Quotations, 1982, New York: Crown Publishing Inc., p. 2. In an ideal world, every manufacturer would be able to talk one-on-one with every consumer about its product. But personal selling, a one-on-one approach, is very expensive and practically impossible. That’s where advertising steps in. 3 Basic Functions of Advertising  Provides product and brand information.  Provides incentives to take action.  Provides reminders and reinforcement. Five Players in the Advertising World The Advertiser: Advertising begins with the advertiser, the person or organization that “needs to get out a message”. The Advertising Agency: The second player in the advertising world is the advertising agency. Advertisers hire independent agencies to plan and implement part or all of their advertising efforts. This working arrangement is known as the agency – client partnership. The Media: The third player in the advertising world is the media. The media is composed of the channels of communication that carry the message from the advertiser to the audience, and in the case of Internet, it carries the response from the audience back to the advertiser. A media representative typically meets the advertiser or the advertiser’s representative (probably an ad agency) and tries to convince him that the medium is a good delivery vehicle for the advertiser’s message. In other words, he tries to sell space.
  11. 11. Vendors: The fourth player in the world of advertising is the group of service organizations that assist advertisers, advertising agencies, and the media: the vendors. Members of this group are also called freelancers, consultants, and self-employed professionals. Why would advertising players hire a vendor? For many reasons. The advertisers may not have expertise in that area; they may be overloaded; or they may want a fresh perspective. Another reason to rely on vendors is cost. Vendors’ services are often cheaper than the services of someone in-house. The Target Audience: The final player in the advertising world is the target audience. All strategy starts with the customer. The target audience has a direct bearing on the overall advertising strategy, especially the creative strategy and media strategy. The task of learning about the target audience is laborious and may take thousands of hours and millions of dollars to accomplish.
  12. 12. Objectives of the study  To understand the term “creativity”, in advertising.  To get an insight into the layman’s view of creativity.  To find out if creativity is positively correlated to the extent of impact, an ad has on the audience.  To find out factors that elicit a WOW response from the target audience.  To find out what impact, a WOW factor has on the target audience. Research Methodology Primary source: Primary source of data comprises of interaction with people from advertising agencies with a reasonable amount of experience. A significant part of the required information has been collected from this source. Secondary source: Data collected through this source includes the theoretical aspects of advertising and creativity as well as quotations from various advertising men. Tools for data collection:  One on one interviews with people from the industry.  Questionnaires.  Second hand information from websites.  Direct electronic mails.
  13. 13. Scope of the Study The study confines itself to a few advertising agencies and people in Bangalore only. Limitations of the Study  An attempt has been made to complete the project within the structured time frame.  The study is limited to Bangalore only.  Certain case studies deal with television commercials. Hence storyboards have been used which may dilute the level of understanding of the views put forth.  The study is not too substantial for want of more time.
  14. 14. "Properly practiced creativity MUST result in greater sales more economically achieved. Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, urgent." - William Bernbach, quoted in Bill Bernbach said . . . (1989), DDB Needham Worldwide. “Creativity” in advertising means different things to different people. The dictionary says it is characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative: creative writing. Some view it as “Wow! Now that’s something you don’t see everyday”; yet others think, a creative advertisement is one that sells. The Benton & Bowles agency holds that ‘if it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative’. Rosser Reeves says, ‘You wont find ‘creativity’ in the 12 volume Oxford Dictionary, Do you think it means originality? Originality is the most dangerous word in advertising. Preoccupied with originality, copywriters pursue something as illusionary as swamp fire, for which the Latin phrase is ignis fatuus. Rosser Reeves : ‘Do you want fine writing? Do you want masterpieces? Or do you want to see the goddamned sales curve start moving up?’ Mozart said, ‘I have never made the slightest effort to compose anything original’. I occasionally use the hideous word creative myself, for lack of a better: If you take the subject more seriously than I do, I suggest you read The creative organization, published by the university of Chicago Press. Meanwhile, I have to invent a big idea before Tuesday. ‘Creativity’
  15. 15. strikes me a high-falutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday. – David Ogilvy. A few years ago, Harry McMahan drew attention to the kind of commercials which were winning the famous Clio awards for creativity. Agencies that won four of the Clios had lost the accounts. Another Clio winner was out of business. Lateral thinking is closely related to creativity. But whereas creativity is too often only the description of a result, lateral thinking is the description of a process. There is about creativity a mystique of talent and intangibles. This maybe justified in the art world where creativity involves aesthetic sensibility, emotional resonance and a gift for expression. But it is not justified outside that world. More and more creativity is coming to be valued as the essential ingredient in change and in progress. It is coming to be valued above knowledge and above technique since both these are becoming so accessible, In order to use creativity one must rid it of this aura of mystique and regard it as a way of using the mind – a way of handling information. – Edward de Bono.
  16. 16. These were definitions given by advertising legends, apart from Edward de Bono, who is associated with lateral thinking. Now, let’s look at some definitions given by advertising professionals. Harish Bijoor – Harish Bijoor Consults Inc Creativity in advertising is anything that is new, anything that can excite consumer interest and anything that can create consumer buzz and sales volume in addition to viral effect of word of mouth. Ashok Sarath, Creative Consultant, Contract Advertising A creative ad is one that makes me look at the brand proposition in a fresh way. Mayur Raol – Brand Manager, 3 Amigos restaurant and former senior account executive at Brand-Comm, Bangalore. A creative ad is one that makes a connection with the target audience. For me, a creative ad is one that moves me; one that changes my thinking or attitude towards a brand or something that changes an already formed opinion. A. Shrisha – Account Director, Brand-Comm, Bangalore. A creative ad is one that understands the target audience. The key word here is target audience. Once you understand the target audience, it makes your life much simpler. If you can establish a one on one connection with the target person, you have yourself a creative ad.
  17. 17. Raghu Ram C.S. – Creative Supervisor, TBWA INDIA, Bangalore. It’s extremely difficult to define what creativity is. Creativity can mean so many things but if you want me to give you a definition, I would say it starts from the truth, the reality, real life surrounding us and then moves on to our own extensions or something towards exaggerations. But the most important thing here is that it starts from the truth because a target person should be able to connect with the offering. In other words, a creative ad is one that bridges the gap between the brand promise and consumer truths. Ravi Shankar, PR Director and Former Account Executive, Brand-Comm In my opinion, Creative Advertising is "Advertising which is memorable, distinct and sells. It addresses the marketing objective, whilst being interesting and relevant to the TA" Mr. Ramesh Narayan, Managing Director, Canco Advertising on what he feels about creativity and basis for judging the same. CREATIVITY is probably the one word that assumes great importance in any enterprise. More so, in the advertising industry. Let's look at it closely. Tonnes have been written on its critical importance. A hundred seminars and workshops have never tired of stressing how it is the cornerstone of the industry. I don't think anyone questions its importance. Creativity is really something that everyone accepts as vital. Then why is it that there is so little of it evident in our work? Let us step back a little and question why I dare say there is so little evident in our work. How does one assess or judge creativity? Well, I believe here is where the entire problem begins. There is no real yardstick by which creativity can be precisely measured. How do jury panels judge creativity? Very simple. They specify "impact" and "relevance" as two parameters to evaluate or judge creativity.
  18. 18. Having said this you then slip into an ethereal world where advertising associations are locked in an unending battle to define who can actually judge creativity. "Obviously, only creative people should be called upon to judge creativity," says one big lobby. "No, call in those who evaluate creativity as a part of their profession," says another school of thought. Shorn of its niceties, the first school of thought lays out a case where creators of creativity are the best judges of it. The second school advocates the inclusion of marketing people who in any case judge the creativity of agencies every day in the real world and decide what actually goes out to the ultimate consumer. Having seen both schools of thought prevail at different periods of time, I am qualified to comment on what goes on in the differing scenarios. Firstly, when you have only eminent creative directors judging creative work, you tend to look for what the supposedly creative mind recognises as truly creative. You end up with a view that almost none, or at least a very small proportion, of the work entered deserves to be awarded for creativity. This really is an affirmation of what this school of thought said in the first place. As clients have already judged the work, killed any sign of creativity, and only allowed what remains to appear in print or celluloid, there is obviously nothing left to judge in it. When clients are involved in the judging process the creative directors turn up their noses and say that they would rather not enter their work than have a dead body killed all over again. So what do the creative directors call creative? Some elusive thing called the big idea. The same thing that many clients disdainfully dismiss as something "minimalist." And how do these creative directors form their opinion? "From their inner being" would be what they would like to say. "From what wins at Cannes or Clio" is what the general public would chorus. And what does win at Cannes? Well, judging from the Indian victories at Cannes, the overwhelming majority of the few pieces of work that have been hailed by the international creative community is work done for NGOs. Even if it is work done for a brand, it is probably some environmental message from the company, not its regular advertising. So what does that mean? Why is it that there are a growing number of global majors increasing their advertising through a large number of global agency alliances and we could not get one
  19. 19. single gold Lion at the Cannes advertising festival? Meanwhile the bronzes we picked up are for everything other than "regular" advertising of large advertisers. Public service is the area where we score regularly. Think about it. These are advertisements or hoarding messages that are probably created pro bono and so do not go through the rigours of approval from a client. They appear on one hoarding site in Worli, Mumbai or somewhere similar. It does not make the message any less creative, but it is certainly not representative of the advertising in India. So what does this really mean? Is the jury at Cannes out of sync with creativity? Our very own Piyush Pandey was Chairman of the jury this time, so we can't complain. Are our clients not willing to, or unable to, approve creative communication? Before I am hung at dawn for suggesting something as blasphemous as this please note the interrogative tone. If everyone agrees that creativity is all-important, and everyone agrees that a Cannes award is the Holy Grail of creativity in advertising, why do I sound like a sports editor does after the Olympics? A billion Indians and not one Gold! Or is it just that we are paying too much heed to all the hype and hoopla of some international circus on creativity? "Remember," says the marketer, "we are creating advertising that works. And that is what is important." Then why am I so despondent? - Ramesh Narayan, M.D., Canco Advertising. After speaking to countless advertising people on this subject, I’ve learnt is that there is no one definition of creativity. Everyone perceives it differently. The standard definition of creativity is still unwritten and probably will be unwritten for many years to come.
  20. 20. There exits no proper basis for judging creativity, but yet this continues to remain one of the highest ranked factors to judge advertising agencies. And hence its importance becomes more and more significant. Moving on to the next phase of this study, the common man was asked his views on creativity. Mixed responses were received. The responses are categorized and illustrated in the form of a pie chart below…
  21. 21. Impact is nothing but ‘the effect or impression of one thing on another’. Contextual Impact on Advertising In some cases, advertising (whether rational or emotional in content) effectiveness is influenced not by the technique applied in the ad itself, but by the emotional context in which the ad appears. Contextual factors can work either to the benefit or detriment of the brand being promoted in the advertisement. Some theories suggest that interruption of an exciting program or story results in a heightened level of attention to an advertiser's message. Others disagree, stating that the interruption of highly stimulating programs or stories causes viewer frustration, which interferes with the processing of the advertising message (Mundorf, Zillman and Drew, 1991). No conclusive results have been presented on either side of this argument, so the debate continues. Some evidence does exist to support the idea that affective elements of program or editorial content influence viewers'/readers'affective interpretations of the advertising messages placed within the program or story. For example, Mundorf, Zillman and Drew (1991) found that viewers'abilities to attend to, process and store ads shown shortly after disturbing news sequences were adversely affected by the viewers'preoccupations with the bad news. The residual effects of negative news appeared to last for as much as 2.5 minutes after the end of the segment, with attention levels returning to normal thereafter. Gardner (1985) explains a study which further supports contextual effects on advertising. She discusses research which shows that the mood induced by an emotional film may transfer over to interpretations of ads placed within the film itself. For example, feelings elicited by a family drama may lead to warm feelings towards a product advertised during the program. Advertisers recognized the power of contextual media placement long ago and regularly use it as a tool for selecting ad placement. The extraordinary fragmentation of both broadcast and print media over the past several decades has made contextual placement considerations a standard part of an effective media placement strategy. Many magazines produce special "advertorial" sections on a regular basis, capitalizing on the power of contextual placement. Other advertisers have brought their products to the silver screen via in-film product placement, hoping to align their brand with a particular star, activity sequence or film genre. Well, time to get a little more adventurous. I’m going to try to put forth my views through what somebody else already said. Can’t say I disagree with him. We have Mr. Sebastian Turner, CEO, Scholz & Friends AG arguing that the most successful campaigns are clearly more
  22. 22. creative than average campaigns. He however, puts it very diplomatically. This is what he had to say… Recall values in advertising are pretty down-to-earth. According to various estimates, 50 to 75% of all advertising makes no impact at all. However, these figures are challenged by a new study in which an amazing 87% of the commercials covered by the report achieved or even exceeded their targets. The advertisements in question? The 400 commercials which did best at creative competitions. So, can we conclude that creative advertisements always succeed? Big flops prove the contrary: lots of campaigns have been praised for their creativity while totally failing in the marketplace. On the other hand, the list of advertising campaigns that have succeeded despite their lack of creativity is pretty long, meaning that creativity does not necessarily affect the outcome of a campaign. So what does this tell us? Looking at the situation from the consumer's point of view provides some useful insights. Consumer interest in advertising is extremely low and continues to decrease. An international study of advertising recall values has shown that in 1960, 40% of commercial TV viewers could remember one specific spot, whereas today only 8% are able to do so. Even if consumers had nothing better to do than study advertising messages all day, they could not absorb, let alone retain, all the information that is imposed on them by ads. Of course, the number of ads has exploded over the past few years. How can an advertisement reach its target under such circumstances? One method might be to use a few TV commercials or print ads over a comparatively long period of time. They might thus gain high popularity, but not necessarily become widely accepted - or even create sympathy for a brand. At least one adverse side-effect is the tiring effect of new TV commercials on the target group, provided people are watching in the first place.
  23. 23. The advertising industry seems to be trapped in a vicious cycle: the more monotonous and bland TV commercials become, the less widely accepted they are. Alternatively, high-impact commercials have to be repeated more often in order to increase the pressure and get the desired attention - otherwise monotony sets in and interest levels fall. Consumer surveys show that the final result of these methods is the same: most consumers have had enough of advertising and try to avoid it. Yet if the majority of advertising is considered annoying by consumers, is it possible that 61 % of them would miss ads if they did not exist? This is the result of a survey conducted in Great Britain. However, as we all know, the British are famous for producing the most creative advertising in the world. Does this mean that the effectiveness of creative advertising varies from country to country? Interestingly enough, the German market provides a good indication. Two brands have achieved success as a result of the outstanding creative quality of their advertising over the past few years, namely Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Internal studies comparing advertising expenditure with recall values demonstrate this correlation. Both brands show a steep increase in popularity compared to the amount of budget spent. None of their numerous rival marques can demonstrate an equally favourable equation. And both brands offer - in addition to a precisely defined brand core - entertaining advertisements. A recent joint study by the German Society for Consumer Research and the Gesamtverbandes Werbeagenturen (German Association of Advertising Agencies) measured both advertising pressure - that's to say, the clients'budgets - and the quality of the advertising concerned. High quality ads were deemed to achieve "by far the best results" and led to the conclusion that "the most innovative rather than the biggest [spenders] will make it". A comparison between the two most important advertising competitions in Germany and Switzerland provides further insights. Every year, the Art Directors Club (ADC) rewards the most creative advertising campaign, as chosen by its jury. Only a very small percentage of all print, poster and commercials have a chance to win these awards. If creativity had only a little influence on the success of advertising, the ADC winners would make a negligible showing in competitions based on effectiveness. However, this is far from the case! In fact, of the campaigns that received Effie (advertising effectiveness) awards from Germany's advertising agencies association in the 1990s, a high percentage were also recognised by the ADC for their creative quality. Finally, practical experience supports the assumption that creative advertising sells better. An investigation of 480 more- than-usually effective campaigns from all over the world concludes that "the most successful campaigns are clearly more creative than average campaigns". The authors of the study are former Procter & Gamble marketing managers,
  24. 24. and thus above any suspicion of praising creativity for their own benefit. In fact, they are supported by the equally objective Nestle boss Helmut Maucher. who observes: "There are plenty of examples where, rather than an extremely high budget, the idea, the creativity and the intelligent positioning of an advertising campaign have guaranteed success." Extent of Impact Granted that creativity has an impact on consumers, but to what extent? It is extremely difficult to measure. But, here are some of the degrees of impact an advertisement has on consumers. Creating awareness: This would probably be the lowest degree of impact that an advertiser wishes to create. Creating awareness is the first objective of any marketing plan for a new product. This involves telling people that your company exists and that you make this kind of product. Creating a space: Somebody once said advertising is nothing but renting mind space. Here, however, it is creating a space. One must understand the difference between the two. In the former, the brand doesn’t stay in the mind for long; but in the latter, its remains there for a significant period of time. The brand name remains at the back of the head of the prospective consumer so that when he/she does need to buy that product in the near future, there is a good chance that he/she will consider this brand. First time purchase: This kind of advertising aims at trying to induce people to try the product at least once with the hope that the product will make repeat sales after it is sampled once. This kind of advertising is quite common in low involvement products and does not work well with high involvement products. However, it might influence people to spend money to buy a bad product. The only consolation here is that in these cases, the product doesn’t do well for long. "Contrary to what self-appointed protectors of the consumer so loudly proclaim, advertising does not cause people to buy bad products. Nothing will put a bad product out of business faster than a good advertising campaign. Advertising causes people to try a product once, but poor quality eliminates any possibility of a repeat purpose." - Morris Hite, quoted in Adman: Morris Hite's Methods for Winning the Ad Game, 1988, Dallas, TX: E-Heart Press, p. 101.
  25. 25. Walk in with service to back up: The impact of this kind of advertising aims at getting people to walk into the showroom. That’s all it wishes to achieve. Once the customer is in, it is up to the sales people to convert these prospective buyers into loyal customers. This happens when the company is very confident about the service it provides to buyers. Selling a concept: Advertising of this kind, tries to create an impact that will transform a consumer who already has faith in an existing concept, to a different concept altogether. For example, when Reva launched its electric car, it didn’t try to sell it as a car. It tried to sell the eco friendly, electric vehicle. It tried to get people to accept that the future was electric vehicles and not ones that ran on gas. So, in future if Reva decides to launch an electric bike, people have already accepted the electric concept, and that makes their promotional activities easier. Immediate action: This simply means that the impact should be that great, that the viewer should walk out of his house, walk into the store and buy the product, in spite of the existence of many other competing brands on the shelf. Difficult? Definitely; but is probably the highest degree of impact an advertisement can have on a rational prospective consumer. Life time customer: These kind of advertisements focus on existing customers for the purpose of building brand loyalty. Again, there are different degrees of brand loyalty.  A person buys a substitute if the brand in not on the shelf.  A person buys a substitute after trying for the brand in three or four retail outlets.  A person goes without the brand rather than settling for the substitute.
  26. 26. WOW FACTOR A wow factor in advertising is what I call, “something that elicits a WOW response from viewers”. What are those elements that make sure that a viewer sits back in amazement and says “WOW”. There’s no standard formula. It’s difficult to identify such elements that contribute to eliciting a wow response. It’s not very difficult to elicit a wow response however. All you have to do is give the viewers something they don’t expect. But there are certain factors that elicit a wow response. They are listed below. Build up: You start of with something really ordinary and then have a build up. Get the viewers interested. They should feel like waiting till the end to find out how it turns out. They should be motivated enough to watch the entire ad film. You should constantly get them to ask them selves ‘what next what next?’ Surprise element: Hit the viewer with something he doesn’t expect. All of a sudden. The more sudden and surprising it is, the higher will be the impact. Twist: Twist can be used interchangeably with surprise element but there is a thin line that can be drawn between them. When a person relates a story, the listener already starts predicting the plot. To take the story to a different, unexpected level or give it a drastic deviation is called a twist. A build up may not be mandatory when using a twist but is mandatory in case of surprise element. Humor: Unexpected humor works most of the time. Keeps the viewer entertained. I guess it’s only fair that the viewer is entertained because he’s paying a price for watching our ads. And that is his precious time.
  27. 27. You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and ask yourself certain questions when you are in the process of creating an ad that wishes to elicit a ‘wow’ response.  Would I like to see the ad again?  Would I remember it?  Have I seen anything like it before?  Would I rather see it than the program?  Would I talk about it to people?
  28. 28. DOODH DOODH – WONDERFUL: GLASSFUL REAL TASTE OF MILK This is one ad, I’ll remember for a long time, not because the ad was very ‘creative’ but because I had one look at the ad and just wanted to get myself a glass of milk right away. For me, milk was never on my list of preferences. I knew it tasted bad. But what surprised me most was that even after knowing that I hated milk, I actually wanted to drink it again, after looking at this ad. Most people who have seen this ad will understand what I’m talking about. Those who have not, will find it a little difficult to believe, and can only imagine how impactful this ad was. Background: One of the most successful and visible ‘beyond brand’ advertising campaigns in recent times has been the milk promotion campaign by NDDB. This case provides a glimpse of how it was developed and the impact it had on the perception and consumption of milk in the country. The Indian dairy scene has witnessed a magical transformation – from the time when we did not have enough milk for our own consumption to todays scenario when we a exporting milk products. The credit for this turnaround goes to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). Recently, India made history when it became the largest milk producer in the world. In spite of a long tradition of drinking milk, of late, this trend has been on the decline, especially amongst the urban youth who form a significant market for the product. Milk is being perceived by them as a ‘plain’, ‘boring’, drink or mistakenly among the health conscious, as ‘fattening’. This attitudinal block resulted in more milk being earmarked for the production of milk products or as an intermediary in tea or coffee, than for consumption as a drink. The economic ramifications of this trend are, needless to say, alarming for the farmers who needed incentives to produce higher quantities of milk. FCB-Ulka was entrusted with the task of changing urban attitudes towards milk and replace the ‘boring’ perception with the ‘cool’ one. In a path breaking campaign that had youngsters doing high fives and saying ‘yo’ to milk, and mothers making their kids drink to the ‘taste of life’, the agency created a legend that has set new standards in effective advertising while elevating the creative benchmark, several notches.
  29. 29. The Marketing Objective: It was decided to boost direct consumption of milk to motivate the farmer to produce more milk. Therefore, though no one needed to be educated about the benefits of milk, people were finding enough reasons not to consume milk directly. Agency and Client Brief:  The decline in milk consumption was greater among kids / teens. Milk took a backseat when compared to soft drinks.  Adults believed that milk was essential for growing children but not for them. Communication Task: In this context, the agency believed that educating the consumer about the benefits of milk would make it even more drab and boring. The communication task was therefore designed to change consumer attitudes towards milk, from being a ‘boring, conservative drink’, to a ‘youthful, exciting and nutritional energy drink’. This entailed the use of communication that would have the look and feel of a soft drink commercial, yet would be firmly rooted in the nutritional values of milk. Creative Strategy and Execution: The advertising task which sought to bring about a change in consumer attitudes was designed to depict milk as a modern and fashionable drink for today. Although the target group comprised people of all ages, the key target segment was defined as urban, trendsetters, in the age group of 8 to 25 years. The creative breakthrough was achieved when the writers hit upon a unique idea of using the Hindi word for milk, ‘doodh’ as a musical note. Thus was born the ‘doodh doodh’ tune, with ‘doodh’ playing the role of the ‘sa-re-ga-ma’ and reminding consumers of ‘milk’, in an interesting manner.
  30. 30. The final creative comprised a 60 second TV film executed with a modern and contemporary treatment, on the lines of a soft drink film. The film showed energetic people of all ages enjoying a glass of milk, with a jingle set to a lively reggae beat extolling the benefits of drinking milk. The jingle was composed with Hindi – English lyrics, to ride on the popularity of such film songs and music videos.
  31. 31. Media: Television was chosen as the primary medium because of its popularity and the fact that an audio visual medium lends itself to demonstration of ‘high energy’, ‘fun’ and ‘youthfulness’ more vividly. The strategy initially employed a concentrated burst simultaneously across all media to build up awareness as quickly as possible and used a mix of programmes skewed towards the 8-14 age group. The campaign ran for a period of 6 months, with a 40 second edit replacing the 60 second film after the first 3 months. The first round had a concentrated burst on the main channels i.e. DD1 and DD2 with spots at a fraction of the actual rates. For every paid spot there were four spots given as bonus to be aired on the same programme. This made the commercial highly visible both in terms of frequency as well as reach. The advertisement got visibility on Star Plus channel also.
  32. 32. Results: Any effort to bring about an attitudinal change takes time. A measure of effectiveness of the communication was that the TV commercial was voted by viewers in India’s number one satellite channel as one of the best commercials aired on television. The communication has definitely made the youngsters sing the ‘doodh doodh’ tune, in addition to the songs of the ‘colas’. Qualitative research threw up findings that revealed a tremendous popularity of the commercial across all age categories. Kids in the age group of 10 – 12 years were not very resistant in their attitudes towards drinking milk. Mothers took advantage of the popularity of the commercial among their children to make them consume milk. Lessons to be learnt:  Showcasing of the product effectively can be a big boost to sales. It makes the product more desirable.
  33. 33. AXE EFFECT Most of us have seen the Indian axe deodorant ads. What do they tell us? If I were to break up the message and put it in very simple terms, the ad would say, “use axe and become a chick magnet”. No doubt, this proposition has been used by hundreds of advertisers, but there’s something very different about the axe campaign. It’s quite obvious that we are not supposed to take this proposition very seriously. It’s almost as if axe itself is telling us “common, don’t take us seriously”. The main purpose of the proposition is to establish a brand personality. Here are some of the television commercials (storyboards) of this campaign.
  34. 34. We saw six storyboards. What do we notice? The ideas used here are not different. They have been flogged and flogged in the Indian advertising industry since time immemorial. So it becomes very predictable for the viewer. There is no freshness in these ads. Hence, it does not have that much of an impact. The next ad however, is slightly different. It has a story to it. An old story that we learnt in school has been adopted here. It’s a little more entertaining than the ones we saw above but still, is not very impactful. Reason? Probably because it gives the people what they already expect.
  35. 35. Those were TVCs. Now let’s take a look at a few print advertisements of Axe.
  36. 36. These print ads are very different. These ideas have not been used before and have a very fresh feel to it. So people tend to like these ads. And once a person likes the ad, he or she develops a favorable attitude towards the brand. How different were these ads from the TVCs we saw earlier. Well, the message is the same but the ideas were different. The print ads clearly being more clever than the TVCs. The print ads actually help create a favorable attitude towards the brand and that’s where the TVCs failed. So we conclude by saying that creative ads are more impactful than normal ads even if you are comparing two mediums (i.e. print and television in this case)?
  37. 37. Lessons to be learnt:  You can’t give the audience what they already expect. That only lessens the impact it will have on them.  There’s a misconception that television is more powerful that print media. What we learn from this case study is that by using different or creative ideas, the impact generated from print media can definitely be much more than the impact generated from television media.  Ads that are liked, create a favorable attitude towards the brand.
  38. 38. FROOTI (DIGEN VERMA) I was keen to take up this case study because there’s a lot to learn from this campaign. If I were to choose 1 ad that was very high on impact, I would probably choose this ad. When this ad was aired on TV, sure the product, “Frooti” was there. It made its presence felt. But, more importantly, people wanted to know, who this Digen Verma was, and why and how was he associated with Frooti. It created a sense of curiosity among people. They were looking forward to the next ad that would probably reveal the full story. But unfortunately that never happened. But nonetheless, this Frooti ad was a classic. Interview with Milind Dhaimade, Executive Creative Director, Everest Brand Solutions. Courtesy - Q. How would you describe the years after the Digen Verma fiasco? Do you perceive the badge of the creator of Digen Verma as a burden or, have you rationalised its outcome in some other terms? A. I have forgotten Digen Verma. In the creative business, you are as good as your last work. Digen happened a long time ago and now I want to move on. I do not want to live the next 15 years of my life thinking that I have only done Digen Verma. I want something greater than that in my life. Having said that, what is great about Digen Verma is that even the non-advertising fraternity knows and talks about Digen Verma. That recognition is something more than the appreciation I get from clients and advertising professionals. Q. Did you actually expect Digen Verma to assume iconic stature?
  39. 39. A. I expected more from Digen Verma. Digen Verma is a classic case of the creative and the client not having the same perspective. My biggest learning from Digen Verma has been that when there is a big idea, it is very important to explain to the client about the kind of commitment required of him to carry the idea forward. A lot of clients like a big idea but they do not have the stamina to take it through. And that is exactly what happened with Digen Verma. Frooti was looking at a way of improving its sales dramatically since it was de-growing by 6-8 per cent. When we came up with Digen Verma, we clearly told the client that Digen Verma was not going to be a short burst of advertising but a sustained affair that would continue for three years. I had told the client exactly what would happen from year one to year three. But mid-way, things took a different turn... Q. Tell us, was there ever to be a real Digen Verma at all? People had become very curious, but Digen Verma was never in sight... A. There was never to be a real Digen Verma, but always a fictitious character. The plan was: Once people realised that Digen Verma was a fictitious character, the next stage was to show how Digen Verma and Frooti were to play a part in the lives of people. We had some very interesting plans. Well, all I can say is that, Digen Verma could have been a fantastic brand campaign; a big idea that got nipped in the bud. Q. Big ideas are becoming a rarity, isn’t it? A. Yes they are. The reason why big ideas are becoming a rarity is because many clients do not have the stamina and the patience to see the idea blossom. These days, marketing managers do not have the requisite patience. Many years ago, I was told by a senior advertising professional that it was only when the client and the agency become sick of an ad that people start noticing it. The sad part is the new breed of marketing managers just does not have that passion for brands any more. They are not keen on creating and building brands. They are only keen on scaling the corporate ladder in double- quick time. With a couple of years of experience on their side, they are ready to move on. Today’s marketing managers are like young advertising professionals. We call these trainees, trainee creative directors. Nobody wants to learn, but all of them want to be creative directors tomorrow. There are just a handful of clients who are really serious about brands.
  40. 40. "Digen Verma is a classic case of the creative and the client not having the same perspective."
  41. 41. Digen Verma still remains in the minds of people. Unfortunately we will never get to see what ‘interesting plans’ Milind Dhaimade had for Frooti. Lessons to be learnt:  Keeping the audience guessing is a good way to trigger off the viral effect of word of mouth.  Some really creative campaigns need time and patience to blossom. What we saw in this case study was that the agency had kept 3 years aside for a long but probably effective campaign. But the client was not ready to wait for 3 years to see results.  Don’t ignore ‘brand building’ campaigns for want of a sudden surge in sales.
  42. 42. SAINT GOBAIN The message of Saint Gobain ads, is nothing but “clear glass”. This ad has a bit of a WOW factor. People haven’t seen anything like it before. It makes people want to see the end. The commercial opens with a man holding a tray in a large hall, taking deep breadths and blowing sharply. Now that itself catches the attention of people. They start wondering as to what he is doing. To find out, they decide to watch the entire commercial. And it doesn’t disappoint them either.
  43. 43. Lessons to be learnt:  Unusual behavior shown in the ad is motivation enough for people to watch the entire commercial.  Presence of a Wow factor creates a favorable attitude towards the brand.
  44. 44. SAVE WATER This is a social ad done by Percept. It literally says “save water, save life”. The message is crystal clear. Clearly, this is one print ad that has a Wow factor. The idea is fantastic. The visual is good enough to match the idea. It’s obvious that a lot of importance was given to aesthetics. Lessons to be learnt:  A good-looking ad with importance given to aesthetics, increases the extent of impact it can have on the audience. But it does not guarantee fulfillment of its objective. But neither do 80% of ads so that’s excusable.
  45. 45. DUREX
  46. 46. Durex has reached a stage where it does not have to tell people that it sells condoms. People already know that. This ad is humorous and has a tendency to remain the minds of viewers, simply because it is witty and simple at the same time. This ad just has one proposition. And that is ‘it’s reliable’. Again, it has a Wow factor. Lessons to be learnt:  Sometimes, a fresh idea is all that it takes to stand out from the rest. When every other condom ad shows sex scenes, what’s the point in joining the bandwagon?
  47. 47. VOLKSWAGEN To get a clear understanding of this case, an insight into the elaboration likelihood model is necessary. Elaboration Likelihood Model Central and Peripheral Processing By Nathan Briggs Central and peripheral processing both relate to persuasion. They are important to marketers, because we need to understand how consumers process the information in our message. It is also important for us to understand which form of processing we should use in certain situations. Understanding processing methods will lead to a better understanding of consumer behavior. Central and Peripheral processing are parts of the Elaboration Likelihood Model. This model deals with attitudes people have toward themselves, others, objects, and issues. Creating new attitudes, changing negative attitudes, and/or reinforcing positive attitudes are a big part of what marketers do. Strongly held attitudes are much more difficult to change than weaker attitudes. "To determine which approach is appropriate, you need to assess the ability, motivation, and opportunity of an audience to "elaborate" (think about) on what it hears" (Hofacker, 1999). The Elaboration Likelihood Model takes a closer look at which types of messages are appropriate for different situations. First of all, a message has to be of interest to an individual in order for him to elaborate on it. Individuals must have the opportunity to take the message in, the ability to process the information, and they must be motivated to take the message in (Stiff, 1994). The two ways individuals elaborate are through either central or peripheral processing. The simplest for me to describe these processes is by using arrows. Think of central processing as the straight arrow, taking the direct route. Central processing involves things like factual information that consumers actually have to spend some time processing and evaluating. Central processing is much more involved that peripheral. It involves more cognitive thought (hence the straight arrow). An instance where you probably used central processing was when you were deciding on which college to attend. I seriously doubt that you just decided to come to Western out of the blue. More than likely you gathered all kinds of information about a variety of schools through a variety of sources and you cognitively came up with Western as your final choice. Peripheral processing takes more of an outside route and sort of goes around cognitive thought: It is more appropriate in low involvement situations not involving much thought. It is more of an
  48. 48. unconscious process going "around" one's senses. This is the "easy way" to think about things. It allows you to make a quick decision. Perhaps after you got to Western you and your friends were sitting around talking about ordering pizza. It is highly doubtful that you gathered a bunch of information about the different pizza places in town. You probably just came to a general consensus with your friends and picked a place without too much thought. This would be an example of peripheral processing in making a decision. An important consequence should be noted about using these different models. Attitude change is more permanent through the central route rather than the peripheral route (Petty and Cacioppo, 1981). This does not mean that all messages should be done through a central route. Different routes are appropriate for different situations, which will be discussed later on. Both of these processes make up the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), which was introduced by Richard Petty and John Cacioppo in 1981 and refined in 1986. The ELM is a theory in attitude change that "provides a fairly comprehensive framework for organizing, categorizing, and understanding the basic processes underlying the effectiveness of persuasive communications" (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986). Basic ideas of the Elaboration Likelihood Model  There are two routes to persuasion, central, and peripheral: Central Peripheral Message content is elaborated Non-content aspects are more important Attitudes more durable Attitudes more easily changed  The choice of route depends on three groups of factors: Factors Time and resources Motivation and ability Individual differences in need for cognition Route chosen when Route chosen when High Low Central Peripheral Central Peripheral Central Peripheral
  49. 49. The visual in the print ad is fantastic. Idea is good. But, this ad, is not inclined too much towards the central processing route. And we know for a fact that an automobile is a high involvement product. Still, the ad makes an impact. ‘Why?’ You may ask. Well, firstly there’s an exception to every rule. And secondly and most importantly, Volkswagen as a brand has already been established in the market. People already know what it stands for. Reliability. Its position is already cemented. There’s no point in telling people what they already know. Maruti Udyog, a leading car manufacturer in India, speaks about its service stations, because people already know about their cars. Lessons to be learnt:  You don’t need to tell people what they already know. Unless of course you want to throw away money.  It makes your job easier if customer trust is already gained.
  50. 50. After speaking to countless advertising people on this subject, I’ve learnt is that there is no one definition of creativity. Everyone perceives it differently. The standard definition of creativity is still unwritten and probably will be unwritten for many years to come. A lot of people however feel that creativity is something original, innovative, fresh and something that is capable of attracting attention. Practical experience supports the assumption that creative advertising sells better. An investigation of 480 more- than-usually effective campaigns from all over the world concludes that "the most successful campaigns are clearly more creative than average campaigns". The authors of the study are former Procter & Gamble marketing managers, and thus above any suspicion of praising creativity for their own benefit. In fact, they are supported by the equally objective Nestle boss Helmut Maucher who observes: "There are plenty of examples where, rather than an extremely high budget, the idea, the creativity and the intelligent positioning of an advertising campaign have guaranteed success. Hence, It’s safe to say that creativity and impact are positively correlated. It’s difficult to pin point those factors that would elicit a ‘wow’ response from the audience. There’s no standard formula. I’ve made an attempt to identify such factors and have listed them in Chapter 4 – Wow Factor. Some of these factors may not even work at times. It simply depends on the situation, product category, target audience etc. A wow factor definitely has an impact on the audience. The only difficult thing to conclude here is, ‘to what extent?’ A good-looking ad with importance given to aesthetics increases the extent of impact it can have on the audience. Presence of a Wow factor creates a favorable attitude towards the brand. Keeping the audience guessing is a good way to trigger off the viral effect of word of mouth. It ends up giving you more mileage than spends on media. Giving the audience what they already expect only lessens the impact it will have on them. There’s a misconception that television is more powerful that print media. What we learn from this case study is that by using different or creative ideas, the impact generated from print media can definitely be much more than the impact generated from television media. Ads that are liked create a favorable attitude towards the brand.
  51. 51. Showcasing of the product effectively can be a big boost to sales. It makes the product more desirable.
  52. 52. There are two ways to get noticed. One is by being brilliant. The other is by being different. Being brilliant is not everyone’s cuppa tea. That’s why we try to be different. Some of us even go to the extent of calling that creativity. If you ask me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
  53. 53. Books Ogilvy on Advertising – David Ogilvy Book of Case Studies – FCB Ulka Lateral Thinking – Edward de Bono Advertising Principles and Practice – Wells, Burnett and Moriarty World Wide Web - Images