Advertising to Influence the Customers’ Minds – Case Studies on Marketing Management

8

Advertising to Influence the Customers’ Minds*

Prakash and Rajesh have been close friends since their college days. After a long time, they were planning to have a party at Prakash’s home to catch up. Ankita, Prakash’s wife, had prepared tasty food. Prakash, who worked as a lecturer in a college, came back early from office. On his way back home, he bought two bottles of cold drinks. After having freshened up, he started watching TV with his son, Rony. However, Rony snatched the remote from Prakash’s hand because he wanted to watch Cartoon Network. Their conversation went this way:

Prakash: Watching cartoon all the time is not good. Go, do your home work.

Rony: Papa, I’ve already finished my home work. Please let me watch cartoon now.

Prakash: No. Let me first watch the news; you can then watch cartoon.

Rony was a little upset at this. After some time, during the commercial break, the Nokia Lumia 800 mobile advertisement was aired. Rony immediately said: Papa please get this mobile; Rohit uncle (Prakash’s neighbour) has it.

Prakash: Why? What’s wrong with my existing mobile? It is working fine. Why should I buy an expensive new one?

Rony: That is a brand new model. New features come with it Papa.

At this point, Ankita joined the conversation.

Ankita: No son. We will buy a new mobile next year. When will your friends come, Prakash?

Prakash: Even I am waiting for them. I’ll give them a ring.

 

Do you think that Prakash will be influenced by the family discussion to buy a Nokia Lumia 800?

The telephonic conversation between Prakash and Rajesh went like this:

Prakash: Hi Rajesh! Where are you? When are you coming?

Rajesh: We are on the way. We will reach in 20 minutes.

Prakash: OK. Come safely. Bye.

Rajesh: Bye.

While they were talking, Rony snatched the remote from his dad’s hand and started watching cartoon. He then switched over to Star Sports during the commercial break.

Prakash: Why are you moving from one channel to another?

Rony: Due to advertisements.

Prakash: Do you enjoy watching cricket?

Ankita interrupted the conversation.

Ankita: Prakash, leave him alone for a while.

Prakash: OK. As you wish.

Prakash opened his laptop for doing some work, and instantly Rony jumped over to see what his dad was up to. In the meanwhile, Ankita joined her son to watch TV once she was through with her kitchen chores. It was 6:30 p.m.—time to watch Ruk Jana Nahi on Star Plus. Ankita took the remote from her son. Rony became upset as he could not watch cartoon any more. Eventually advertisements started after 10 minutes of serial. After a while the door bell rang. Rony ran quickly towards the door and opened it.

Prakash: Hi! How are you, man? (Hugging each other)

Rajesh: I am fine, dude. What about you, Ankita and Rony?

Ankita: We are fine, Rajesh. Please take your seat.

Prakash: Where are Pankaj, Amit and Debang?

Rajesh: They are busy parking downstairs.

Prakash: How is your work going on? Any new project allocated to you?

Rajesh: Fine. Yes, and that makes my life so harsh.

Prakash: Oh! That’s really bad, let’s enjoy the party.

Pankaj, Amit and Debang were on their way up. In the meantime, another part of the serial had started; Ankita turned her attention to watching the serial. Prakash and his friends continued talking in a low voice. Soon there was a commercial break. Rajesh who was working as a lecturer in a reputed B-school was watching the advertisement about Garnier Skin Naturals Light Ultra attentively.

Prakash: Can you tell me why this company uses an actress for advertising? It would have been better if they could have visualized it in a different way.

Rajesh: You are correct, Prakash.

 

  1. Do you think that using actresses in advertisements is meaningful?
  2. Do you think advertisements have the potential to magnetize prospective customers?

Prakash was waiting anxiously for the other three guests and, almost instantly, the door bell rang. Prakash went to open the door.

Prakash: There must have been a good-looking girl to help you park your car, isn’t it? (Everybody laughed, even Rony smirked.)

Pankaj: How are you doing, Ankita? Hey Rony! What’s up?

Ankita: We are fine. How’s your wife?

Pankaj: She is fine.

Ankita: How are you guys doing? (Ankita asked Amit and Debang.)

Amit and Debang: Absolutely great!

Ankita served cold drinks to the guests. While Amit was working as an assistant engineer in a software company, Debang was working in an advertisement consulting firm, after completing his MBA. All of them were well established in their professions. A high-decibel argument was expected on the topic of advertising, since there were two marketing professionals present from two poles, one an employee and the other a professor.

Rajesh: What is your actual role at work, Debang?

Debang: I am working as an assistant manager in a private company. I handle a team of 9–10 members, each of the team members and myself consult with the MNCs and try to understand their requirements, take over the projects and deliver the results to them within the assured time frame.

Rajesh: So you have a support team who are actually making the advertisement.

Debang: Not exactly. We play an important role. We decide which advertisement will go where. We have a technical team to whom we give directions. When big projects come our way, the management selects a few assistant managers to lead the project.

Rajesh: What problems do you and your team members face while finalizing a deal with any company?

 

What do you think Debang’s reply to Rajesh’s question would be?

Prakash and Amit: We will be very pleased if you allow us into this conversation (Prakash, acting in an apologetic manner, just for fun).

Rajesh and Debang: Yes, sure.

Ankita and Rony were listening to their conversation with interest and tried to get some idea on advertising. Ankita alerted them to finish the snacks and coffee after which they started again.

Prakash: I wanted to contribute something to the last discussion, though advertising is not my subject.

Rajesh: Please continue.

Prakash: Have you guys ever seen ‘Happydent Complete (2012)’ advertisement on TV or on YouTube?

Amit: Yes, I have seen it, and it was interesting.

Rajesh: Yes, it is a good one. Have you noticed that they are offering gifts if you can answer the next part of the advertisement.

Prakash: Exactly, that is what I wanted to tell you. However, they did not disclose the address, at least on YouTube. But the advertisement is very nice.

 

Does this advertisement make any sense? Can it attract new customers for buying its product?

After the conversation, they went downstairs to smoke. The conversation went on to topics related to marketing, which put Amit in an uncomfortable zone.

Prakash: I will bear all the expenses; you don’t need to pay anything.

Rajesh: Why? As you are hosting the party tonight please bear our travel expenses also. (They all started to laugh.)

Prakash took a packet of Classic branded cigarette and offered to his friends.

Rajesh: So what I was trying to say was that there is a good part in every advertisement, and it all depends on how you look at it.

Amit: True. I believe in this philosophy at every step of life. However, as you guys were discussing, I am a little worried about my son because he is 12 years old and already Internet savvy. I had seen nudity in advertisements, which is also reflected in games and on download sites. I am really scared about this, and we cannot sit beside him always while he is surfing.

Rajesh: Yes, that is really worrying. We cannot possibly stop our children from playing games online, as this generation is almost fully dependent on the Internet.

 

  1. What are the possible social impacts of these kinds of advertisements.
  2. Should companies exhibit such advertisements (e.g. the latest deodorants ads) despite its negative social impact on young minds?

By now, they had completed smoking. Ankita called them to have dinner.

Once they reached upstairs, they found Rony playing video games on the desktop. Prakash scolded him. Rony quickly turned off the computer and went to the study room. Prakash and his friends started having dinner and resumed their conversation.

Rajesh: Yummy! The food is really delicious, Ankita.

Ankita: Thanks.

Prakash: To conclude our discussion, let us look at the positive impact that advertisements create.

Amit: Oh no! Not advertisements again!

Rajesh: On our next meeting, we will discuss technology-related issues, and you will host that.

Amit: That’s good.

Debang: Have you guys seen the new Coca-Cola advertisement on TV?

Amit: Yes. The song used in that advertisement is really superb. But what is new in this advertisement?

Ankita: Shall I say something in this matter?

Rajesh: Sure.

Ankita: Whenever Rony watches this advertisement, he starts nagging me for Coca-Cola. Maybe this is a good advertisement but it has a strong impact on children’s minds.

 

  1. Why do you think Coca-Cola is using this song to influence children?
  2. What are some of the good and bad impacts of such advertisements on consumers?