The situation presented to the participants was quite clear. In its print campaign for Kurl-on mattresses the company’s advertising agency used three celebrities who bounced back in their lives in their own characteristic styles. One of these featured child rights campaigner, 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan.
The advertisement raised a furore in the way it depicted the young Nobel-Laureate. But the advertising company clearly stated that the intention was not to hurt anyone and that creativity is universal and not restricted to a personality. People and their lives are just part of a bigger story.
Why the MICA team of Shruti Rao and Priyam Dua won
Advertising is a strong means of communication in any context, more so where it is possible to portray bits from our daily lives. It touches a chord with the consumer and connects to their emotions more than any other medium. However, not all advertising can be viewed through a universal prism. The country-specific context too is critical. The winners in this case have been able to clearly bring out their version of a campaign much more logically than the four contestants ranked 2 to 5. The reasons are explained below:
Conceptual clarity : The situation described a ‘slice of life’ that touches upon our earliest narrative, when we were young and loved the lap of our mothers. The cultural connotation for a comfortable night sleep or an afternoon siesta often happens to be the comfort of a mother’s lap, associated with the comfortable rocking motion that sends the baby to sleep. These memories do not really go away and can be reignited when the context arises. The contestants were able to bring this out successfully.
Rationale : The contestants have built the rationale around nostalgia which brought out with conceptual clarity. Nostalgia does not discriminate and hence, in this specific case, where the product cuts across segments independent of age, our oldest memories have emotions woven around them. The way the copy line is narrated too connects to this rationale.
Tagline : Kurl-on – Maa ke pyaar jaisa aaram
It clearly communicates and links the central idea that, if one has to look for rest / relaxation, it has to be as good as the mother’s lap. The contestants knowingly or unknowingly have been able to bring the element embedded in our deepest memories to the fore.
Unlike in many cultures, where children sleep in independent bedrooms at night, the situation is very different in India, where the younger ones snuggle up with their mother. The short description and the copy line suggested by the authors clearly leverages this cultural link and hence has every possibility to connect to the intended audience – in this case, the key decision-maker (parent / family elders).
2 nd Position :
‘Kurl-on for the right bounce’
The first runners-up, Atul Bharadwaj and Siddharth Jain, LBSIM, Delhi, project a humorous route to get their message across but the logic and explanation is found weaker on certain aspects which reduced the weightage on certain parameters, such as originality and elaboration.
The contestants do not explain the concept although the situations and the event-based linkage to the commercial / advertisement is appropriate. The tagline ‘Kurl-on for the right bounce’ too is not much of a departure from the earlier O&M campaign. An original thought would have added some more weight to the campaign.
3 rd Position :
‘A Kurl-on night gives you a spring in your stride’
The presentation by Bala Sai Kiran and Nandan Majumdar, MICA, is detailed and organised. The three situations too are nicely described. But the connect with the target audience is doubtful unless more details are presented by the contestants on how they wish to link the three characters in the situations described
4 th Position :
‘Kurl-on to dream on’
The campaign submitted by the third runners-up Navani and Nitya, from MICA, presents three unique situations. The difficulty with such ideas is connecting to the target audience. For instance, in the second ad the tag ine says ‘leave behind the mundane to realize the power of your dreams’; this moves a little away from reality and sends a message disconnected from the concept of rest and relaxation.
5 th Position :
More bounce, less wear and tear
The campaign by Nikhil and Parina, IIM Ranchi, looks at the bounce factor conveyed through an image of astronauts bouncing on a Kurl-on mattress. Though they have fun elements, the three ad situations miss the deeper connect with the concept and only reiterate the bounce element.
(The author is Professor & Coordinator, Marketing & Strategy, IBS Hyderabad)