David Ogilvy once famously said, "The advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything." In India, jingles have made many a plain vanilla campaign memorable and if there is a song that the audience is already familiar with, it makes the job of the marketer that much easier. Amul's not the only one that's transformed a 30-second jingle into a long player. The complete play list includes favorites like Hamara Bajaj, Doodh si safedi Nirma se aaye, Tandrusti Ki Raksha Karta Hai Lifebuoy, and Vicco Vajradanti's jingle. There are quite a few brands that have been using their old jingles and advertising unchanged.
In the year 1976, the film Manthan was released that chronicled the story of the milk-led white revolution that changed the lives of the people in Gujarat. The credits interestingly began with the simple but powerful line: “500,000 farmers of Gujarat present the film.” It was a landmark in many ways: the farmers of the co-operative milk movement co-financed the production; each contributing Rs. 2 towards the film's budget.
In 1996, when Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) makers of the Amul brand completed 50 years; they were looking for a suitable anchor to bring out the celebratory mood and decided to use the popular song from Manthan — Mhaaro Gaanv Kathiavare.. (Translated as "The name of my village is Kathiwaad....") since both film and song were very close to the movement and had become iconic. Now 15 years later, the same jingle can be heard on Amul's new campaign with the slices of the life suitably adapted to the changed times.
David Ogilvy once famously said, "The advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything." But results are hard to ignore, whatever the opinion of well-regarded legends of advertising may have been.
In India, jingles have made many a plain vanilla campaign memorable and if there is a song that the audience is already familiar with, it makes the job of the marketer that much easier. Says Amer Jaleel, NCD — Lowe Lintas, "Nostalgia is all about relationships and is one of the most powerful marketing tools. A jingle is the physical manifestation of that nostalgia."
Of course, the challenge to brand building through this route is to find the voice (or the song) of the brand and stay consistent. Shares Nitin Karkare, chief operating officer, Mumbai of Draftfcb Ulka, on the Amul campaign, "The film has interplay between the urban and the rural milieu - and the cycle of prosperity for all its stakeholders." Of course, the more contemporary Sunidhi Chauhan has replaced Preeti Sagar's lilting voice used in the original film. Adds R.S. Sodhi, MD - GCMMF Ltd. (Amul) "The campaign shows the heritage and legacy of the brand and also how the brand connects with the rural and the modern India," all the while deploying a time-tested song to reiterate the powerful connect.
Amul's not the only one that's transformed a 30-second jingle into a long player. The complete play list includes favorites like Hamara Bajaj, Doodh si safedi Nirma se aaye, Tandrusti Ki Raksha Karta Hai Lifebuoy, and Vicco Vajradanti's jingle. In at least some cases, this could have been the result of the lack of imagination or lack of budgets. But these jingles willy-nilly evoke nostalgia these days, after a run that in the case of Vicco spans several generations.
The “Hamara Bajaj” campaign has montages of a changing India as also a powerful authentic deployment to signify that the brand is no more about scooters and autos only but it has much more to offer, with the familiar signature tune at the end. The twirling girl and the jingle have been two of the constants in all campaigns of Nirma, the Ahmedabad-based washing powder brand that has a much more diversified portfolio now.
The brand which is supposedly available in more Indian households than both Procter & Gamble and Unilever put together has been catering to a household that has undergone many changes. Thus the Nirma campaign has evolved to show a more empowered and modern woman of the house, while deploying the same familiar jingle, though with a greater pace. Says Santosh Padhi, co-founder of Taproot India, which has been working with the brand for a few years, "From the beginning, the brand has been clear that it wants to avoid advertising that dwelt on comparisons with other brands or pushing offers and schemes" - the hero (or heroine in this case) is clearly the jingle and all communication is mandated to use these two elements."
Great care and caution needs to be taken while using properties that have a legacy value to them, as it can become a burden as well. Adds Priti Nair, founder, Curry Nation, "It is good to have these things that are ownable, but important to make them relevant to changing times." She cites the example of Vicco Vajradanti that has not evolved with the time and remained the same in terms of the visual treatment as well as storyline.
In contrast the delightful 'Mummy' squeal of Santoor, has stayed since 1989, even though the mummy has evolved to become a dress designer, a choreographer, an architect reflecting the dreams and aspirations of the small-town Indian women — making the soap brand count among the top 5 in the country. Agrees MG Parameswaran, executive director and CEO, Draftfcb Ulka, "Consistency has to be married with change and energy. And to start with you have to have something that works, that is timeless and that can be extended big time."
There are quite a few brands that have been using their old jingles and advertising unchanged for years but not all manage to have a really memorable execution that merits the continuity. Says Sonal Dabral, managing partner, India, bates; "For most other brands who do not have a highly memorable creative idea but are still continuing with it, I can only see laziness and playing it safe as a cause."
Therefore, sticking to the good old jingle could be misconstrued as inability to be relevant and be in tune with the consumers. Ashish Mishra, chief strategist and head, Water plays the devil's advocate and makes a counter-point, "Is consistency of messaging and brand all that good at all? In a way isn't it anti-evolutionary? Could that be the mistake that the heritage brands are still making today? Hoping loyalty for their dated selves from their consumers? Trying to be a wife, instead of a lover?" Food for thought? Maybe.