chose to focus on brother-sister bonds in the weeks preceding the day, perhaps, leaning on the inherent transactional nature of the festival to make their case. “I think there is more mushy stuff that brands
put out these days on the brother-sister love because in terms of an emotional palette, there is more to play on,” says Sandeep Goyal, chairman of marketing and communication agency Mogae Media. He points out to the Aegon Insurance campaign and points to the manner in which present-day concerns seep into the traditional portrayal of the festival. “So an LGBT slant introduced into Raksha Bandhan as the younger sister ties a rakhi to the elder defining in some way a new dimension to the relationship,” he says.
For some brands, however, the storyline is about traditional sibling love. Reliance Trends, for instance, talks about the small rivalries that mark such relationships but melt away on the big day.
Parle G combines the two occasions to talk about love and pride
Harish Bijoor, brand expert and founder of Harish Bijoor Consults, says, “This year, as Independence
Day and Raksha Bandhan collide, it is an excellent opportunity for marketers to make the best of both. Advertising creatives that blend both for impact will be watched with passion and participation.”
Parle has a digital campaign that combines the two, as does Gits Foods. Mayank Shah, category head, marketing, Parle Products, says the company is expecting the festive season to push demand. “We are anticipating 10-15 per cent growth in sales compared to last year around Independence Day.” However, two big occasions on the same day, he says is one opportunity less for marketers.
Some have chosen to stick with nationalism and pride. Liberty Shoes, for instance, has come out with an ad campaign in collaboration with singer Piyush Mishra, on freedom. Kajaria Ceramics has used brand ambassador Akshay Kumar to establish its patriotic credentials, while the messaging has been more direct with e-commerce platforms that have Independence Day sales banners flashing on the masthead and the tricolour streaking its way through the site’s interface.
It is important that brands understand the occasion and the emotion it invokes while framing their promotions and messages, says Venkat Rangachari, co-founder of Benddit.com, a sales and marketing solutions platform. National events (Republic Day, Independence Day)are about pride, sense of responsibility, sacrifice and courage, whereas festivals focus on joy, community, affection, family. “Brands must understand this difference. When the gap between a religious and national event is large, brands can participate in both. However, when its narrow, then brands must choose,” he says, and adds that a lot depends on the consumers that the brands are looking to reach out to.