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Goafest 2015: Of Gods as brands and croissants cut in half

Final day of the festival hosted 180 Amsterdam’s Alan Moseley, who talked about how brands needed to diversify their approach

Aanchal Kohli | Goa | April 13, 2015

[caption id="attachment_52923" align="alignnone" width="480"]goafest2015-Devdutt-Pattanaik Devdutt Pattanaik[/caption]

The final day of Goafest 2015’s Knowledge Seminar, presented by Star India, began with Devdutt Pattanaik, mythologist and leadership coach and consultant, presenting his thoughts on ‘God as a Brand’.

Taking the audience through how Gods can be linked to the brands, he said, “Over 2,000 years ago, the concept of Shiva and Vishnu did not exist as we know them today. And interestingly, since last 2,000 years, the message that both these names have been passing on from generation to generation has been consistent. Nobody knew them personally, but the messaging was strong.”

Pattanaik added that they never had an agency or a brand custodian, but they still managed to control generation after generation. Pattanaik’s presentation expressed the difference between how Vishnu is perceived as the protector and how Shiva is perceived as the destroyer, and indicated that both the Gods are householder and the hermit, respectively.

He connected both the ‘God brands’ (Vishnu and Shiva) in various situations, including the entire ecosystem, how and which animals are associated with them. He said, “It is not about how the brand is perceived, but rather about what approach a brand has. Their stories have been consistent and are heard everywhere, but the messaging still remains the same.”

Pattanaik believes that the only reason why the two Gods share a same imagery is the fact that both brands have tried to set examples of their core essence, but as the name depicts, the hermit (Shiva) is always shown with his children in various portrayals, while Vishnu, the householder, is never shown in that manner. “So, this shows how a brand should communicate and should be clear about its core essence. God and a brand are an idea, choice and business, which is being communicated using different tools.”

While concluding his presentation, Pattanaik stressed upon the fact that consistency of messaging should be a brand’s core idea. Also, the brand’s core essence should be strong enough to let the consumers make a strong image in their hearts and minds. He said, “Brand God appealed to a very primal, human need of the market. If you get so much value out of it, you pass it on to the next generation, who passes it on to the next generation and so on.”

‘Evolve as per desired need and demand’

Starting the presentation with an anecdote, Alan Moseley, President and Chief Creative Officer, 180 Amsterdam, talked about on how croissants had made the organisation realise an important factor about evolving as per the needs and demands of their consumers.

“We all at our office have a habit of having breakfast of croissants, which are kept on every table. But when we have meetings with clients, we witnessed that those croissants were not being consumed or even touched. That was a concern, because every single person in our office loved those croissants and somehow no client touched it. This also left our senior level guys in dilemma as to whether the meeting will go well or not. Keeping that in mind, we thought of bettering the quality of the croissants, but again they were not consumed. We kept on improving them, but still no change.”

He continued, “Our senior management kept thinking of a solution, but could not come up with one. We even got best quality pastries, but no luck there too. Then an intern went ahead and cut the croissants into half and asked to try this. Interestingly, in our next meeting, the client consumed it. Then we realised the fact that clients were not consuming as they probably didn’t wanted to eat like dogs. This way they were eating about two to three croissants.” The point of Moseley’s anecdote was that “there is no problem, but it’s the way we look at it”.

He felt that it is important for advertisers to ‘jump in’ when the client is looking for a solution. “It is important to understand the need and demand of the consumers deeply, then face it and solve it with passion and force,” he added.

According to him, there has to be a consistent need of passion, but with a fresh perspective all the time. Moseley said, “Advertising should be so strong that it should make the consumer change its behaviour and acceptance. He surmised his session by saying, “Use the Apocalypse to create energy, don’t look for easy client solutions and always cut the pastries in half. It is hard to shift a consumer’s perspective when the messaging is safe.”

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