What a dramatic change this Covid19 has brought to our lives, whether it is the business or for us human beings. India went for a complete lockdown beginning March to fight the pandemic. Undoubtedly, all business establishments irrespective of their strength and type of industry have been affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19 to a great extent.
Businesses, jobs, saw great upheavals, the world also saw a tectonic shift in the way we communicated. The Indian Advertising all through this crisis/ lockdown has been on their feet by innovating new methods of communication for their brands to reach out to their consumers. Brand communication was more empathetic, keeping in mind the sentiments and moods of the consumer in general.
Medianews4u in their series ‘Back to Business’ have spoken to 65+ brands on how they are effectively changing their communication strategies. We are now talking to the Advertising Agencies who are the brand custodians on what will be their strategy for their clients in the new normal.
Hari Krishnan, CEO, Mullen Lintas, speaks to us on their strategy for their clients.
The lockdown is in the 5.0 stage. As an Agency, what would be your priorities towards your brands?
For some categories, the lifting of the lockdown holds out a new promise for many categories especially Retail, QSR, Automotive etc. Our priorities towards our brands have always been about crafting the right strategy – from targeting to positioning – and crafting the right story, one that’s relevant, insightful and engaging. In a post lockdown scenario, the immediate focus would be to generate demand and encourage consumer spending. So tactical strategies to create a spike could well be deployed. For eg: A white goods brand could use this as an opportunity for a home makeover since people have been at home for such a long time and probably have realized the need for an upgrade of their appliances. Or the automotive sector could look at the latent demand for personal mobility solutions in scenarios where there could be a high tendency to avoid public transport or shared mobility.
Brands in the new normal are now seeing new buying habits. As a brand custodian, what will be the new strategies and advertising message?
New buying habits have emerged particularly in terms of a shift from offline to online. It is a reasonably safe assumption that screen time has gone up for all consumers across age groups and social strata. In such a scenario, effectiveness of messaging becomes the key focus.
With most brands now doing digital sales, do you think it’s better to start their own e-commerce platforms?
Own e-commerce platforms could make sense for certain categories while for most others horizontal platforms is what would make most sense since the traffic would tend to be higher towards horizontal platforms than individual brand platforms.
Will brands now be more open to more spending on digital as compared to traditional platforms?
This had already begun and what we are seeing now is an accelerated shift.
How will you rebuild brand loyalty for certain brands which fell off the radar during this lockdown?
For some brands or categories, the relevance may have decreased during the lockdown. In a post lockdown scenario, focusing on brand relevance is what can lead to preference and eventually, brand loyalty.
Will Ad Spends on TV see a spike?
TV is still a huge reach medium and traditional categories could get back on to TV to build reach. Especially if GEC content gets updated and live sport gets back in action, it could attract more viewers.