“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”
Lockdown or no, the show must go on. That’s the principle India Inc has embraced during this nationwide shutdown to stem the spread of COVID-19. The bazaars are shuttered, as are most factories, and shoppers have been sequestered for nearly two months. So how are brands winning people’s hearts when everyone is worried about their lungs? The answer is creativity, as David Ogilvy professed long before the pandemic changed the rules of the game: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
Take Unilever’s Surf Excel campaign #DaagGharPeRahenge. The advert created using stills and the narration of seven-year-old Grishma Mohan motivates kids to stay at home with a message they can grasp: The swing, the bicycle, the playground will wait for us—if we just stay at home for a few days.
Prabha Pandey, mother of a six-year-old, says, “My daughter has been insisting on going to...