The Things Brands Do Under Its Cover
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.