Every year we see this in action – when national pride gets to be top-of-mind for brands. There’s Independence Day, which is a declared public holiday, and in the beginning of the year, there’s Republic Day. There are plenty of opportunities for local and global brands to involve themselves in the celebration.
We saw it with our own eyes own August 15. These are days when many Indian and international brands put out patriotic messages. Often when it comes to developing a marketing strategy around such an important event, it is not an easy task, to keep your brand ideas fresh and classy.
Making Independence Day memorable
On 15 August 2016, Indians celebrated the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. Patriotic messages, surrounded by the Indian flag colours – orange, white and green. We saw a number of high profile brands trying to make this Independence Day memorable.
Here are four insightful tips to create the right perception.
The story you want to say must be authentic. When it comes to Indian brands delivering lovable campaigns, there are many brands that come to mind. Wishing India a Happy Independence Day was Vivo Healthcare who were “skilling India to save lives”. Promising “new thinking, new possibilities” Hyundai headlined a “Freedom to Drive” with Grandi10. Celebrating the spirit of independence, UTI SWATANTRA said, “Take your first step to freedom. Start your SIP today.”
Authenticity is really important, regardless of occasion. And, on days that set off your national pride, ensure your stories contain contextualised rich content in real time and in a conversational manner.
Keep it local
Indians are very proud and patriotic about their country, and it’s vitally important that brands respect this, particularly if your company is a global brand. Weaving your local knowledge into the creative will help make your tone more authentic.
Additionally, keep your messaging local – don’t just think about India as a country. Think about its people, what they like, their habits and what is important to them. People first, not brand first.
This we saw clearly in the following ads. Aditya Birla Group proclaimed “New mark for new milestones”. “Celebrate Life” said Toyota with “safety, space and style” and Maruti Suzuki stated it is a “way of life. “Live young, live free” informed Mahindra.
Stay relevant to the content
Another vital factor that brands need to watch for is relevance. It is critical that marketers associate the Independence Day or Republic Day, with sincerity and originality.
There is obviously an abundance of pride and excitement associated with such occasions, that are pumped up with national pride. With the spotlight on their campaigns, marketers need to be respectful and relevant to their audiences.
When looking to promote a brand story, it’s also important to consider the media most relevant and suited to the message.
Make your brand a part of the patriotic day’s conversation
A piece of advice to brands would be – don’t make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. Marketers need to be smart about whether to involve their brand in Independence Day or Republic Day, at all. It’s not enough for your brand to piggyback off the event. You need to really figure out, if there is a relevant and compelling story for you.
To do this, you need to find a common ground from three factors: What story is your brand trying to tell? Where does Independence Day fit in with that story? And will your audience care about it?
So, it does pay to capture the importance of Independence Day or Republic Day in your marketing. But, more significantly, capture the spirit of this year’s celebration by looking ahead and seizing the opportunities that these trends present for the industry.
As a strategy the patriotic tactic, does benefit brands; and patriotism is a great way for taking the business forward, too.