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“If you want advtg to work, you need to understand the high points in the advert”

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Nilanjan Mukherjee, Head - Marketing, Personal Care, ITC

Nilanjan Mukherjee, Head – Marketing, Personal Care, ITC

With rising media costs, every brand wants to communicate effectively to the target audience. They want to concentrate on sharper messaging to reduce the impact of the rising costs. But the intriguing question is how to afford a 30-second commercial amidst increasing costs.

Nilanjan Mukherjee, Head – Marketing, Personal Care, ITC, believes that marketing is common sense and there is no science behind it. The function of marketing or creating brands is transformational to business development. “If a brand gets its bearings right or the consumer understanding in place then the consumers will automatically ask for the product in the store at a price that you want them to pay,” Mukherjee said.

“I don’t see costs going down. The proliferation of media in terms of what you want to do makes the job even tougher. So the big question is can the message be delivered in half the time? Can we cut through the clutter?” he added.

According to him, Indians are socially trained to respond positively. The consumers don’t articulate what they feel. He said, “If you want advertising to work you need to understand the high points in the advert. Effective communication captures key messages and when you capture key messages then you can actually compress advertising to make it shorter and yet much more effective.”He stated that advertising should be able to attract attention, create branded memorability and be comprehensive.

Mukherjee elaborated on the neuro focus tool to understand the consumers better. He said, “We play our ads along with the other ads in front of a consumer without asking any questions. There is a cap put on the consumer’s mind and it is wired to record the brain pulse as the ad is played. We also track the consumer’s pupil as it dilates. It is a full-proof way of gathering information about the advertisement.” This tool captures attention, the high points of emotional engagement and the pulses which trigger memory retention.

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He explained the various metrics of advertising effectiveness. According to him, something which has emotional engagement and stays in the memory of the consumer will drive action intent. When it’s a large brand that wants to do something new then there should be a mix of attention and memory activation leading to novelty whereas comprehension comes from the blend of attention and emotional engagement.

He presented the case study of Engage in the highly cluttered deo market which is growing rapidly. Every brand in this category rides on a one-way streak that is unabashed attraction. Engage has created a space of playful chemistry and equality between a man and woman rather than others in the category where gorgeous women are portrayed tickling male instincts. There is a lot of equality in the relationship. He explained about the attention peaks for men and women and the high points of engagement for emotionally engaging scenes from a woman and man’s perspective. The music of the ad became very popular and it played a key role in branded memorability.

He pointed out an interesting thing that the shorter edit of the ad almost had the same impact but the investments were reduced by almost 50%. It created the same spontaneous awareness and strong registration.

Rajiv Dhingra, CEO, WATConsult discussed about the most effective medium for engagement in the category. Mukherjee pointed out that outdoor creates a great impact. There has also been spurts of spontaneous awareness with the mix of outdoor and television. He stated that TV, outdoor and in-store is very important. In-store makes a big difference in the moment of truth for the consumer.

Mukherjee also explained that a brand can be built with the 10-sec ad also just like Flipkart. However, brands can start with a long commercial and make the high point live in shorter edits. According to him, marketers should talk to as many consumers as it can and visit the market as much as they can because retailers are a great source of learning.

Nilanjan Mukherjee and Rajiv Dhingra were sharing their views at the Pitch CMO Summit 2014 in Delhi on March 27.

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