Mascot, Wow! Our friend from TV

The addictive tune of Utterly Butterly Delicious… Amul has left a deep imprint on the hearts of Indians. The blue hair and polka dotted frock of the Amul girl with a slice of buttered bread lives in every Indian’s head rent-free. She has become the poster child for what a mascot can do in terms of personifying a brand’s vision, values, and emotional tones. Similar success tales include Parle-G Girl and Maharaja of Air India.


Akshay Kumar is without a doubt India’s largest megastar today, with an unfathomably large fan following. But when Hema, Rekha, Jaya, and Sushma attest for the superior quality of Nirma’s washing powder, his face value takes a back seat. That is the degree of sway that old mascots hold on their audience’s thoughts. A synergy of immeasurable brand loyalty established by a sense of wholesome emotional connection combined with sentimental recall value of simpler times.


Ads in the 1990s were more accepted by the viewers than ads now. A growing number of businesses have now crammed themselves onto every available screen of the audience. This expanded the prominence of the businesses, providing customers with more options than ever before. On the other hand, it has progressively lost its personal touch, making it difficult for viewers to strike up a conversation about them over the family dinner table. Most advertisements fade into obscurity in a couple of days, while others are removed before they even reach the public eye owing to the unsettling fear of disputes.


Personalization of content has resulted in focused ad production. For the millennials using social media to alleviate FOMO to follow a brand’s inventiveness through bite-sized videos and/or jumping on the meme bandwagon. Gen Y and Baby Boomers still dozing off on couches as brand advertisements try to appeal to them. While all generations under one roof may be aware of the advantages of WOW shampoos, the brand monarchy of Head & Shoulders continues to influence the purchase decisions of the house elders.


The need for storytelling to develop a deep brand association amongst distant generations of a family has enormous potential, supported by the legacy and experience of the Indian advertising industry. While prime time is auctioned off, resulting in shorter videos for each business, innovative outlets such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram may be used to develop connections. The popularity of YouTube channels demonstrates society’s willingness to interact in search of material that they feel is relevant. The advent of non-broadcasting channels has resulted in an increase in marketing inventiveness. Nonetheless, channeling and picking up intent is still a task best suited to consumer research professional.


Swiggy Instamart’s campaign is a clever way to generate awareness with famous advertisements while adhering to today’s time constraints. A fresh reenactment of Ramesh and Suresh’s trousers mishap, along with the granny’s retort to “Kya Aapke Toothpaste Mein Namak Hai?” resulted in some shared laughter at the family dinner table. Giving the elderly a moment to reconsider switching to express online grocery shopping because of the comedic relief provided by the advertisement.


Similarly, the shifting face of creative hooks in advertisements may be studied. Memes, for example, are popular among today’s youth. Can memes take the role of mascots? Should a company therefore create an ad that is suitable for memes and then use the memes as communication cues? All of these and many more issues that, if addressed, may provide a meaningful focus in the middle of the extreme mess and congestion that the present Indian advertising landscape has become.


Let’s build on the learnings of the past. There is definite need to assess the relevance of the creative content via credible research insights. Therefore, it is imperative for the brand custodians to evaluate and map the relevance of available media. In today’s context, a wide cohort of audience or target customer has their preferential media platform i.e., social media, TV etc. Therefore, a need for multi-pronged approach to ensure that communication is not restricted. While there is an attempt to re-purpose the creative for different device, nevertheless, it is worth to contextualize and define it for the media-loyal audience.