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CHARTING THE BEST MARKETING INITIATIVES OF 2018

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For decades now, marketing initiatives have captured the imagination of people across the world. Consumers look at good marketing campaigns with admiration and awe and discuss their sartorial choices and lifestyles animatedly every time they come up for discussion.

For decades now, marketing initiatives have captured the imagination of people across the world. Consumers look at good marketing campaigns with admiration and awe and discuss their sartorial choices and lifestyles animatedly every time they come up for discussion.

One of the most crucial aspects of any effective marketing strategy is its ability to reach the target audience. However, this is often easier said than done. Even experienced marketers make the mistake of not identifying who their audience is before they release an ad or start a campaign, which can significantly lower the return on
investment (ROI) of any marketing channel.

Thus, the foundation of a successful marketing strategy is marketing research. The Indian marketing industry has evolved from being a small-scale business to a full-fledged sector.

Throughout the years, there have been several moments when a brand has successfully captured the hearts and minds of consumers worldwide with a smart campaign or a significant initiative. Tracking down the last year, some product brands did their due diligence on social media by birthing an identity that today needs no introduction as reported. Nowadays, you can’t enter the fall without hearing, seeing, and definitely PSL in some form or another.

With a strong backing coming from the Government of India, the advertising and marketing industry expenditure
is likely to increase in the financial sector, driven by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policies which could result in a more favorable business environment. Also, proposed licenses for new banks and better market sentiments render
the advertising and marketing industry in India a fertile space.

As an observed fact, everybody knows that millennials glued to their smartphones couldn’t care less about your direct response marketing efforts, right? It will not be correct to say that all millennials prefer mail over digital because that would be another broad generalization– but we do know that a significant majority of them (77%, to be exact) pay attention to direct mail advertising. And the biggest surprise may be that millennials’ affinity for mail, in
general, surpasses that of other generations. They are more likely to scan their mail and more likely to take time to read it and to show it to others.

As brands seek to create campaigns for the digital marketing platforms that wow and turn heads, it is with a view
of building a brand moment that stands out and turns out to be the single biggest achievement that a company can reach for. When the brand hits the mark with its customers with a creative campaign strategy, the marketers feel the love from the consumer, and the results can be astounding.

Below, PITCH Editorial Team weigh in on the best brand moments of 2018 and what exactly made them notable.
Here is what they had to say:

A lot of known brands in the country launched their marketing campaigns to either focus on their new products or for a healthy brand building practice. A brand as old and as known as Britannia, launched a truly multimedia campaign marking its centenary year with an aim to connect with the very heterogeneous set of audiences that its brands cater to.

The marketing campaign consisted of 10 film TVC series, a long format film for digital and social media, print, Radio and OOH which helped the brand avail opportunities to capitalize on.

TV CAMPAIGN

Britannia being a household brand, highlighting 100 years through a strong marketing campaign quickly became its
need. Picking up the simplicity of a commonly used phase Tu sau saal jiyega’ (You are going to live to 100 years!), the
campaign aimed at thanking a heterogeneous country like India with a concept based on the thought that when you think of someone/something and if it arrives, the instant reaction you have is ‘Tu sau saal jiyega’.

With short stories catering to the day to day working of any household, Britannia depicted how it has become a prominent name in the market. Each clip takes a simple situation and highlights the bond between a customer and the product. The campaign also builds the symphony of Britannia through its diverse product range and the various roles that the brand plays in its consumers’ lives.

Speaking about the TV Campaign Ali Harris Shere, VP Marketing said “Being part of every Indian household is an honor and this multimedia campaign illustrates our gratitude to the millions of Indians who wake up every day to dip a Britannia biscuit into their chai, and reach out for our products through various parts of the day. The 100-year campaign is our way of acknowledging the secret ingredient of our success – our consumers.”

Speaking about the campaign, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer at Lowe Lintas Arun Iyer, said “The brief was to thank the entire country with a simple idea that would seem relatable no matter where you are from. All 10 films are slices of life that have been picked from Britannia’s world. The challenge was to tell a brand’s story of completing
100 years and finding powerful emotions to connect with the consumers. But given how long Britannia has been a part of our lives, we found so many heartfelt moments to tell the story of a brand that has turned 100 because it’s always been there for its consumers. And the huge range of products that Britannia has given us the room to tell
stories across all age groups to make sure that campaign would resonate strongly with everyone.”

DIGITAL NATIVES

The brand kept the old-world charm alive adding flavors of the past, present and future through their digital film. They tried capturing a mélange of occasions across the century where one of their products has been integral to friendships, celebrations and togetherness. From sharing biscuits in the classroom and cheering for a World Cup win to connecting in the selfie era and looking 10 years into the future, the film pays a warm tribute to the journey thus far and looks ahead.

Speaking about the digital film Ali Harris Shere, VP Marketing said, “We wanted to create a film that would evoke strong emotion around the bonds of friendship and how these relationships evolve just as India is evolving. You see this through the parent, child relationships where we showcase how the current generation has a relationship that is a bit more playful and friend-like than previous generations.

The film seeks to illustrate how Britannia has, is and will be part of all friendships, whether starting at school or looking into the future where we are sharing snacks with our robot pals.”

“Friendship seemed like a theme worthy of a hundred years and Britannia’s role in fueling those precious moments was a great story to tell. We travelled through time in the film, with the set design and camera movement designed to feel like the viewer was journeying through 100 years, revisiting one iconic friendship moment from each decade, until friendship comes back full circle with an interesting futuristic twist. From the parapet wall that fostered close friendships to the social wall that multiplied them, to walls breaking down at home, along with barriers, to make friends or family, this film is an endearing and insightful commentary on friendship even as it’s a journey through its
timeline.” said Priya Shivakumar, Creative Head, JWT Bangalore.

NEW BRAND IDENTITY

Elaborating on the new logo identity of Britannia, Ali Harris Shere, VP Marketing said “We have a 100 year heritage and wanted to be sure that we continued to reach every Indian household – to bring in a newness yet remain uniquely Britannia. We undertook extensive research to help us unlock how consumers viewed Britannia and found that consumers place our brand right in the middle of excitement and goodness. This helped inform our new brand proposition, designed within a framework that balances our heritage and provides a contemporary appeal to the brand. Designed under the premise that our products carry both excitement and goodness, we held on to our heritage red, made green a bit more vibrant and added in a new color yellow. The new logo identity also has great shelf throw, which is critical in our cluttered retail environment. As we look to emerge as a ‘Global total foods company’, this new logo is crafted to unbox Britannia and open it up to bright new horizons.”

Dennis Van Schie, Corporate Vice President, Head of Sales & Marketing, Sony Mobile Communications

Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director, Sony India

 

 

 

How often have you wished you had a Genie of your own like Aladdin had? One who can give perfect answers to all the questions whenever needed, anytime of the day from anywhere?. Like the precious Chirag as a medium to get Genie, here you have your phone. In the same parlance, Reliance recently launched an elaborate marketing campaign to showcase its Jio Interact. The brand offers a virtual personality, offering two-way communication and

with  a face for a humanly possible interaction.

When it comes to Reliance, we all raise our expectations. The marketing campaign was completely focusing on driving loyalty towards Jio Interact which is the world’s first patented Artificial Intelligence-based video call platform service offering most original video calling interface with the consumers, which can also be customized whenever needed.
It extends humane interaction with the end consumer without compromising on the quality of the conversation. It is a marriage of technology with the marketing world.

The recent technological innovations in the form of mobile apps are great for brands in understanding the customer’s deep demands but lack personalization and humane interaction.

Jio Interact was used recently for the promotion of a new film, 102 Not Out, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi
Kapoor. Bachchan’s bot was later followed by Ranbir Kapoor for the movie Sanju and Baba Ramdev for day-to-day yoga tips. According to Jio, an extraordinary number of people – 1.3 crore in all – conversed with Bachchan’s Video Call Bot over the fortnight leading up to the film’s launch.

The idea of using chatbots grew from Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs); a must-have section on most websites. FAQs, as we know, is a place where answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to a website or the subject or business it deals with are put in one place. The list of questions is created based on the most common queries received by the company. The FAQs section takes some load off the folks at customer care.

While the idea of the chatbot has been around since long – the first, Eliza, was created by an MIT professor in 1966 – it has only taken off in the last ten years. Its revival was sparked by an advanced chatbot created by the Chinese social media platform, WeChat, in 2009.

The textbook definition describes a ‘bot’ as an independent program which can interact with users and behave
like a person. A user can type a query into a chat window and,based on an algorithm, the ‘bot’responds by finding the most appropriate response available, basically born out of the FAQs. Jio claims that its Video Call Bot is an “innovation, that’s a first in the world”. No tech company has ever created an AI-based Video Call Bot, the brand states.

JioInteract is a patented AI-based brand engagement platform and as for the Video Call Bot,it mimics a human by creating vocalised responses. In the recent cases of interaction with the Video Call Bot, the conversations with Bachchan were both in Hindi and English.

The platform can be accessed from the MyJio application available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Jio emphasizes that for FAQs and chatbots, consumers need a certain level of comfort with technology. Even in the case of FAQs, the user is expected to use a search engine and type in a query, most often in English. As for chatbots, the user should have a particular instant messaging app installed on the phone or be able to find the chat box on a brand’s website to resolve queries.

In contrast, for the promotion of 102 Not Out, all the user had to do was dial 121 or 70000 70000 on a smartphone and start talking to Big B. Apart from Bachchan, JioInteract has launched a health and fitness Video Call Bot with
Patanjali’s Baba Ramdev and another featuring actor Ranbir Kapoor for his movie Sanju.

Powered with the ability to identify the emotion of the input query using multiple sources like facial expression from the camera and voice pitch helps in providing a more personalized video response to every query.

JioInteract represents a massive opportunity for marketers and brands in the form of interactive sessions with their celeb ambassadors, B2B & B2C customer care interactions (helplines), live sales pitches, product demos, 3D walkthroughs, virtual tours(think car showroom) and so much more! Thus understanding the customer mindset and influencing purchase decisions in real time.

Utility service providers, banking institutions, coaching classes, entertainment portals and many others are empowered to offer their services along with this unique support.

According to Jio, brands need a one time, 10-20 day effort and investment to create a Video Call Bot. It can be updated from time to time – just like any website or app – to handle new information, queries and functionalities. It
has self-learning capabilities wherein it learns from the millions of conversations to answer new types of queries.
More importantly, it is operating system agnostic – it doesn’t matter if the consumer uses Android or iOS.

JioInteract also offers a video call facility for those brands or companies that want to get in touch with many people in multiple locations. It could be a company talking to consumers at a product launch, a training programme for a sales force or a CEO wanting to touch base with thousands of retailers.

Like Jio revolutionised data connectivity, JioInteract is revolutionising customer engagement by going back to the most natural and efficient form of engagement: come let’s get personal again!

 

Bajaj Allianz came up with its health initiative as a part of its new marketing campaign this year. In an era of more and more fitness conscious people around, marketing initiatives taking the health road are gaining the much-needed fame in no time. As a result, when India planked to Bajaj Allianz Life’s #36SecPlankChallenge campaign in 2018, it got sports celebrity, corporate honchos, competition, almost everybody in meeting rooms to plank.

It grew to create new world record with 2,353 people successfully holding the abdominal plank position for 60 seconds, simultaneously. The marketing strategy was supporting the launch of Bajaj Allianz Life Health Care Goal, a
critical illness product covering 36 critical illnesses.

The challenge was simple- shoot a video holding plank for only 36 seconds and upload it using the hashtag
(#36SecPlankChallenge) on any social media platform. Participants could challenge friends and family to do the
plank by tagging them on these videos. For every hashtag, the company contributed monetarily to Hrudaya Cure A Little Heart Foundation (Hrudaya Foundation), Hyderabad- based healthcare organisation dedicated to curing heart
disorder of disadvantaged children. The campaign saw active participation from sports stars including Saina Naiwal,
Geeta Phogat and Deepa Malik, fitness enthusiasts, CEOs and several corporate leaders from all over India, during the last couple of months.

Towards this, Bajaj Allianz Life rolled out a 360-degree marketing campaign across TV channels in leading GEC, Regional, News, Movies Channels,Print Ads in leading publications and Outdoor in top eight towns.

The company also conducted several health check-up camps across 20 towns to educate the need for critical illness products and promote the fitness initiative.

Taking a step forward to motivate more people join the healthy living bandwagon, Bajaj Allianz Life culminated its very successful #36SecPlankChallenge campaign into a Plankathon movement. With the Plankathon initiative, the Company set a new Guinness World Records for most number of people successfully holding the abdominal plank
position, simultaneously, for an entire minute. The new world record was set as 2353 people held the abdominal plank together at Pune’s AFMC Ground.

Chandramohan Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, the person behind the design of the campaign, said, “The #36SecPlankChallenge was anchored on our product’s benefit of 36 critical illness coverage and engaged consumers meaningfully with the brand and product, while supporting a good cause. We believe good health is a pre-requisite to accomplishing Life Goals, and this campaign brought Indians closer towards healthy living.

The Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited campaign’s success encouraged us to take the initiative to a higher level and demonstrate the possibilities that exist when health goals are pursued with a reliable partner” Bollywood celebrity and fitness enthusiast, Shilpa Shetty Kundra championed the Plankathon event and was seen motivating and engaging the crowds that came for Bajaj Allianz Life’s Plankathon. Participants from different walks
of life came together for the event, and were exhilarated as they set a new Guinness World Records feat for ‘Most people holding the abdominal plank position’ together for one minute.

 

To promote their flagship product, the Bour]nivitahealth drink, the brand launched a marketing campaign “no more excuses”. It celebrates Progressive parenting; empowering moms to choose a healthy morning snack that their kids would love to eat.

After the health drink making a mark in its segment, bournvita is trying to establish itself well in the cookie category. Creating a market space, the brand
emphasises on it being “Subah ka biscuit” and a healthy partner to milk. Packed with ProHealth Vitamins and rich in the signature chocolaty taste, the brand is now taking this journey one step further by fostering progressive parenting, which has always been at the core of Bournvita’s communication. Their latest
campaign ‘No More Excuses’ stems from real life insights when children resort to creative excuses to avoid eating anything that could be healthy.

Sudhanshu Nagpal, Head – Biscuits Category, Mondelez India said, “Since its launch in 2016, Bournvita Biscuits has
provided an effective choice of delicious snacking enriched with the wholesome goodness of Bournvita, the drink Indian consumers have trusted for decades. The latest campaign on Bournvita Biscuits appeals to all progressive mothers, who believe in collaborative parenting. Since mornings are always hustled, leaving barely any time
for kids to consume the right foods, Bournvita Biscuits will help moms provide the right start to their day giving them “no more excuse” to skip the morning snack.”

The TVC conceptualised by Ogilvy India begins with a mother bringing in a glass of milk to her son just before he
leaves for school. To avoid this, the boy instantly comes up with a creative excuse. His mother, clearly familiar with her son’s antics, quickly reveals a plate with his favorite Bournvita Biscuits. Upon seeing this, the boy realises
what he has bargained away and immediately fixes the situation with another inventive excuse. As he grabs and relishes the yummy Bournvita Biscuits with a glass of milk, the mother is pleased that her son has started his day with a healthy and delicious snack.

“The campaign plays on the insight that kids are most innovative when they want to get out of something. One of the
things all kids want to escape isa boring breakfast. The film is simple, relevant, charming and brings this insight to life.” said Harshad Rajadhyaksha & Kainaz Karmakar, Chief Creative Officers,Ogilvy India.

 

Saffolalife World Heart Day Campaign 2018

Saffolalife, is a not-for-profit initiative by Marico Limited, on the back of its commitment to creating a ‘Heart Healthy India’ launched yet another impactful campaign on World Heart Day 2018. One of the most impactful
marketing campaign ‘Dil ki haalat, pet se pakad’ was developed to build awareness and educate
people on the impact of belly fat on heart health, thereby inspiring people to begin their journey towards a healthier heart and lifestyle.

The campaign kicked off with a digital film conceptualised by McCann Mumbai. The film showed light-hearted moments of family and friends holding a dear one’s belly fat in jest, butin reality is no laughing matter since belly fat puts your heart at risk. Through the film and campaign, Saffolalife created awareness of a lesser known fact, that the presence of belly fat increases heart risk. The video was launched across social media platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and OTT platforms like VOOT and HotStar complemented with print releases and on-ground activities to amplify the message ‘pet pakad mein aaye, toh karo dil ka khayal shuru.’

Saffolalife also partnered with a team of cardiologists and nutritionists who provided various insights on this issue
and recommend ways to improve one’s heart health. These discussions were initiated on the same day in three
cities – Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. They additionally collaborated with the dabba walas in Mumbai to distribute
1Lakh Saffolalife#DilPakadmeLao information pamphlets amongst households and offices to create awareness around the impact of belly fat on heart health. To further spread awareness on this initiative, Saffolalife engaged with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook influencers to drive
chatter on #DilPakadMeinLao. On World Heart Day, Saffolalife also released a research study on the ‘Impact of belly fat on heart health’ which highlighted some astonishing
facts such as 67% Indians with belly fat are at heart risk, 83% Indians who are at heart risk due to belly fat do not consider belly fat to be a key reason for heart risk, 6 out of 10 Indians are at heart risk due to belly fat despitehaving normal weight and 63% Indians under 35 years are at heart risk due to belly fat.

 

 

 

Pepperfry.com, India’s known Furniture & Home Products marketplace has unveiled a marketing campaign to launch the pre-festive before Diwali calling it as “Why Wait For Diwali Sale”. Through this campaign, Pepperfry encouraged customers to gear up for the festive season in advance by shopping the sale and availing discounts of up to 50% off on just about everything on Pepperfry. Clearing all the stereotype, this initiative for not boosting sales through “Sale Days” was one of its kinds.

Diwali is typically seen as the time to refresh, renew and rejuvenate. Consumers tend to put-off their high-value purchases, like furniture, till Diwali to cash in on festive promotional offers and price offs. Pepperfry aims to tap these consumers, by giving them compelling reasons to shop now. The key message of this campaign revolves around
driving interest to the “Why wait for Diwali Sale” and encourages consumers to shop for furniture and home products, right now. The new campaign revisited the brand’s core consumer promise of always providing unbeatable value, through great prices and amazing discounts. As the category leader, Pepperfry has been passing on the benefits derived by working directly with 10,000 home and furniture manufacturers to the consumers, thereby acting as an ally in their purchase cycle.

As a brand that has been ahead of the curve with its standout marketing strategy and communication, the new television commercial takes a highly stylistic, grandBroadway- esque approach to spice up the furniture and homeware category in India.

The campaign comprises one creative execution with 30 and 15-second edits that will be aired across key television channelslike Colors, Star Movies, Sony, Movies Now, etc., multiplexes across 5 cities, digital and social media. It has also been adapted for radio for top 5 markets.

The total outlay for the month- long campaign is Rs. 12 crore and will reach 10 million Indian households. The film conceptualized by Law and Kenneth Saatchi and Saatchi, has a spirited, exaggerated vibe that is hardto miss. Not to forget the unique dramatic appeal and hummable jingle that compels consumers to act now instead of procrastinating on big furniture purchases.

Delna Sethna, Chief Creative Officer, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi said, “We were asked for a clutter breaking film high on energy that ensured people wouldn’t wait until Diwali to buy new furniture… check, check and check.”

Talking about the latest campaign, Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer, Pepperfry, said, “Pepperfry is known for single-handedly expanding the organised furniture category in India both online and offline. As consumers evolve beyond the hygiene factors like service and delivery we want to give them more reasons to shop
by adding excitement to their furniture shopping experience with interesting designs, lots of variety and great value.
Therefore, the tone and manner of our new commercial is vibrant with a theatrical approach which is very different from Pepperfry’s previous campaigns. With this campaign we want to triggerinteresting conversations around the brand and the category.”

PEPPERFRY CONTINUED TO SPARK A FEELING OF HOME UNVIELS, ‘DIWALI TOH SAB LIYE HAI’ CAMPAIGN PART II Pepperfry.com, India’s No.1 

Furniture & Home Products marketplace unveiled the second television commercial in continuation to their, “Diwali
Toh Sab KeLiye Hai” (Diwali is for everyone) campaign. Pepperfry celebrates the festive spirit through this campaign by showcasing that it has something or every home, thus, sparking a feeling called home in consumers’ hearts.
Diwali is the time when celebrations are the order of the day. During this period homes become a focal point since there is a lot of gathering of people and extended festivities. Whether old or young, everyone celebrates the festival of light with equal zeal. In the new television commercial, Pepperfry reinforces how with its wide range of designs, products, prices and styles it is a natural choice for customers who are houseproud and want to beautify their homes.

The focus of this communication is to call out that there are different types of consumers across every spectrum who have different needs, and therefore how home means different things for every individual. Pepperfry has something to offer to everyone thus, sparking a feeling calledhome which is in line to its festive marketing strategy.

The television commercial has been conceptualised by Law and Kenneth Saatchi and Saatchi. It captures the spirit of celebration through a child’s imagination. It depicts a young girl hosting her small party with fictional characters like Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, etc. They are savouring festive delicacies while watching firecrackers in a distance,
hence drawing a parallel to a quintessential Diwali celebration.

The little girl is then reeled back to reality by the voice of her parent who requests her to join the Diwali party organised in their home. This is when she reveals to her father that she is celebrating in her way with her toys. The TVC then concludes with the parent
inviting his guests to continue the party in his daughter’s room.

To showcase how the concept of home transcends beyond age, gender, etc. Thus, effectively conveying Pepperfry’s brand message “Diwali toh sabki hai”. The campaign will be promoted across a bouquet of English Entertainment, Movies, English Infotainment and select hindi HD/SD entertainment. Also, it is being promoted across digital and social platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook.

Talking about the latest campaign, Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer,Pepperfry, said, “We strive to continue to spread the festive warmth through our second television commercial. Wetruly believe that our product
offering caters to every consumersegment. The new campaignre-emphasizes on how as market leaders we can spark a feeling called home.”

Zee TV’s content resonates with its core ethos – ‘Aaj Likhenge Kal’, celebrating the aspirations of the Indian middle
class. In a recent marketing campaign, Zee TV, aimed to provide the Indian Middle Class with a spark to overcome
personal & societal barriers and write their own stories of a brighter future with the broader objective of driving
positive change in society, while entertaining viewers.
The campaign went hand in hand with this philosophy as the underlay, ZEE TV launched Kaleerein. This show is
set against the premise of the bustling, unorganised, underground marriage industry set in India, where the brideis akin to a broodmare who must be trained into being a thoroughbred to land the perfect groom. She is expected to fulfil a lengthy list of requisites that can empower her to be an “international” bahu, and in this pursuit of being a perfect wife or bahu to someone else, she ends up losing her individuality. This has been the reality of many Indian
girls across the country.

Kaleerein is the story of Meera, a small-town girl from Punjab, who chooses to assert her individuality against the reality of bride grooming schools that are mushrooming all over the country; schools that impart training to young
girls in a prescribed ‘curriculum’- a bucket-list of must-have qualities for a bride to land the perfect groom. A free-spirited girl who wants to live life on her terms, Meera values her uniqueness and is in search of a suitor who will accept her for the person she truly is. She stands up for herself, asks the right questions and takes charge of her destiny by refusing to change for the sake of marriage.

This is a thread that will resonate with the vast majority of Indians and hence to bring this concept to life, ZEE TV created a thought-provoking marketing campaign to drive conversation & debate around the show Kaleerein & its main theme- the disconcerting reality of the way we go about the ‘business’ of marriages in our country.

Arranged marriages in India are increasingly taking the shape of a ‘marriage mart’ which runs like a bustling underground industry. To be ‘marriageable’, a woman must be a certain way. There is a list of demands that are expected to be met. Some want a ‘gharelu’ bride, while others want a trophy-wife. For some fair skin is non-negotiable, while others will only look at girls who will give up on their careers after marriage. The bride is expected to fulfil an extensive list of requisites that become the yardstick in determining if she will become an  ideal wife and bahu.

While on one hand Indian women are making progress in practically all spheres of life, marriage, one of the most
important institutions in the life of the middle-class Indian woman, holds her back and pushes her in a world of stereotypes, unrealistic expectations, self-doubt & judgments. To create a clutter breaking communication that triggered conversations around the show premise and the broader social issue at its core- unfair expectations from women to change them for the sake of marriage, thus setting a favorable context for the show launch.

To enable the audience to experience the starkness of the above mentioned harsh social reality, and nudge them to question status quo. Zee TV, in line with its philosophy “Aaj Likhenge Kal” wanted to create a social movement to question these age-old middle-class barriers, without being preachy. It launched a social experiment mysonikudi.com, India’s first web portal that helpsone to find the perfect ‘made- to-order’ bride that would fulfill all the demands of the seeker.

The website objectified women by compartmentalizing them in multiple cringe-worthy segments like ‘Wonder Chef’, ‘Bachat Focused’, ‘Agyakari’, ‘Gharelu’,‘Sansakari’, ‘NRI-Ready’ and ‘Fair Skin’ among other stereotypical tags which are associated with a ‘perfect’ Indian bride. Since the idea was to mirror a harsh social reality in the most hard-hitting and objectionable way possible, in order to drive conversations around a social issue, the website was modelled along the lines of a typical e-commerce platform with features such as ‘Trending Brides’, ‘Top-Searched
Categories’, ‘Bride-Guide’ (blog section), ‘Bride Profiles’, reviews and ratings on those profiles, as well as testimonials from people who has supposedly availed other services of the website, and so forth.

To launch the fiction show Kaleerein, revolving around the core theme of how women in India are expected to change themselves for the sake of marriage, we launched a social experiment mysonikudi.com, India’s first website to find the perfect ‘made-to-order’ bride that would fulfil all the demands of the seeker.

The website objectified women by compartmentalizing them in multiple cringe-worthy segments like ‘Wonder Chef’,
‘Bachat Focused’, ‘Agyakari’, ‘Gharelu’, ‘Sansakari’, ‘NRI- Ready’ and ‘Fair Skin’ among other stereotypical tags which are associated with a ‘perfect’Indian bride. We wanted people to experience the harshness of this stark social reality and so, the website was designed as a typical e-com portal. The sheer absurdity of commoditizing brides is
what we wanted to highlight and generate conversations around, to set the context forthe launch. MySoniKudi elicited precisely the kind of strong reactions it was supposed to, and sparked off a movement called #ChangeHerNot.

Published in the January 2019 issue of Pitch Magazine

 

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Ekta Makan

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