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India's marketers look to tap emotions

News, 19 January 2017
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MUMBAI: Marketing in India differs significantly from the rest of Asia in several respects, including the greater use of emotion as a creative approach and the continuing reliance on traditional media, according to an analysis of entries to the 2016 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy.

The Asian Strategy Report 2017 found that the use of emotion was cited in 51% of all Indian entries, compared with 35% of entries from the rest of Asia. (Non-subscribers can download the Executive Summary here.)

Several campaigns – including the Grand Prix winner Share The Load from detergent brand Ariel – used emotion to challenge perceptions and make an impact.

The entries also highlighted a strategic divergence between India and other Asian countries, particularly in channel planning. Comparing channel preferences in the two sub-regions, it was clear that the digital revolution is much more entrenched outside of India.

Internet penetration in India is still relatively low, at around 35%, so most mass-market campaigns require a strong traditional media component and marketers find plenty of value in TV, outdoor, print and radio, all of which are still buoyant.

While the use of online video is growing – 38% of campaigns used it in 2016, compared to 29% in 2015 – digital channels generally tended to play an important supporting role for many campaigns, such as that for Diu Tourism, winner of the Prize's Local Hero Award.

This used TV, print, radio and social media in a teaser campaign to drive traffic to a website where people could experience the as-yet-unnamed 'Ilha de Calma'.

The campaign more than doubled tourist arrivals at a fraction of the cost of rival destinations. "They outsmarted but didn't outspend," noted one of the judges, Richard McCabe, Regional Strategic Planning Director, McCann Worldgroup, Asia Pacific.

Data sourced from Warc

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