En­joy­ing the Star­dom

The brand is cur­rently high on the big ‘Pad­ma­vati’ tie-up.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Sankalp Dik­shit sankalp.dik­shit@afaqs.com

Few brands are able to mas­ter the art of lac­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tion with sharp and hard-hit­ting con­tent each and ev­ery time they de­cide to talk to the au­di­ence. Tata Group’s Tanishq is one such ex­am­ple. The Bengaluru based brand that turned 20 this year has to its credit, some of the finest ad films in re­cent times. While Tanishq and Lowe Lin­tas’ col­lab­o­ra­tion has re­sulted in some creatively sat­is­fy­ing work through the years, we at afaqs! Re­porter de­cided to take a de­tour from cel­e­brat­ing the agency and in­stead speak to the lady at the helm of Tanishq’s mar­ket­ing af­fairs.

Deepika Sab­har­wal Te­wari, vice pres­i­dent - mar­ket­ing, jew­ellery di­vi­sion, Ti­tan Com­pany, on be­ing ques­tioned about her in­volve­ment in craft­ing the brand’s in­ter­est­ing ads, can­didly tells afaqs! Re­porter, “Fi­nally, the buck stops at the client only!” She ex­plains, “A mar­keter will be fi­nally re­spon­si­ble for ap­prov­ing the strat­egy, cre­atives and ex­e­cu­tion. So, to that ex­tent, I am fully in­volved and I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for all the work that Lowe Lin­tas and Tanishq co-cre­ate. That doesn’t mean it is tak­ing away from the cre­ativ­ity, ideation and in­puts that the agency brings to the ta­ble. But fi­nally, who gives the ap­proval?”

Te­wari, who worked with Ogilvy & Mather In­dia for 12 years, says, “... At Ogilvy, we used to say, and I still be­lieve it, clients get the cre­atives that they de­serve. So when Lowe brings me the ‘Re­mar­riage creative’, for in­stance - I know that they would not have even taken it to another client. They know that this is some­thing Deepika will like and I know what brief Lowe will leap at.”

Tak­ing from that ‘Re­mar­riage’ ad ref­er­ence, this ad is re­garded as the turn­ing point in the brand’s ad­ver­tis­ing strat­egy. “We may all know a di­vorcee or a widow get­ting re­mar­ried. How­ever, it is not spo­ken about. And we thought that so­ci­ety was ready to dis­cuss this topic in the open. Sim­i­larly, all our other re­la­tion­ship ads are set in a mod­ern con­text. If you look at the ‘Mia’ ad, we brought the whole con­ver­sa­tion around gen­der bias, gen­der in­equal­ity. And now, many peo­ple are say­ing that it was re­fresh­ing to see some­thing other than the usual male bash­ing or nar­rat­ing a poor wo­man’s story.”

Work­ing at Ogilvy has helped Te­wari un­der­stand the dy­nam­ics bet­ter when sit­ting on the other side of the ta­ble. “Two things that worked for me and are part of my Ogilvy school of ad­ver­tis­ing and my Tanishq school of mar­ket­ing train of thought, is con­sumer in­sight. Ev­ery creative based on a strong con­sumer in­sight, can res­onate with con­sumers and leave them think­ing. The sec­ond is that ev­ery in­sight is not rel­e­vant to ev­ery cat­e­gory or prod­uct. When you have a com­bi­na­tion of these two things then great work hap­pens,” she in­forms.

Lowe Lin­tas, it seems, has taken upon it­self to build pur­pose-driven ads for al­most all the ac­counts that the agency cur­rently holds. Even in­dus­try stal­warts have gone on record to say that ads need to solve a prob­lem, but last we checked, the real goal of an ad was to boost sales this way or that. Ex­actly what you said! The pur­pose has to be of the ser­vice to the brand and the brand does not have to be in the ser­vice of the pur­pose,” ex­claims Te­wari.

How­ever, we can’t help but won­der, how does one en­sure that the bur­den of con­tent is not over­rid­ing the sales pur­pose in the ads? Te­wari ex­plains, “We don’t have a sin­gle stand per se. We are not here to make a so­cial change. That is the by-prod­uct of the whole thing. I am not for ‘Nari’ or fem­i­nism!” Te­wari tells afaqs! Re­porter that she sanc­tions con­tent only when it works for the brand, is pro­gres­sive, and leaves the con­sumer think­ing. “... we are af­fect­ing a lot of peo­ple with­out say­ing ‘Hawa badlo’ and all that!” she chuck­les.

In the past, Tanishq re­leased an ad which talked about how the brand is ready for var­ied types of wed­dings. So, which is the pain­point of the brand when it comes to mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion? “Tamil Nadu,” says Te­wari, “I need more love from this south­ern pocket. We are gain­ing in Andhra (East). We are loved in the North and the West too.”

Jew­ellery mar­ket play­ers are seen to be di­vided be­tween tra­di­tional and mod­ern brands. Tanishq is seen as a lev­eller. While peo­ple may ap­pre­ci­ate the ad films, they may still buy wed­ding jew­ellery from a fam­ily-owned brand or a fam­i­ly­pa­tro­n­ised brand. She says, “So, a cou­ple of points here that I would like to make. Firstly, Tanishq is the brand for the pro­gres­sive-minded In­dian and that’s not an age cri­te­rion but a mind­set cri­te­ria. So, we have a lot of pro­gres­sive ‘dadis’ also who say that Tanishq se hi kha­ree­denge. Sec­ond point be­ing, all young women want to buy from Tanishq and you know how par­ents these days laud their daugh­ters, es­pe­cially fa­thers. They give in and say, theek hai tum khush ho Tanishq kha­reed ke, so you must buy!’ So, the thought that ‘I will only buy from my tra­di­tional jew­eller’ is get­ting weaker with time.”

Te­wari says that her ar­gu­ment is sup­ported by math as well. She elab­o­rates, “...We are a 20-year-old brand. All women who got mar­ried 20 years ago prob­a­bly bought their jew­ellery from Tanishq. In the next five or 10 years, they’ll be the ones shop­ping for their chil­dren. So, then we will be their fam­ily jew­eller!”

An in­dus­try can­not work in iso­la­tion; Te­wari shares how the aug­ment of the Karan Jo­har era of ‘sangeet and mehendi’ cer­e­monies has pos­i­tively helped the jew­ellery busi­ness. Not just Jo­har, “Iconic peo­ple such as Sabyasachi (Mukherji) cer­tainly in­flu­ence the jew­ellery mar­ket,” adds Te­wari. Speak­ing of which, the brand has col­lab­o­rated with the up­com­ing his­tor­i­cal drama film, Pad­ma­vati. Te­wari be­lieves that movies are eter­nal and with this as­so­ci­a­tion, Tanishq too will be re­mem­bered for­ever. “For gen­er­a­tions, when peo­ple are go­ing to see this movie, our jew­ellery will be there in ev­ery frame,” is how Te­wari puts it.

But apart from nos­tal­gia what ex­actly is in store for Tanishq on the busi­ness front with ref­er­ence to Pad­ma­vati? Te­wari elu­ci­dates, “What­ever Bol­ly­wood wears, be­comes a trend. Her­itage jew­ellery is any­way go­ing to be­come a trend now thanks to Bhansali. So, why should we not gain from the wave which he is go­ing to cre­ate? From a busi­ness point of view also, the ROI works out very well.”

And that’s not all! The Pad­ma­vati ‘gain wave’ has be­gun for Tanishq, “I have al­ready built my for­tunes with this film by cash­ing it on Di­wali! We are prob­a­bly the only jew­eller that grew this fes­tive sea­son. We had dou­ble-digit growth! Ev­ery­body made large of­fers while we had Pad­ma­vati,” shares Te­wari. ■

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