A session by Ranjeet Kumar
Successful ad campaigns never fail to draw a smile across our face. Be it Swiggy’s What the Falooda or Snickers’ Hungerithm or Volvo Truck’s Epic Split, there is something in all of them that binds them together into beautiful pieces of advertising.
“They took a social media sentiment, turned it into cause marketing and changed the entire e-commerce set-up to give the brand a very immersive experience,” says Ranjeet Kumar, the Head of Content and Strategy, upGrad. He is an ideator, digital marketer, storyteller and everything in between. He started his career in film direction, moved into television with Channel V & later to advertising and marketing with stints at Treebo.com & various networks like WPP, IPG, Dentsu, Publicis. His achievements include helping increase Renault India’s market share from 2% to 5% (FY 14–16) & led the launch of Visa’s contactless cards, helped them achieve 8X growth in 11 months, the same campaign was shortlisted as APAC ‘Campaign Of The Year’ by Mumbrella Asia.
He uses a very simple yet powerful technique called Story-tech-ing. Like most other methods, this one too starts with research and observation. Taking into account people’s behaviour online and offline, for instance, their use of cuss words, the current trends over WFH or those around sustainability. The next step is to distil all of this research and observation down into one very simple human insight — the key here is one insight, you cannot have too many insights in one bag. as they may make the campaign go haywire.
Now what follows is coding this insight with a layer of a message, this can be a social message or something to do with brand-trust. It is basically using fiction to create a story around the insight. It might sound like regular story-telling so far but here comes the turning point. Now we use technology, be it data analytics or social media or Google Maps. The role of technology is to explode the idea among the general masses. Be it using real-time data to identify traffic jams like Burger King did for its ‘The Traffic Jam Whopper’ campaign or the way Carlings used AR in their ‘Digital-Clothing-Collection’. Tech can manifold the idea’s reach and help the brand soar new heights. And this is what story-tech-ing is all about.
“Strategically we are moving towards an experience that is helping customers come to us,” says Ranjeet. “Brands need to focus on CX i.e. Consumer Experience or BX i.e. Brand Experience. This can create a great mind space in the minds of customers.”
Netflix and chill — one of the best ways to say cool. That’s how Netflix has embedded itself in the society. But with the amount of screen-time we have, there’s a lot of ad fatigue or experience fatigue that has seeped in. And this means keeping the user’s need at the core and then establishing a deep connection which is much more important than communication. This is the tool they use to create path-breaking pieces of work — dynamic connections.
Take two factors into consideration, one that is in the brand’s control like pricing or discounts and the other that’s not in their control like social media sentiments or amount of light falling on a particular house. Now correlate these together, some will sound weird and strange but some might just fit in well. Club the potential combinations with a simple human insight and voila! There you have a concept waiting to be scaled and launched among the masses.