Wednesday, 30 May 2012

9 Es of Advertising

Ernest Vincent Wright might have written the novel Gadsby: A Story of Over 50,000 words without Using the Letter “E”, but it is not possible to advertise without considering the Es. Having worked and being heavily involved in the advertising industry, I could not keep myself mum when I went through an article in an Indian magazine 4P which dealt with 5 Es of Advertising (Engage, Empower, Educate, Entertain and Enrich). I have added few more Es to the list and poured in my views on each of the Es. I hope you would find them interesting.

If you have experienced more Es in advertising, you are welcome to add to the list. Here goes my list of Es.

Engaging with the consumers should be the prime focus of the advertisement. If you don’t engage with your prospective and current consumers, then you are losing their insights, suggestions, inputs and feedback to you and your product.

You must have seen the message in the bottles and packs of consumer items with the toll-free number and email ID for consumer feedback and suggestions. It was the only way to interact in the past with the consumers.

Now you have got Facebook – create a fan page of the product and interact with your consumers. A Twitter account will help you get your message regarding the product to your consumers who follow you and your product. The Pinterest boards are also gaining popularity where you can display your products and their attributes.

However, just being in the social media platform is not enough, make sure that you are there to interact with the consumers, reply to their queries in real time.

There’s more than engaging with the consumers. Educate them, but make sure not to be a teacher. A blog about the product, its features, and its benefits will attract more of your consumers to your product, provided you are offering what you are preaching.

If you are launching your product that is ahead of time, you need to make sure that the consumers are educated about the product. It’s a must. I remember eating dumplings in a Delhi restaurant “Belle Momos” a long time ago. At that time, the proper Delhites were not used to eating dumplings. So, to educate them they had hung framed advertisements teaching “how to eat momos”. It was hilarious for dumpling fans like me but was an eye opener for the starters.

Make the consumers feel that they have a stake in their favourite product. Listen carefully to what they say, what they suggest and don’t even leave behind any crazy suggestion that comes your way. Some of them might lead you and your product to innovation which your competitors might not even think of.

Many fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) are coming up with innovative advertising campaigns empowering their consumers, in the process building brand loyalty. Earlier this was restricted to the FMCGs asking for recipes from the consumers and putting the snaps of consumers on the packages (Remember the Kurkure and Maggi campaigns?).

Now crowdsourcing has gained momentum, not only in raising money and for a cause, but also for collecting individual opinions and advices on a subject. Summarising the opinions and views and picking up the best can lead to innovative ideas to reckon with.

The Times of India’s Lead India campaign was highly successful in motivating the youth to becoming leaders to change the fate of the country.

Enrich the customer experience. Make them walk along with you while you are advertising and building the brand. It all depends on how you communicate the experience behind the product you are offering.

There’s a famous Nepali bottled water brand “Aqua Hundred”. In its advertisements it asks the customers to visit the factory premises and observe how the water is purified. This gives not only a sense of security to the consumers but eager ones can see on their own how the water is made safe for drinking.

Make your advertisement interesting and make sure it entertains the audience. P S Mann, the Creative Director at RR Swamy BBDO in an interview to 4P says, “If an advertisement is just an advertisement, the consumer will develop a defence mechanism and not watch it.” “So it’s extremely important to deliver entertainment. Engagement comes from entertainment and from entertainment comes attention.”

To entertain the consumers you should create advertisements which are original, interesting, creative and of course entertaining. Just have a look at the Fevicol advertisements created by Piyush Pandey and you will get an idea of what entertaining is.

Evolve with time. Change is the name of the game. Be aware of the ambience and what your competitors are doing and offering. You must be able to change yourself accordingly. Creating an advertisement with old setting won’t work (It might work sometimes but only for a short duration).

Use the modern techniques, tools and medium to reach the audience. Rise above the above the line and below the line advertising. Target cloud advertising – get online and attract the online customers.

Have you ever wondered why the guy in the television advertisement resembles you? Because the advertisers are targeting the customers like you! Study the demographics, psychographics and lifestyle of your target audience and create your advertisements according to their tastes, interests and aspirations. They will like your product if a character of their class is shown preaching about the product.

Evaluate your efforts and redo the campaigns and advertisements to suit the customer preferences. Do the cost-benefit analysis and pour in more money sensibly if your efforts are not generating customers.

There is no dearth of crazy people with ideas these days. With decent spend you can get a good team of creative people who can come up with compelling campaigns.

Last but not the least, don’t leave any stones unturned to entice your customers. This doesn’t mean that you should splash skin all the time like all the deodorants do. Sex obviously sells but it should not be made the main means to attract the customers all the time.

Leave no stone unturned to entice your customers.
You must have heard that a poor guy sued the deodorant “Axe” after he wasn’t able to attract any girl after spraying it all over himself. However, the help of sensuousness can be taken to advertise your product like the “Aamsutra” campaign which shows a Bollywood actress (Katrina Kaif) devouring a mango enticingly while advertising a mango drink Slice.

Now it’s your turn to add to the list of Es!

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