Question: I saw the Kwality Walls piece of advertising with my 13 year old kid. It embarrassed me no end. I thought ice-creams were for kids. How come? Satish Venkat, Bangalore Answer: Satish, I hope you were the only embarrassed one of the two. Ice-cream advertising is coming of age in India. The concept to examine is the one that points at two forms of brand positioning and advertising. The first form is what I term “narrow spectrum” positioning and the second is “broad spectrum” positioning. When ice-cream (or for that matter frozen dessert) brands enter a market, the first thing they do is pluck the lowest common denominator of the market. This is the child-audience of the country at large. Key and simple insight: Kids love ice-cream. All ice-cream advertising therefore, focuses on little children as consumers and their not so little parents as endorsers and buyers. When you advertise an ice-cream for a 2-15 year old, this is narrow-spectrum positioning. The potential for the consumption of an ice-cream is however, across the base of the population at large. After plucking the low-hanging fruit of the market, marketers focus on the possibility of a broad-spectrum appeal that could grab the child, adult and geriatric alike, into consumption. This is when advertising starts addressing every family member there is to address, with one common appeal. Broad-spectrum positioning however robs a brand of focus. And that is the downside of this kind of a positioning stance. Reasoning: When a brand means everything to everybody, it means nothing to anybody! The ice-cream advertising you are referring to, is an attempt to make the ice-cream as adult as possible. The adult market is full of value. Adults are getting very indulgent today. And its time to capitalize on this trend. Its time to erase memories of the ice-cream as a kiddy thing to do, from the mind of the adult. And therefore, this attempt. Don’t be too embarrassed. Let’s hope the kid at hand does not understand the hidden meaning of all those suggestive notes and tones. I am sure this is a false hope, though.
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This makes sense doesn't it? All the advertisements - print and television has some sex innuendo or the other in it. It is all part of the strategy to include the 'broad spectrum' hmm.
We are from the land of Kamasutra but we will not allow girls and boys to sit together in classrooms. We will give sexual connotations to ice cream but we will not show two people kissing on screen. We will have women in itsy bitsy clothes in every scene of the film to attract the crowd but she has to wear a Saree or a salwar kameez when the hero talks of marriage to her. We will have condom vending machines installed in all public places but will laugh at any one who tries to use one.
We are a very confused people aren't we?