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Social responsibility: Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the ad industry?

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By Rituparna Chakrobarty

A unique trend has slowly emerged over the past few years that is creating waves in the advertising world. The 30 seconds advertisements not only give you a break from the nail cutting scene while endorsing their products but also disseminate a strong social message to the society and its people.

Times are changing

In earlier days the responsibility of creating awareness among people was confined to the Government only. But overtime, this tendency has changed. The private advertising agencies are coming forward and trying to share this responsibility along with the Government.

In the world of globalization, the advertising standards have been changing. With a little humor, the ads connect with the life of the viewer and try to arouse various feelings.

But why should brands choose to include social messages in their advertisements rather than just resort to sensationalism or an appeal to the baser human instincts?

So why do they do it?

The success of Tata Tea group’s “Jaago Re..” has shown the advertisers the power of social messages in ads. Campaigns presently followed by Parle, the Litter campaign and Amul’s butter campaign on World Cup series of 2015 are a proof that including something moral or social can increase the efficacy of ads.

Firstly, such campaigns help the brands come across as a socially responsible and mature. It helps them to prove that they are not merely making profits by selling their products to the consumers.

Secondly, it helps in creating a long lasting impression in the minds of the consumer. The consumers get emotionally attached to the advertisements.

Advertising beyond products

Tata Tea Group (Jaago Re..)

These ads tackle the most crucial and sensitive nerve of the society which we face in our everyday life like corruption, unqualified leaders, disobeying  the rules and regulations and common man’s ignorance to cast the vote. They talk about everyday issues and present them in a clear way.

Parle litter campaign

The commercial was set up to encourage the viewer to use dustbins at public places. Parle also participated in the Swachh Bharat initiative taken by PM Narendra Modi. This ad tells the personified dustbins that ask the people to use them.

 Amul World Cup fever

Utterly-butterly delicious Amul butter has been in the market for more than 50 years and has changed the perception about advertisements. Their recent ad campaign regarding India’s performance in the International Cricket World cup since 1975 till 2015, shows a number of eminent Indian cricket players during various breadth taking matches of the past.

Perhaps the advertisements with something relevant to say have a wider reach and people get easily convinced by them. They portray the brand as something more than just a money minting enterprise but as a socially responsible entity which serves a greater good.

Next Story

PM Narendra Modi Engages with Celebrities to Boost Visibility

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote

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India, elections, vietnam, BJP
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged with celebrities across different fields effectively on social media in the run-up to the 2014 general elections to raise his visibility and further his electoral ambitions, as per a US study.

Joyojeet Pal, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, examined more than 9,000 tweets from @narendramodi between February 2009 and October 2015 to research Modi’s engagement with Indian public figures before and after elections.

As per the study, ‘Brand Modi: Decoding social media engagement with celebrities’, there were three distinct phases of engagement that happened in the six years for which he studied Modi’s tweets.

It was noticed in the first phase, Modi reached out to Amitabh Bachchan, businessman Narayana Murthy, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “By engaging with them, he presented the idea that people outside his core support group and with broad followings were willing to engage with him,” Pal said.

Around 2013, his approach moved to getting support for his campaign by referring to various celebrities in his tweets, posing with them, and in some cases, getting their outright endorsement for the campaign. During this phase, celebrity engagement was mainly through pictures showing affiliation.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

The efforts rounded off post-election when Modi called on celebrities primarily as champions for his initiatives.

According to Pal, this was the phase when Modi presented his initiatives as campaigns with national appeal rather than something imposed on the country.

This, Pal said, was particularly seen with Swachh Bharat, a national movement to clean up India’s roads and infrastructure, and, subsequently, with demonetisation. Celebrity engagement at these points presents the views of a collaborative, thoughtful leader.

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Number of Modi’s Twitter followers stands at 46.6 million, and he continues to engage with celebrities.

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote. (IANS)