Come Diwali and brands pull out all stops to appeal to the generous Indian willing to loosen his purse strings for the festive season. Right from chocolates to cement to home-cleaning services, businesses have a field day during the 3 day Indian festival extravaganza, and naturally advertisements start rolling in to capture the sentiment and plug their wares with a myriad ‘Diwali Dhamaka’ offers.
However, of late, there’s a been marked change in the way companies have been looking at their Diwali communications and advertising. From blatantly selling products and services and highlighting the “gifting” aspect of Diwali, companies have been increasingly looking to strike a chord with the conscience of the Indian consumer. To this end, many brands have done ads that focus on a social aspect tied with Diwali.
Whether it’s about invoking people to spare a thought for the 4-legged friend and avoid bursting crackers, or emphasizing the importance of family time, or even showcasing a beautiful cross-religion relationship, brands are now advertising a message, and the product just happens to be incidental.
Call it conscientious advertising by influential brands, or a genius marketing approach, it’s worthwhile to bring out a few examples of this change.
1. Big Bazaar has a fresh take on Patakhe in this ad, which encourages kids to look at alternate ways of bursting ‘crackers’ this Diwali.
2. This Reliance Fresh ad has been winning hearts of the animal lovers who’re aggrieved by the agony their pets and other animals go through due to the fire crackers on Diwali.
3. This TVC by Britannia Good Day touches upon secularism and how. While nothing against crackers here, a Hindu and a Muslim boy are celebrating Diwali together, reinstating that Diwali is a festival for everyone, irrespective of religion.
4. This ad by Travelyaari not only underscores the emotional pull of going home on Diwali, but also subtly includes the message that it’s possible to have fun “without fire crackers”
5. And then on the other hand, this ad appeals to those unfortunate ones who’ll be working or spending Diwali away from home but can still recreate the festivities with the help with of technology, with Vodafone sweetening the deal with free mobile data.
6. This TVC by online furniture seller Pepperfry invokes the audience to change their approach, showcasing the relationship between an old couple, and a young busy neighbour, who finally makes the time to stop by and chat with the old lady.
7. While not exactly fighting a social evil, this Tanishq ad is rather difficult to miss. To see Deepika Padukone looking ravishingly beautiful and doing normal, everyday people-like things on Diwali- cleaning, cooking, decorating the house- with her real life family does well to emphasize on the importance of staying real and continuing traditions, whoever you may be.
8. Videocon has a refreshing take on the word “Bomb” with this ad that brings up one of India’s biggest issues – Eve teasing – under the campaign titled “Break the silence and #ExplodeWhenNeeded.”
9. Lufthansa tugs at your nostalgic heartstrings with the oft-repeated plug of parents missing their NRI children with this emotiona ad. Bonus points for the lyrical voiceover.
An interesting thing to note is that one of the most prominent brands at the forefront of Diwali advertising – Cadbury’s – has been missing in action this Diwali. Looks like they know, it’s going to be a sweet one anyway.