Are you listening to the emerging counter-cultural stories?
(Posted 25th March 2019)
Creating brand’s cultural relevance through contradictions
(Posted 07th March 2019)
Why creative briefing doesn't work
(Posted 02nd October 2018)
Accidental brilliance? Looking at #Dhara Jalebi 20 years later
(Posted 16th December 2016)
The clash of Indian masculinities
(Posted 5th November 2014)
Is the future of big brand ideas dark?
(Posted 5th September 2017)
Isn’t it time the hotel industry borrowed a trick from Airbnb?
(Posted 29th July 2018)
A different kind of a hero
(Posted 8th March 2017)
Gol gappas or gold medals? Which side of #Dangal are you on?
(Posted 1st January 2017)
Strategic importance of vulnerability
(Posted 28th June 2016)
Anushka’s trolling comes from innate cultural belief
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Goose pimple stuff: All time awesome campaigns in India – I
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Well played sir!: All time awesome campaigns in India – II
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Mobiles, mobility and the importance of guilt
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Where in the food chain is your food brand?
(Posted 12th February 2014)
Return of the angry young man
(Posted 4th January 2015)
Amul – ye butter hai ya twitter?
(Posted 18th December 2014)
Who’s your enemy?
(Posted 15th November 2014)
Six pack abs, designer stubbles and tattoos
(Posted 18th September 2014)
Are we falling in love with Samsung`s geeky authenticity over Apple`s hype?
(Posted 12th September 2014)
Is your brand missing in your brand’s social media strategy?
(Posted 15th April 2014)
Brand rejuvenation: is your brand trapped?
(Posted 27th March 2014)
Aren’t the new age brands being outdated in their brand thinking?
(Posted 12th February 2014)
Why brand managers should spend more time on jokes and cartoons…
(Posted 25th March 2014)
Why the cricket team’s loss bothers the parent in us
(22nd January 2012)
Shallow shlacking: why Hindu’s campaign gets the buzz
(Posted 1st February 2012)
Shall we stop targeting our audience now
(5th February 2012)
How do you sleep at night?
(17th June 2012)
Is there a problem in your insight?
(25th January 2012)

Who’s your enemy?

Large brand ideas have an ideological stance. A point of view on how things should be. Not just in the category context, but the world at large. Yesterday, while discussing three such campaigns in a session at MICA, a difference in approach emerged. Not in the idea itself, but in their choice of the enemy.

When you choose to stand for something, it requires taking a stance against something as well, the enemy. The more provocative expressions of such ideologies do not shy away from underlining the enemy, instead, they give it centre stage. Therefore, the choice of enemy becomes of critical importance.

All three campaigns have chosen powerful enemies to go after. Be it Dove’s campaign against unreal standards of beauty, Pantene’s against stereotypes that women face at work or Tata Safari’s attack on the success rat race.

However, there is an important difference.

Do you choose an issue that’s a problem ‘out there’ or do you choose one that your own category accentuates? Let’s look at the three cases.

The success rat race is a problem that plagues us in many spheres of life – our jobs, designation, pay package, home, spouse, vacation, kids school, college, their job…. However, our car is possibly one of the biggest signifiers of this that the world sees us with. Tata Safari’s view on success therefore becomes that much more powerful, because it comes from a car brand.

For the same reason, Dove’s view on unreal beauty standards is specially evocative, because the personal care category is as guilty if not more in accentuating this problem.

It is here that Pantene’s choice of the enemy is not as powerful. The stereotypes on working women has a weak connection with what the personal care/hair care category propagates. And it shows.

Although Pantene do attempt the strong hair – strong women connection, the centrality of the brand and category in this ideology is not as strong (no pun intended!). Already, one can see that in their ‘not sorry’ campaign, it faces the classic I-remember-the-ad-but-which-brand-was-it? challenge.

Will they be able to able to finding a more meaningful connect? Let’s wait and see!