Big brand, no message


You must have seen the “Standard Fireworks” hoardings in town – supposedly a visibility exercise before Diwali. A small line on the hoarding says “the finest since 1942”, which makes it a brand that’s 65 years old. It also means familiarity across a wide age spectrum – from today’s 10 year old, to someone who is eighty, or more.

So, what’s the point I’m trying to make ?

When you have a brand that’s practically a household word, how should you be spending your advertising money? The answer : intelligently and responsibly.

Instead of a boring slap-the-logo-on-the-hoarding exercise, the brand owners could have worked on a safety theme for Diwali. Every year we read about accidents during Diwali, that could have been prevented with a little more awareness.

Another soft spot for fire-cracker manufacturers is the child labour angle. So, if the brand owners are squeaky-clean on this issue, that’s another useful theme for the communications.

Okay, even if all this is hard to fathom in terms of strategy and logic, I think the hoardings could have at least carried one simple message : “Happy Diwali !”

6 Comments so far

  1. chethan (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

    Sharat, I agree.
    Also, it looks as if its going to tear open after a couple of rains. Wouldnt that give a cheap brand image?

  2. Ravi (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

    Say, isn’t that Clarence High School that I see in the background?

  3. Machaiah (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 10:48 pm

    Sharath i agree with you totally. That space could
    have improved the image of the company which has ISO certification. Zero giving brand, all talk and no co.. They mean crack.

  4. Jeev (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

    In my opinion the campaign is solely profit oriented. Standard Fireworks is almost a monopoly in the fireworks industry, thus they have conveniently dumped the the idea of being socially responsible.

    Their thinking is probably something like this

    “When I’m the only one selling fire crackers, why would i care if your Diwali is Happy OR Safe!! I make my money and I’m still the world’s largest producer of firecrackers. MY diwali’s a happy one. Just remember to buy my brand only…..cause its the only one available….. ;-D”

  5. Vikram (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    Agree.. Imagine this..

    White hoarding.. A picture of a child lighting a flower pot from a safe distance on the right. The words “Have a happy and safe Diwali” on the left. That would have had a better impact than this.

  6. Deepa Mohan (unregistered) on October 31st, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

    I agree entirely with you. It’s a sad fact that social responsibility has to be often mandated and it doesn’t seem to occur by itself.

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