Ad-ding to the new normal: restarting life in the post-Covid 19 world!

Over the past several days, India has been in the ‘unlock’ mode after going through many weeks of Covid-19 induced lockdown. And as the country starts to get active once again, latest brand campaigns are successfully weaving in the message of positivity and hope. Of late, a number of new ad films have focused on underlining the theme of restarting lives and looking forward to a fresh journey.

Of courage and grit

For starters, the Bata ad – featuring actor Kriti Sanon – wants people to kick out 2020 with all its negativity, and get ready to enjoy good times again with friends/family. On the other hand, Philips India’s campaign talks about spreading joy, from one home to another, in the spirit of Diwali celebrations. Then, Sonata’s ad film is about celebrating the courage and grit of people from different walks of life, who are doing things differently in order to make their mark in the new and unseen world that we are in right now.

“With the gradual unlocking of things, the overall mood is of hope and positivity. And that’s what brands also want to focus on. If you don’t have a forward-looking, ‘restarting’ theme in your campaigns, then what’s there for people in such difficult times?” says ad filmmaker and Bollywood director, Pradeep Sarkar, adding: “You can’t keep focusing on what has already happened. And now that things are opening up, ad campaigns also need to keep up with the prevailing mood of the nation. That also helps brands strike an immediate connect [with consumers].”

Building the brighter future

Probably that’s why in Lodha group’s new campaign, which is mainly targeted at the Diwali season, actor Akshay Kumar makes a fervent appeal to people about getting together in these tough times, help increase employment avenues, and how everyone’s effort will help make the future brighter. An ad film by MakeMyTrip, starring actor Aparshakti Khurana, talks about the end of 2020, and asks people to rekindle their spirit of travel. Then, Peter England’s new communication, featuring Ayushmann Khurrana, focuses on ‘beginning of good things with the perfect festive look.’

“It’s simple: when the atmosphere around is so gloomy, with the outlook being negative, how do you get the consumers to spend and buy your product? You have to come up with feel-good campaigns to reassure people that all is fine,” says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, adding: “Otherwise, in today’s world amid the pandemic, open consumption [of certain luxury products] may look like sin to many. Also, brands know that people are uncertain about the future and so, they would want to save money, with less income and falling economy. So, unless you change their mindset to ‘positive’, they are unlikely to spend.”

Inception of good things

Brands, on their part, also yearn to “focus on the future and positive elements.” As Manish Singhai, COO, Peter England said in a statement: “The storyline [of Khurrana-starrer ad campaign] metaphorically marks the inception of good things after the recent happenings, and directs us all to find a perfect look to celebrate these beginnings.” Experts, too, feel that after over seven months of lockdown, people need “an elixir of hope”, and if brands’ communication delivers that messaging, there’s nothing like it.

“You have to accept that over the last few months, people were extremely worried on account of their health, finances, and even survival in a lot of cases. But one thing that has always kept human being’s fighting spirit alive is a sense of hope as that can be your biggest weapon in such difficult times. That way, if ad films or any public service messaging weaves in the emotion of hope and positivity, it will connect with consumers at large,” concludes film exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.

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