There’s no doubt that 2020 has been all about being on ‘stay-at-home’ mode. But now, as India starts to gradually unlock itself, a number of brands are infusing their new ad films with positive messages of restarting lives and stepping out of homes, even as the dark clouds of Covid-19 continue to hover around.
Be it a soap/personal care brand, a top coffee company, an industrial/automotive lubricant firm, a famous bank, a toothpaste brand, or an e-cycle firm, a number of companies — through their ad campaigns — are instilling a sense of positivity and normalcy and resilience.
“This [Covid-19] is a very new — as well as constantly evolving — situation. And we all are finding ways to go about it in an effective manner. The same goes for ad creators, too, who are infusing various kinds of [pandemic-related] messaging — be it cleanliness or restarting life in a safe manner,” says senior ad filmmaker and Bollywood director, Pradeep Sarkar.
Experts feel such ads “also give one a head start of sorts” because people from across the world are experiencing the ongoing Covid-19 situation themselves, and that’s why the “relatability factor and connect” can be very “high as well as instant”.
“I would call it the need of the hour. At the start of lockdown, the wheels of economy were totally jammed, but now, with the wheels slowly starting to move, such campaigns give people a sense of resilience and positivity,” says film exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.
Probably that’s why, the new ad films focus on a variety of ‘normal’ things such as travelling, cycling, going for a jog, having meals at restaurants and catching up with friends etc., but all while following social distancing protocols. Ad world analysts feel that since consumers are the “most important cog in the wheels of economy”, there’s a need to get them out of the “feeling of gloom and pessimism”.
Prasoon Joshi, CEO and chief creative officer of McCann India (the agency that has created the coffee brand ad) feels that “at a time when India is restarting after a prolonged crisis”, the coffee firm — through their new ad campaign — “speaks of the spirit of purposiveness and resilience”.
At the same time, industry insiders feel the correct messaging has to capture the essence of “letting go of coronavirus paranoia” and “restart life, with all the precautions in place”.
But therein lies a catch, says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar. “Such ads surely bring in a sense of positivity. But at this point, any kind of messaging must not give people any kind of false hope that things will soon be the way they were during pre-Covid-19 era. Instead, the brands should focus on driving the message home that we all have to be ready for a ‘new normal’, which also includes social distancing, wearing masks and maintaining hygiene,” he concludes.