Sunday, March 15, 2009

Horlicks Vs TIME.... Who can do it and who can't??

Can you find something that is similar between the brands Horlicks (Health Drink) and TIME (Coaching Institute). If you see the ads that have been run by these brands since some time, the concept behind both these ads is the same. The concept of trying to pull customers attention through display of some statistical data that is neither known nor proven by anyone in public.

Though it has been the same concept behind both the ads, who can use this concept and who cannot is the question? Some say it's creative, some say that it's stupid, some say it's unethical.. I am not against the creative feelings of the directors. This is one of the best ways to directly attack against many competitors in the cluttered ad space. But, my question to who can and who cannot is by looking into which might mislead and which might not do so??

Horlicks has been advertising with the line "Children who drink horlicks have grown 3cms more than those who haven't consumed horlicks..." whereas, TIME has been advertising with the line "90% of the new batch at IIM are from TIME..." There are two different set of customers who are targeted by these two brands under the similar concept of advertising and that's where the difference of who can and who cannot crops up.....

In the case of Horlicks, the customers are parents across the country and if you try considering the nutritional awareness among parents in India the value would be drastically low. Thus we eliminate a set of customers who are really aware of nutritional factors and decide on some drink firmly. Now the next set of customers, whom we can eliminate out of the considerate set are those, who give a preference to the taste buds of their kids or to the taste that the kids like among different drinks. And to just try to know about the buying behaviour of this remaining chunk of parents just try assuming some parents in your home or ask some of your friends about the behaviour of their parents who buy a specific brand most of the time. Most of the time, it's either the health drink that is being used since long time in their home or through the suggestion of someone saying that a particular health drink is good because of so and so reasons such as it makes you get good strength, energy or keeps you stronger in older age, etc. And these logics which spread as word of mouth are most of time are from the advertisements which gave them a feel good factor or connected well with them. And these logics are what we are talking about which the Ad from Horlicks says that "Children who drink horlicks have grown 3cms taller than those who didn't drink horlicks." And the final set of customers who are in our consideration set constitute a huge chunk and this is how there is a problem of misleading someone through a logic which is neither proved nor disclosed with proper results. And finally this Ad is proving out to be misleading the customers rather than breaking the clutter.

In the case of TIME, the customers are those students who aspire to become future managers through education from a premier B-School. This set of customers can be broadly classified into three groups. The first group of people are those who are matured enough of taking a decision where to go for coaching. The second group are those who take advice from seniors, discuss with friends about a certain institute or a branch before joining in it. The third group are those who are neither matured nor among those who discuss with several people but would join just like that because they heard somewhere that it's good or else it's near to their home or comfortable for them or else attracted by the ads and then converted by those counselling professionals at the branch. Now this third group of customers are those who may be affected by the ad or whose decision might be affected by this ad and this chunk is very low on a overall scale. And this Ad is turning out to be breaking the clutter just to improve awareness of the brand rather than mislead someone.

I am not against anyone's ideologies of creativity in advertising or breaking the clutter but somewhere, I do feel that Horlicks ad is turning out to be misleading whereas, the as from TIME is turning out to be the one which is trying to break the clutter. And the way people at Horlicks and TIME replied to those certain questions raised by the press further supports the same... and there should be a limit to this sort of advertisements at least in the food segment and that's where the regulators should try playing there bit of role.. Especially, when such an Ad from GSK is pulled off the air without any reply to the questions from the UK advertising council but there isn't anyone to question them in India?? This brings out the biggest question of the day... "Is there any advertising regulator present in the country called INDIA????"

No comments: