Brand promotions are back with a bang

| Updated on June 13, 2021

Shaking off the pandemic-induced lull, brand campaigns return with new energy and themes ranging from Gay Pride Month to Father’s Day and even the Euro Cup

After muting themselves during the worst phase of the second wave in May, brands were back in action in June, and it looked as though the self-imposed silence had opened the fount of creativity. Also, there were several hooks for brands to try and engage with consumers. June is Gay Pride Month and, increasingly, brands are trying to outdo each other on the inclusivity front, wearing rainbow colours in solidarity. Product brands like Saregama have also been quick to leverage Father’s Day, with push messages around gifting. And a few are even piggybacking on Euro Cup. Here is a round-up of campaigns that caught our eye — interestingly, many of these are digital, showing that the medium is finally coming of age creatively.

Family Man’s job hunt

Amazon Prime Video pulled out star power of a different kind for its promotional campaign for the next season of Family Man. It got four CEOs to interview Srikant Tiwari, aka Manoj Bajpayee, the lead character of the web series, after he put it out on social media that he was looking for a job. Some utterly bizarre conversations happen during the job interviews with Ankur Warikoo (Nearbuy), Kabeer Biswas (Dunzo), Ritesh Agarwal (OYO) and Manu Kumar Jain (Xiaomi). Staged though these conversations might be, the quirky interactions score. While the Family Man cements its viewership, the collaborative campaign, undoubtedly, will earn the CEOs and their brands a host of goodwill and followers as well.

Stay where you are

‘Stay home, stay safe’ has become a kind of catchphrase of the pandemic. But when an airport, whose whole business model rests on making people travel, asks you to do the same, the impact is huge. Delhi International Airport Limited’s social media campaign, with a series of #TravelTomorrow quotes, dissuades people from undertaking non-essential travel. Conceptualised by 22feet Tribal Worldwide, part of the DDB Mudra Group, the campaign’s counterintuitive message works well.

As unlocking began in several cities, bike taxi firm Rapido, another brand which thrives on people commuting, also took the bold route of asking people to step out only when necessary through its witty digital media campaign #ZarooriHaiKya.

Pedalling hope

On World Bicycle Day on June 3, TI Cycles pedalled in with a visually captivating campaign full of hope and longing and the message that good things will come again. The film is made entirely using black-and-white photographs that capture the state of bicycles today — parked in bedrooms, living rooms, terraces and basements, waiting for the day they will be used again. Created by Ogilvy Bangalore, it is a simple film, and it is the simplicity that attracts. As George Kovoor, Digital Lead, Ogilvy South, explains, “Our spirits are much like a cycle in the garage today, dampened, rusted. But like the sun rises every morning after the darkest nights, these tough times too shall pass. This is a simple film about a simple thought — good things, like cycling, will come to us again!”

Proud Pronoun Project

A lot of brands are showing solidarity with Pride month. But it is brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R’s work that cuts through the clutter. It has created a website called the Proud Pronoun Project, where individuals have the option to select their personal gender pronouns, and can create a beautiful illustration to display as Teams or Zoom backgrounds for meetings. This is a way for them to inform their colleagues on how they should be identified. There are 24 pronoun options to choose from. The trigger for the project was the growing inclusivity movement in workplaces — much needed as, according to a survey, 35 per cent of employed adults reported being fired or denied a promotion or mistreated because of their gender. Millennials, who will form three quarters of the workforce in 2025, are more likely to identify as LGBTQ than previous generations. The campaign was brainstormed and produced by VMLY&R’s LGBTQ employee resource group, which teamed up with illustrators Lauren Philips and Frank Norton for the artwork.

Published on June 13, 2021

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