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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.

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