Advertising in times of Coronavirus
Advertising is all about reaching the target audience with an impact. In the hustle of creating an impactful commercial or ad, branding companies/departments sometimes lose their focus.
One of the most loved commercials and creatives in India is definitely Amul. Amul has been creating witty, relative and ‘sharable’ ad copies for years now. The brand has never failed to attract the viewers and has taken care of people’s emotions and sentiments too. Amul and other brands in India that believe in positive advertising are hardly provoking or misleading.
You might ask “Who decides if the commercials are viewable or not?” Well in India, every advertising activity is ruled by three laws:
Press Council of India Act, 1978
Cable television regulation act, 1955 and Cable television amendment act, 2006
Establishment of the ASCI (Advertisement standard council of India), 1985
Every advertisement must adhere to these laws before creating a copy and going live.
Even after adhering to all these laws, an advertiser must try to hit the right chord with the audiences. And one of the effective and widely used yardsticks is to create a relative copy inspired by the present happenings. Nobody wants to lose on en-cashing the current trending events through their advertisements. However, not everybody does it right every time.
Speaking about the present pandemic of Covid-19, some advertisements are spreading awareness, while some are nothing but a disaster in themselves. Here are a few advertisements which hit us right & a few which failed:
Those who did it the right way:
Domino’s has recently released an informative copy/notification on the backdrop of Covid-19. The commercial talks on ‘Zero Contact Delivery’. The ad makes sense in many ways as the community guidelines warn people against doorstep deliveries. Societies and gated communities are requested to ask delivery personnel to leave the parcel at the gate/reception or to the security officer. Domino’s is also asking customers to follow the same and choose ‘Zero Contact Delivery’
Zomato India is known for witty, entertaining social media posts. How could it miss the current Covid-19 pandemic to take care of its people and engage them? In the recent social media post shared on Twitter, Zomato says that germs are small, so much so that one cannot see them with naked eyes. It says that there might be several germs on our fingertips too which we use to zoom into the post. The social media post shared by Zomato has small image copy and one must literally zoom into it to read the post.
In the end, it requests people to wash hands regularly, especially before eating.
As we all know, Amul hardly fails to hit the right note. The latest advertisement shows ‘Amul girl’ washing hands and the copy goes “better ‘Saaf’ than sorry.
Here are a few ads which failed:
The ad shows children playing on the ground and washing hands. The ad might have looked good in any other situation, but not currently. The ad ignores the basic precaution we all are supposed to follow -Social distancing. Plus, the ad also fails to adhere to the legal framework. The Advertising Standards Council of India’s Code 3.2 states that any advertisement which is addressing minors, should not talk about or create an impression that might result in physical, mental or moral harm to the minors.
One more ad by Godrej for the brand Mr. Magic claims “Haath dhokar, virus ka darr karo choo mantar”. Washing hands are recommended as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, however, it is not something you can do to kill the virus. So, the advertisement is misleading.
I hope you have got an idea of how to advertise during troubled times. Companies can engage its customer base and add to it (in the long run) only if the advertisements are genuine and impactful. A good advertiser would understand that nothing beats facts, genuine care, genuine humor and positive tone of the copy.