Keeping it Simple

In today’s world when brands are constantly fighting for attention and spotlight, consumers are being overwhelmed by the amount of information that surrounds them. 

To get some perspective on the amount of content that is put out every day, let’s look at some interesting research  by Lori Lewis (Source: All Access) that sheds light on what is happening every minute on the internet based on usage in the year 2021.

  • Social media platform Facebook sees around 1.4 million scrolling every sixty seconds
  • Over 500 hours of content is uploaded on Youtube every minute 
  • Instagram sees over 695,000 stories per minute 
  • Twitter in that same time frame sees tweets by 200,000 individuals. 
  •  69 million messages are sent on WhatsApp and Facebook messenger combined.
  • 197.6 million emails were sent in just one minute.

With this tremendous amount of content floating online, what can marketers and communication professionals do to stand out? 

We have had the answer in front of us all this while, it is not some new technology or a new trend that we need to harp on to always stand out, but rather resort to techniques that date back thousands of years! 

‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’

KISS, an acronym for ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’ was thought to be coined by the late Kelly Johnson. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated

Inevitably when planning a PR campaign, one of the challenges is complexity. As they say, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’, too many minds involved in strategising a campaign can lead to a complex activity heavy plan.  Amidst all of this, one may forget the real target audience and overlook simple ways of reaching them.

A simple strategy targeting the right audience, at the right place, and at the right time is the key to getting the message across. 

Listed below are some of my favourite campaigns that have been simple in their campaigns and highly effective too 

  1. Dove’s #StopTheBeautyTest

In 2020, Dove launched Report ‘India’s Beauty Test (2020)’ that revealed unsettling statistics about the pressures and anxieties around conforming to a narrow ideal of beauty in the run-up to arranged marriage. Basis the outcome of the report, they launched a hard-hitting campaign, #StopThebEautyTest that was honest, direct and powerful. 

Supporting the campaign objective, Dove undertook multiple routes to reinforce their message to evolve the perspecpective around the issues 

  • Dove partnered with Shaadi.Com to encourage users on the platform to look beyond body type, complexion, scars on face or hair type and length, to see new sizes and shades of beautiful.
  • Dove rewrote matrimonial ads free of beauty biases to drive significant change in this direction. 
  • To foster change with media, Dove partnered with leading women magazines in India, to celebrate the beauty of women who were not seen as beautiful enough in the run-up to marriage.
  • In an exclusive partnership with UNICEF, the Dove self-esteem project aimed to reach 6.25 million girls and boys in schools by 2024 to improve their knowledge and skills so that they enhance their body confidence and self-esteem through education materials to realise their full potential in India.*

The campaign was simple in its soul, reiterating the need to stop judgments towards beauty. All their activities thereafter echoed the same message.

  • Coca-Cola’s ‘Share A Coke’ campaign 

Coca-Cola India launched ‘Share A Coke’ initiative in 2018. #ShareACokeIndia is the Indian spin of Coca-Cola’s global campaign that was first launched in Australia in 2012.

Coca-Cola’s mission behind the campaign was not just for people to buy and consumer but also boost conversation and love for the brand by targeting ‘Relationships’ with the theme ‘Har Rishta Bola, Mere Naam Ki Coca-Cola’

Coca-Cola through a survey amongst the millennials identified a couple of relationships that mattered most to the target audience, the most popular ones made their way to the labels on bottles and cans

At the heart of the concept, was a simple idea of personalisation and building an emotional connect and that’s what made it successful across the globe. Coca-Cola now keeps the idea alive by continuously reinventing and growing the Theme, the latest in India was ‘SayitWithCoke’ with targeted song lyrics to emote feelings.

The examples above have managed to use their brand names and taglines to communicate the core premise of their brand/products. They were direct, succinct, relevant and easy to understand: Key components to any successful campaign. 


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Arshya Harjani
Arshya Harjani, Senior Account Executive, Edelman

Arshya is an integrated communications professional with over 3 years of experience in the industry. Recently listed in PR Moments 30 under 30 2022, Arshya has worked with some leading global brands.

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