Rethink Placement

Rethink Placement

It was just yesterday that I was watching CNBC just before leaving for office and happen to see the epic Bangur Cement television spot. I am not sure...

It was just yesterday that I was watching CNBC just before leaving for office and happen to see the epic Bangur Cement television spot. I am not sure if the ad works for the brand or not, but it does have a strong recall for the unusual, irrational voiceover. It is hilarious.

Moments after this, I was watching some of the latest campaigns by cement companies. Most were from the past year and successful, and I do recall them for the category relevance and the emotional connect. Be it Birla Cement’s ‘Pressure deta nahi, leta hai’, Khali’s ad for Ambuja (this was one of the best ones in recent times), Ultratech Cement’s ‘Mason, the hero’ and others. Each one very different in its positioning, yet tugging the emotional chord and staying relevant with high recall. One of the latest ones I encountered on YouTube was Dalmia Cement’s latest campaign. To my surprise, there was a robot in the ad. Yes, a robot.

The campaign by Dalmia Bharat Group has a humanoid leading the narrative, throughout. Conceptualised by J Walter Thompson, Kolkata, the film portrays the humanoid as a constant companion of one’s life. The relationship of the humanoid grows with the family as the ad progresses. From the time the couple’s baby is born to his earlier stages of life, the humanoid is shown as a constant and reliable caregiver to the family. The humanoid, while passing through various roles of a guardian and caregiver, finally helps the couple make the right choice of material for building their home. The ad concludes with the super – ‘With you forever to build the future’.

Clearly, the ad is very different from others in its category in product handling, subject treatment and placement. However, there is still the same effort in adding an emotional touch, which is clear as the ad progresses. The positioning for the product is set on a rather futuristic note and hence the humanoid, the CG and the building future proposition by highlighting the technical superiority of the cement. We really appreciate the efforts behind the idea of standing out in the category, but the biggest question is how effective is the campaign? Will the messaging resonate with the target group? We doubt.

Even if we are trying to cater to the new-age, tech-savvy customer and trying to make them believe the technical superiority of the product, the connectivity in communication does not seem to be so strong. Chances are, they will forget the brand / the ad in no time, which loses the purpose of the campaign.

Also, what struck us is the indifferent media plan of the campaign. While Dalmia Group is doing its best to be futuristic, it has chosen theatres and other offline channels for promotion. We have not seen much happening on digital channels, where their target audience is hanging out at. The purpose seems to have lost. No matter how good/unique the communication is, it is not effective unless set on the right platforms. Rethink placements.

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