Social Marketing : Advice or Advertise ?

“The hall is filled and the crowd is thrilled. The ‘white’ manager from a foreign university bloats about his university and their job placements. But a student in the crowd objects that his university certificate is not valid in many countries – Thanks to internet that prevented the whole ‘white-elephant’ business…”

 This is the latest commercial of a famous cellular network company, which emphasises on how the foreign universities are trapping the Indian students and how internet can come handy to know the truth. Earlier advertisements used to be product centric. The main theme of the ad would be to make use of those precious 20 odd seconds to describe about their product. But now the things have changed. The advertising companies realised that those crucial 20 seconds must not just convince the Grey matter, rather they must concentrate on a much more complex ingredient – Emotions…

Human beings are emotional creatures. They understand emotions very easily when compared to logic. And this is the reason why we can still remember our 7th birthday celebrations but not our 7th class physics problem…

The same principle applies to the advertising also. Being straight and conventional doesn’t always do the trick. Sometimes you need to look beyond what you see and think beyond what you are been told. So, coming back to our initial example, the foreign university has nothing to do with the cellular network. Yet, the ad emphasized on the need for the society to stop believing simply in others and do the research themselves. Now that’s innovative thinking…

Interestingly this innovative thinking is seen more often these days, thanks to numerous ads of various companies following this ‘social’ strategy to go ‘social’ in their branding and marketing.

But where would this phenomenon leads to..?

Well, it sounds good for the companies to capture the attention of the audience in order to market their products, especially when the prospects are good. But as more and more companies are adopting this marketing approach, we are forced to just pause for a second and think – Are these advertising companies ‘promoting a social concept’ along with their product or are they turning a marketing concept into something which sounds ‘social’…?

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While the earlier way suggests that you believe in some genuine social motivation, which according to you must be advertised along with your product so that you are expecting the society to change – by the change starting from yourself. On the other hand, the later describes that you want your product to compete with the existing market rivals and in order to enjoy a considerable lead over them, you are actually turning a marketing idea into something which sounds social, so that your brand expands…

While both the above ways may seem similar as it is technically impossible for us to differentiate them as we cannot know how and from  where the genesis of that social-advertising idea came from… But the fact is that we cannot rule out the possibility of this sort of ‘development’ in the marketing sector.

 Now there is a recent commercial of a water purifier, which stresses on ‘dowry’ and ’girl child discrimination’. There is also another ad of household appliances, which pronounces that they respect women. Well, we do hope that they are true and they in fact might be. But the question of the hour is, “If this strategy is working for those who believe in what they are saying, why can’t it work for those this social concept is nothing more than a marketing tactic?”

So ultimately we can all ask ourselves, whether this social advertising strategy is been brought into the small screen – to ‘Advice’ or to ‘Advertise’…

Well, I think the best way to prove yourselves that you are really dedicated for educating the society in the insightful way is to not just limit yourself for a small commercial. Make it large. Do a survey or conduct campaigns on various socio-economic barriers like dowry, female genocide and women empowerment. See the change by yourself and be proud that you are contributing your part in constructing a brighter India.

Every great movement starts with a small inspiration. It is this inspiration that defines our future. Till now the advertisements are just thought to be the medium for the companies to reach to the public. But now they can be a part of something big. May be the time has come for all the advertising companies to rethink whether their social concept is to advice or advertise. The interesting part is that both of them can be achieved simultaneously if we really believe that we are ‘The Change’…

 Let’s hope that this approach also becomes successful because “If a hall can be filled to listen some bogus promises from a foreign university, why the same hall can’t be filled to listen the real problems and their possible solutions of our own country…?”

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You will love reading: Buridan’s Ass.  Must read article Secret of Influencer Marketing

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  1. Raahool Sharma 2 years ago

    Interesting article

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Social Marketing : Advice or Advertise ?

by Gayaz Ahmed time to read: 4 min
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