Brands are moving from social liking to love

It dawned on me while sitting in traffic; these days cars move at a crawl, but information beats the speed of light. With so much construction and development going on, there is more information around than day light. #InformationTravelsFast

Convenience savvy humans, digitally empowered consumers and time-starved professionals is what forms the consumer set for 90% of the brands today.

With the advent and invasion of digital-social media (Mr Digital), these brands are going through a makeover to survive and rise in the new-age economy. Mr Digital has an attractive personality. He is an attention driver and a seeker too. As the brands socialize with him, their behaviour is changing. You ask them about their ad, they snobbishly respond; we don’t need to advertise, we create and promote searchable and shareable content. You ask about their values, they take pride in saying – nothing less than customer delight. You ask them for brand guidelines; they preach about independence to communicate and become the most likeable one.

This brand behaviour implies INDEPENDENCE that the brands are enjoying. Independence to communicate beyond the product they belong to. Communication that is advertised on traditional mediums is not accepted by Socio-digital. He has a modern outlook, is too demanding and needs freshness at each level of interaction. This personality trait of the new-age medium governs the intent with which the content is being created for digital-social today. 

While being on traditional platforms, brands adhere to the norms of bold and in-the-face sales, clear USP mention, concluding it with a provocative call-to-action. But when the same brands get ready for a socio-digi party, they walk and talk independent. They express themselves more freely. They only talk what people want to hear and see, not what a consumer wants to buy. The brand mention comes as a courtesy towards the end. 

#WhyBrandsAreIndependent. Because along with digitally empowered consumers, they also cater to time-starved professionals and phonoholics. And at some level, each one of us want to set ourselves free from the boundaries of work anxieties and live to the fullest. Reason why, most of the digital content revolves around basic universal insight that in our daily busy lives, we often ignore things and moments that matter the most. Socio-digitally active brands, at the bottom of their heart believe in this.

Some brands are moving beyond shareability and creating love for their brand by preaching the opposite. It takes guts for a brand to preach the opposite of what it product demands for. Vodafone’s recent web film released on Friendship’s Day (third addition to their famous web series – #LookUp movement, two already done earlier on Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) is the best example of a brand seeking love not just sales.

Highlighting the new phenomenon – ‘phubbing’ (snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone) flourishing today, it reminds us of the real moments that we are actually missing out in real life. Emotions have been replaced by emojis and feelings have been replaced by stickers. We have come closer through a virtual window, where we love, laugh, dream, follow, like and interact with and through our cell phones, ignoring the real moments of happiness around us.

On digital, one highlights the insight by generalizing it so much that a common man (who is somewhere a prospective buyer and influencer as well) is able to relate his unfulfilled wishes with. It touches the heart of the viewers and when an emotional connect is established, job is half done.

Seen the latest Lenovo #GiftThemBelief film?

As an internet user, each one of us comes across several such brands daily. We also like and share their web films and videos. Not because we resonate with the brand, but because the brand resonates with our ideology. And makes use of content that is free from a pushy brand mention. And content that doesn’t introduce the brand as a hero, but makes it a hero any-which-ways. This is why, there is a clear divide in the way brands advertise their products on TV and the way they are seen interacting socially. #WithoutAPushyBrandMention

Remember, the Ariel film breaking gender sterotype – why is laundry a mother’s job? Dads #Share the load? A subtle and obvious brand mention. Real and relatable content. And the best thing is, emotions are not made up here.

I remember my agency days where the most difficult task was to bridge the gap between creatives’land experts and the brand’s mandate bearers – clients J
I am sure the residents of creatives’land must be enjoying the company of Mr Socio-Digital, as he gives them the freedom, the independence to communicate beyond the product. They can sound more lively & young on this medium than ever before.

Ruchi Adlakha
Head: Marketing


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