Earlier, it was an active kid who plays all the prank at school, comes home running with a medal, who joyfully drinks a whole glass of Bourvita/Maltova/Viva/Milo etc and runs again to play. Now it is something different that is bothering me.
Market for fast moving consumer goods like malt beverages are highly competitive and the only best way to compete is on the basis of differentiation. That is done through branding, packaging and of course, TV commercials. We all know that advertisements of such products are changed once or twice in a year, depending upon the product and in each ad you may find that they way they want their customers to think of thier products or to put it in proper terms, ‘value perception’ of customers change. Some of the examples would be, Gold Winner, which was quite successful in making people shift from Palm oil to refined sunflower oil and conveyed a message of purity in its ads (Gold winner, gold winner thaan!) and then came up with a nice TVC with children singing ryhmes (G for H, Gold Winner for Health) which I really liked and now has a totally different one which I don’t feel appealing. Similarly if one recollects the old Bru ad, they wanted to break the mentality of people who were not so used to instant coffee then and the ad showed the one who served the coffee shyly telling that it is not a filter coffee, but Bru (filter coffee a, idhu Bru maaa!!). Now their tv commercials are totally different, they no longer need to convince that instant coffee taste better than filter kaapi and has started targeting a whole new set of young audience by introducing variants like Cappuccino and cold coffee shakes.
And there are also many cases where well established brands don’t want to change what people think of their products, but just come out with new looks and ads according to the trends of that time.. Classic examples will be Lux and Cocoa Cola. Though their commercials and brand ambassadors have changed, their target audience and their value propositions are still the same..
Now do I have any problem with their strategy? Not at all! Who am I to challenge these strategies successfully executed by several companies for several years? But what is bothering me is some of the advertisements that target young children, who are already overburdened with studies and other activities. We already know the kind of impact this has left on our children. They get depressed and tensed, and some children go to the extent of ending their lives just because they’ve lost a few marks in a subject. They have their parents, teachers, school and peers who pressurise them to perform according to the standards set by the society. Adding more to their grief are these advertisements, very openly conveying the message that it is exams and marks which are important and nothing less. Though I was not really shocked by most of them, one ad for Bournvita made me really very angry. A mother wakes up a small child, hardly ten years old from sleep, gives him Bournvita and asks him to study. I’m not able to embed the video here, but here is the link to that sick ad, which made me get on my nerves.
While this is just a tiny drop in an ocean of TV commercials, I have a feeling that even this would leave a very bad impact on our society in the future. Our future depends upon the children of today. :
I only wish that these marketing guys get a little more responsible and try to think of other ways to help their clients make money. 🙂