Sur­ro­gate Ad­ver­tis­ing

The Things Brands Do Un­der Its Cover

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

As con­sumers, we have come across ad­ver­tise­ments bran­dish­ing McDow­ell’s or Bag­piper wa­ter and soda, Ra­jni­gandha Pan Masala, Sea­gram’s and Bac­ardi mu­sic, Red and White Brav­ery Awards, Smirnoff ap­ple juice, etc. Do we then won­der why a cig­a­rette or al­co­hol brand is mar­ket­ing drink­ing wa­ter or soda or sil­ver-coated elaichis (car­damoms) and pay­ing huge ad­ver­tis­ing costs in hir­ing celebri­ties?

As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor, Ka­mala Nehru Col­lege, Univer­sity of Delhi

Con­venor, Con­sumer Club, Depart­ment of Com­merce

At the New Delhi Rail­way Sta­tion, after ev­ery two min­utes the dig­i­tal board used for show­ing in­for­ma­tion on ar­rivals and de­par­tures of trains was ad­ver­tis­ing Ra­jni­gandha elaichis fea­tur­ing Priyanka Chopra as celebrity en­dorser. The company be­hind the mega brand Ra­jni­gandha also man­u­fac­tures to­bacco prod­ucts and earns huge prof­its from them. Since to­bacco ad­ver­tis­ing is banned, the us­ing of another prod­uct with same brand name serves as a re­minder to con­sumers. And for all pur­poses, this is sur­ro­gate ad­ver­tis­ing.

What Is Sur­ro­gate Ad­ver­tis­ing?

In In­dia, ad­ver­tise­ments for prod­ucts such as cig­a­rettes and al­co­hol which are in­ju­ri­ous to health are pro­hib­ited by law. So com­pa­nies come up with sev­eral other prod­ucts keep­ing the same brand name and through var­i­ous forms of pro­mo­tion in­di­rectly re­mind peo­ple of the cig­a­rettes or al­co­hol of the same brand.

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