Monday, January 9, 2012

Public Opinion

The world around us is replete with exciting new opportunities, new avenues round every corner, and new insight waiting to be discovered, chiseled to perfection and presented in a unique way. That is how the world of branding has evolved and is still waiting to be explored further. 

What is most interesting about this field is that almost everyone has some kind of knowledge and opinion about it. Even though over the years marketers have developed the mindset that customers are largely indifferent to the deluge of communication they experience around them, it is a fact that people are still interested in finding out the latest offerings, the most recent trends, and products and services which will make their lives more convenient and simple, if not better.

I have seen how people have an almost immediate reaction to any new piece of communication hurled their way by a multinational company. Case in point are some of the latest advertising campaigns being aired on TV. The Cadbury Perk commercial caught most people in a state of shock as they struggled to make sense of the idea and grasp the connections and associations it seeks to develop. Housewives were vocal in their distaste for the girl-turned-gorilla who growls in a fancy drawing room where the overly generous matchmaker and rishtay walay await her. On the other hand some other people state that it uses humor effectively and is very memorable do due to the fact that it breaks through the clutter and draws attention to itself. It has even introduced the element of curiosity where consumers are discussing and analyzing what the gorilla signifies. 
Another piece of communication gathering viewpoints these days is the Faysal Bank commercial, but that deserves its own blog post.

While you may say that these kind of commercials draw attention due to their being different from the others,  the fact is that this is true even for mundane commercials like the ones for Ariel which have used comparative advertising exhaustively and whose supervisor's wives fail to make any connection with the target audience.
Housewives can still recall the ad clearly, have a verbose opinion about it and  might even buy the product due to the brand awareness and past experiences.

I feel that most consumers feel the need to stay abreast with the latest happenings and want to be seen using the latest and 'best' products adorning supermarket shelves. The choices they make about products of everyday use are meant as an expression of their refinement and sophistication. Commercials highlighting new products are therefore of special interest as they fulfill an informative role. Further, people simply Love to voice their opinions, and enlighten others with their knowledge. Due to the vast proliferation of media and the high level of involvement with it, the latest commercial is also a point of discussion, debate and deprecating  humor.

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