Its A War

As a child when we used to watch the advertisement of, then, popular ketchup brand comparing its contents with that of ‘kaddu sauce’, we did not know the half of what branding is all about. With age, once Maggi entered the scenario, everything else, including mama’s home cooked Chinese, seemed like a waste of time. Who would want to grind hours in the kitchen when all it takes is 5 minutes to gulp it down eventually? Plus we also used to get those small dinky toys with every pack of 6. Nothing beats that, right- especially, if its 1984.
Today’s competitive marketing makes it so hard to decide on a product. Whether its food, snacks, flour, cars or Hawaii chappal. And to make sure the products are world class they drop in a free gift too.
Now if every deodorant brand makes women swoon over men like hungry dogs, jump of the skies or run abashedly with minimalist clothes on in the forests, isn’t that just a tough choice to make, then? Like there’s no other quality in men that women really seek. Plus, every innerwear claims that their product is all it takes to make men turn macho. What a load of fish! Now don’t even get me started on the condoms.

Fairness is obviously the oldest fad in the advertising world. Considering that our country is obsessed with the ‘fair & lovely’, that was one arena they knew they would always make moolah. It started more than 20 years back with women and once it was tried and tested on the guinea pigs, the spotlight moved over to the men. And if that was not all, they began battling it with the age factor too. No wonder when one first meets a new person in a party they blurt out, which anti ageing do you use? And that is to say, who really cares whether she’s still in her early twenties, if she must move in the upmarket social circles, she must use the product to qualify for Page 3.
We had not really recovered from the internationally drawn cola wars that we had our own brand war back home – for detergents! Now till date I have possibly used at least three different brands of detergent and all of them claimed they are the best, but naturally. None of these really showed any stark difference in the way my clothes turned out from the machine. More so, the only jasmine/rose I ever smell is in the pack itself, it never gets translated to my bed linen and my whites always stay white they never turn chalk! Am I doing something wrong here?
Talking about colas, even the two biggest grossers have so many varied kinds of aerated drinks that it’s impossible to pay loyalty to just one.  I am not even a cola freak and still when I look at all kinds of people jumping off cliffs, over the rooftops or hanging off a helicopter it just makes me wonder…why would one want to show so much courage for a drink that’s proven to be a pesticide? Talking about that now, did you hear about the chicken used for McD burgers? Just breaks my heart to see how we’re all getting trapped in this whirlpool, more so the children.
Its amazing how these products build up on their statistics to target the younglings who will fancy anything from a chocolate to a milk supplement, from a snack to a toothpaste, from a fruit juice to children’s perfume. You say it and it’s all available for the children. No wonder every time you go groceries shopping you’re asked ‘what’s in it for me?’ And all you end up doing is buy more of snacks and goodies than pulses. Phew!
To get the brand loyalty, the companies would go to any lengths even if it means that every other toothpaste is ‘dentist ka sujhaya hua’. Some have laung, some have salt, some have….flourides like no other. I wonder who really qualifies them to be the world’s no 1, anyway. By the way the latest is the direct assault on the quality of Colgate (Strong Teeth- which is the brand leader) by Pepsodent Germicheck, which claims that their toothpaste is 130% better. It’s absolutely great that comparative analysis is completely legal if backed by evidence, but as a consumer I am left like a starved monkey in the cat fight.
Uff!! What’s next? 

Image courtesy : Google

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32 thoughts on “Its A War

  1. Haha…your post reminds me of a MAD magazine I read ages ago which took off on the ads showing what they 'really' do. If the products delivered exactly what the ads promised, we'd all be walking on air, smelling likes daisies and showing off our pearly white teeth! 😉

  2. True and true and true again. You know, just today I saw that ad claiming one toothpaste better than the other by 130% and I was thinking along the same lines.

  3. So much money is poured into advertising that it should be used instead to better the products. All the companies are out to grab eyeballs in the ever changing scenario of the fickle-minded consumers.

  4. So true! Reminded me of the Thumbs Up ad where Akshay Kumar does all sorts of stunts to retrieve a bottle of the drink and son commented, "is he dumb or what! why can't he go buy another one instead"

  5. the most amazing thing is the effect these ad's have on the kids mind… my 9 year old will just not brush his teeth with the paste we all in the family do.. he must have his pepsodent… no closeup which is there since 15 years in our house… I think they stay with them for a logn time… like boost, maggi, pepsi stayed with me… although I never drink pepsi and prefer thums up the word pepsi is just on my tongue way too much… it affects us in ways we cannot think it does… these guys are pretty smart..

  6. So true! They says Advertisement is an 'emotional' business…we must know how to make business out of the consumer's emotions….no wonder, most ad on TV have kids in them…or a family. Indians get sold on that idea 🙂

  7. With me being away from cable TV on days on end, I actually find ads more interesting than actual TV shows. Smaller plots, mostly funny, have a splattering of celebrities, its a complete package.-Ayush

  8. ha! So true!!I loved the before and after pic! :PSome things stay – like Hitchy mentioned – Maggi, Pepsi and colgate toothpaste, Vicco Turmeric! 😀

  9. Ha! All the more reason to educate our young ones, I guess! My boys are always shocked that things are not what they seem…they still have the idea that grownups don't lie!! 😀

  10. "I wonder who really qualifies them to be the world’s no 1, anyway." – I do too. And every time that little star in front of such big claims flashes on the TV screen 9more to be unseen than seen!), I work very hard to read who, just who and from what planet, calls this product No. 1? Alas! In all my 30 years, I have not been able to, even when my nose was touching the TV, literally! 😛 Pertinent and well-written post!

  11. This is an interesting post. Even if all ads seem nonsensical , they some how impact people. I really dont know how they round on a prodct, based on their fav hero or some thing else !!I decide then and there in super mart and of course freebies if interesting is a plus point but going overboard and making meaningless ads amuses me too 🙂

  12. Truly said. Brand wars only leave us consumers confused. Eventually we end up trying diff brands and see what suits us. I have been so lucky that in my years of advertising career, I didn't have to deal with a client who wants to take the anti-opponent route. I wonder what I will do if I get a brief to go against the competition's claim…

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