Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
With the latest Hindu advertisement taking a dig at The Times Of India, one cannot help but start to think of the various advertisements which cropped up over the time, announcing and exposing some bitter rivalry between brands.”How they manage to stoop to such low levels in their bid to outdo each other?” – you cannot help but ponder. You start wondering if it really is clever advertising or just a way to make oneself appear better than the other. Right from the never-ending Coke Vs. Pepsi war to the various duels fought between the health drink companies, you cannot help but notice the beeped out brand names, the not-so-nice references and the slight slurs. Most people find it funny and enjoy the negativity which is widely used to gain as much advantage as they can in the market. All big brands wash their dirty linen out in public making it clear that there is obvious contention and animosity between them.
We are always interested in knowing about the various suits being filed and the brands coming up with clever advertisements . In terms of business, it is called competitive rivalry and it intensifies with retaliations and retributions. This rivalry continues and benefits both the products in a similar manner as it gets them noticed and the common man tends to try both to decide which one is better in a bid to be a part of the bigger game.It also hugely affects brand loyalty as people shift from one product to another.
Advertising in India is immensely prominent as people are easily influenced when popular celebrities endorse a brand- of course we all remember the way Amitabh Bachchan promoted Dairy Milk when the need arose and the way Aamir Khan helped Coca cola when the pesticide controversy was on. With the vulnerable audiences using advertisements to make major decisions about brand loyalty, using negativity comes easily to firms as it helps grab interest and curiosity. In a world where advertisements are used to sell products, India is a country where advertisements can do it all- from turning somebody into a star to starting a war over something controversial. They can help big multinationals gain huge profits. Why else do you think the soft drink industry is so profitable?
With the onset of all the competition in the advertising market and the never ending digs rivals take at each other, you cannot help but wonder as to what the reason could be? Is it plain advertising or attempts to demean the other? Upholding your own ground or making the other fall?
The aim is to make profits and gain popularity among the masses and to damage the rival’s popularity. The damage done is always not so irrelevant and it takes time to gain back the reputation you have lost in the market. Competition among firms is seen in ample and thus there is no better medium than using advertising to do the same. The questions do not end and the answers seem difficult to give, so all we can do is sit back and enjoy the sugar coated bitter rivalry as it unfolds on our television sets and the newspapers we read every the morning.