Advertising is a big business in this era in India. Indian Advertising industry has witnessed a prominent globalization. With the inception of various divisions, the advertising industry has undergone a sea change. Indian consumer’s deepening pocket and blooming markets for ad-spends have touched new heights in India. The Indian Advertising Companies are creating stories and brand experiences in a way that engages and involves. The Best Indian sites offer the names of the top Advertising Organizations In India.
With a wide range of usage of daily information source, the advertising agencies have exploited almost all sources of information to reach the common people and become an intermediary for their client companies.
This comprehensive study is mainly aimed to understand the mindset of the respondents about the changing trends in advertising strategy of using spokes characters rather than celebrity endorsers. As per the information provided by the respondents, the study is expected to provide a bird’s eye view over the preference of the viewers and their thought process.
Determining the Project Title.
Research of the topic.
Developing a sample questionnaire.
Getting the questionnaire filled by the sample respondents.
Data collection and compilation.
Analyzing the data using certain software tools.
Coming up with final interpretation.
Making of the report.
The project “Viewer’s Perception towards changing Advertising strategies: A case where spokes characters are replacing the field of celebrity endorsements.” is an attempt to find whether the shift in advertising strategy is affecting the brand awareness of a viewer. This project has also been conducted to gather information about viewer’s preference towards spokes characters and celebrity endorsers along with the attributes which affects a viewer’s likings for a particular ad.
This study has also explored the factors affecting viewer’s awareness towards different advertising strategies (celebrity endorsement or spokes characters). This is also an attempt to study whether the shift in advertising strategy is affecting the brand awareness of a viewer.
Earlier studies have been conducted where impact of celebrity endorsements and animated characters has been explored but a comparative study has still not been done. Thus finding this gap as an opportunity to contribute with my efforts to find out the most preferred one, can surely highlight few more findings.
For a period of 15 days or so in west patel nagar block-D, the locality people were provided with structured questionnaires which were developed to understand and investigate what the ad viewers expect from the ad agencies and what they believe they are getting from the current advertising strategies.
The questionnaire is also built in a manner to hypothetically differentiate between the usage of animated characters/brand mascots and celebrity endorsers
In this research we are using descriptive research design, as this area has some previous study. For this we are using Questionnaire method i.e. using a standard questionnaire to extract primary data as to what the viewer’s feel about the usage of spokes characters and celebrity endorsers and to highlight the attributes that has a significant positive impact on their perception towards an ad.
The respondents were mainly those who had an opportunity to watch both spokes characters and celebrity endorsers in advertisements. It is a Probability, convenient sampling. 100 viewers of advertisements in the locality of west patel nagar block-D has been chosen, the analysis has been done on the basis of structured questionnaire.
It has been that there is a significant difference between age and response of the respondents on the issue that now day celebrity endorsers are losing importance to animated characters and brand mascots. The main difference is there due to the age group (18-24) who strongly supports this statement.
Most of the respondents stated that declining celebrity credibility and multiple endorsements are the reasons for their opinion that celebrity endorsers are loosing importance to animated characters and brand mascots. Electronic media has been found out to be the major source of information about animated characters and brand mascots for most of the respondents.
So this was all about my project, which is capable of providing extremely important informations about the preference and thought process of viewer’s which an agency can make good use of so as to position their message in the minds of the viewer’s and result in capturing a good market share.
1.1 Advertising industry
Advertising agencies in the country have taken a leap. They have come a long way from being small and medium sized industries to becoming well known brands in the business. Mudra, Ogilvy and Mathew (O&M), Mccann Ericsonn, Rediffussion, Leo Burnett are some of the top agencies of the country.
Indian economy is on a boom and the market is on a continuous trail of expansion. With the market gaining grounds Indian advertising has every reason to celebrate. Businesses are looking up to advertising as a tool to cash in on lucrative business opportunities. Growth in business has lead to a consecutive boom in the advertising industry as well.
The Indian advertising today handles both national and international projects. This is primarily because of the reason that the industry offers a host of functions to its clients that include everything from start to finish that include client servicing, media planning, media buying, creative conceptualization, pre and post campaign analysis, market research, marketing, branding, and public relation services.
Keeping in mind the current pace at which the Indian advertising industry is moving the industry is expected to witness a major boom in the times ahead. If the experts are to be believed then the industry in the coming times will form a major contribution to the GDP. With al this there is definitely no looking back for the Indian advertising industry that is all set to win accolades from the world over. Recent years show a growing interest in animated characters as conversational partners for a variety of tasks typically performed by humans. Among others, animated characters are used as virtual tutors in interactive learning environments. The history of advertising agencies in India can be traced from the 18th century. The first advertisements appeared in the Hickely’s Bengal Gazette, India’s first newspaper, a weekly magazine. Advertising in the beginning was mainly for informative purposes rather than promotional reasons. Today the trend is highlighting the purpose with maximum creativity. Studios were initiated by newspapers to enhance appearances. The studio comprises of the visualisers, illustrators and a copy experts who could fine tune the available information and make it interesting. B. Dattaram & Co. has claimed to be the oldest agency in the advertising circuit in India establishing in 1905. In 1912 ITC, the giant tobacco company launched Gold Flake. In the 20s foreign advertising agencies entered the Indian market. Mergers and acquisition were seen to give rise to Ogilvy and Mather, Clarion etc. In 1929 J. Walter Thompson (JWT) was established to service General Motors Business. But it was only in 1939 that Levers launched Dalda and marketed it as an exclusive brand. A campaign format of advertising was particularly designed for the Indian market. From then on advertising unmasked its jaded tone to don a creative face. Strategizing, planning, branding were now the common terms. Lux as we all know uses celebrity endorsements.
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Animations in Advertising:- The use of animations in advertising is not a new trend, developments in technology have however made animations a more flexible and artistic tool to attract the customers and sell the products. As the advertising world is becoming more challenging, animated characters are increasingly being used as the face of the brands. Animations have certain unique attributes that prompts the advertisers to tap into the capabilities of this dynamic medium. Besides establishing the company as a tech-savvy one, use of animations helps to portray visuals that cannot be photographed thereby helping to grab customer attention.
Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.
Full service Agency organizational Chart:-
Board of directors
Vice president management and finance
Vice president creative services
Vice president account services
Vice president marketing services
Writers art director
For a period of 15 days or so in west patel nagar,block D, the locality people were provided with structured questionnaires which were developed to understand and investigate what the ad viewers expect from the ad agencies and what they believe they are getting from the current advertising strategies.
The questionnaire is also built in a manner to hypothetically differentiate between the usage of spokes characters and celebrity endorsers.
A few formal visits to some of the houses were also made just to get a better idea and understanding about the experience of viewer’s but it is not backed by any questionnaire filling.
Based on the understanding and personal know how weights were assigned to the various attributes for the purpose of analysis.
This entire process of information collection and field visits were done in an unstructured manner for a period of roughly 20 days.
With the world of advertising turning more experimental, spokes characters are increasingly becoming the face of Indian brands. More and more animated advertisements being shown on Indian television, it is evident that instead of using models or celebrities, companies are more open to using the tool of animation. Companies are trying to create a character that matches the characteristics of the brand, lending it a fresh look and promoting a new medium of communication.
An endorser must convey the character of the brand. Celebrities get associated with too many products and therefore it is difficult to relate them with one particular brand. The strength of a spokes characters lies in effectively communicating the ethos of the brand and registering in the minds of consumers.
The major reason for this research is to understand the effectiveness of using spokes characters in advertisements. Though celebrities help getting quick recognition there is a problem of multiple endorsements. Often celebrities become more powerful than a brand, which is known as ‘dwarfing of the brand’. This is not the case with mascots. So the research will allow companies to make their advertising strategies accordingly.
On a personal note the project has been chosen in light of my future aspirations and the area of expertise that I want to attain i.e., Service Marketing. This unique concept of changing advertising trends will allow me to develop certain necessary amount of skill sets
1) Advertising agencies and companies are still in search for creative ideas which can help them to gain more profits.
2) It is very important for an ad firm to identify the negative elements in celebrity endorsers which are the major reasons for not liking them.
3) This study can help any ad agency to interpret whether their strategies are moving along with the viewer’s likings.
4) There is still an opportunity with ad agencies to have a perfect blend between their advertising strategies and message to be delivered by the help of this study which magnifies the viewer’s choice so that it becomes easy to position a product or service in consumer’s mind with the most effective and efficient process.
1) This study can provide important information about the attributes that are most preferred by the respondents, so as to use them in their process in creating an innovative idea.
2) This project can also study the factors affecting viewer’s awareness towards different advertising strategies and can help to identify the negative elements in celebrity endorsers which are the major reasons for not liking them.
3) This study can help any ad agency to interpret whether their strategies are moving along with the viewer’s likings.
The use of spokes characters in advertising is not a new technique, but new technology and marketing trends have affected the way it is used to sell products. Once a technique reserved for situations where there was little money or motivation to do something more creative, animation has become the technique of choice in many advertising context. The majority of spokes characters used now days are humans, animal personifications, or product personifications. Characters are more likely to speak for the product than provide visual demonstration although they did both in more than half the cases. There is more non-celebrity than celebrity spokes-characters. Significant differences were found in the use of animation across program types, product classes and product categories. There were evidences to suggest that the role of animation has been changing in the past decade. Findings indicate that spokes characters are being used more often to present high involvement products to the audiences.
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In the past, the use of animation has been virtually synonymous with the use of animated characters. Advanced technology, especially in computer animation, has made animation a more flexible and artistic tool. However, many animated commercials still depend on imaginary characters to provide visual demonstration or verbal testimony for a wide variety of products. In a recent review of changing consumer perceptions of television commercials, Vadehra (1993) notes that although increasing numbers of commercials rely on visual techniques, “viewers still prefer fuzzy, Disney-type animation to dazzling high-tech effects.” Despite the apparent widespread use of animation in advertising, the communicative effects of animation on the adult viewer are not completely understood. Additional animation research is definitely needed.
The nature of the dominant animated character or genre of animated characters are coded as follows: (1) character description — animated human: real, animated human: fictional (e.g., fairies and gnomes), animal personification (i.e., animals who behave like humans), animals with animal qualities (i.e., animals who behave like animals), galactic being, and product personification. (2) character behavior — the character speaks for the product and/or provides visual demonstration of the product; (3) celebrity status — celebrity (non-advertising origin) or non-celebrity (advertising origin); (4) character gender — male, female, both male and female characters, or unable to distinguish.
Replacement in the endorsement circuit
Animation and advertising, separated at birth, seem to be pairing up to create an all-consuming on-screen culture. The animated model is fast replacing celebrities on the endorsement circuit. These blown-up “characters” are now selling everything, from cell phones and fizzy drinks to cough lozenges and air-fresheners. Companies like Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Reliance Communication, Coca-Cola and Reckitt Benckiser are using animation-based advertising to come through the clutter of celebrity overkill, make cost-effective ads and, in some cases, rejuvenate brands. Coca-Cola is set to kick off a campaign for its lemon drink Limca starring animated characters, despite having popular model Sushma Reddy as the brand’s face. Vodafone’s series of ads using the eggshell ZooZoos pushed the who’s who of Bollywood A-listers, including Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan, promoting rival Bharti Airtel out of the spotlight. ZooZoo became an overnight sensation during the Indian Premier League this summer. All 27 ZooZoo commercials were aired back-to-back on 15 channels recently. “The aim was to push the boundaries and create benchmarks of disruptive communication,” said Ajit Varghese, MD of Maxus, Vodafone’s media buying agency. Virgin Mobile chose animation characters Pebbleheads to popularise its brand late last year. Reckitt Benckiser is using Mrs Raccoon for Air Wick air-fresheners and Mr T for Strepsils throat lozenges. Pebbleheads commercials made their debut with a 50-paisa offer late last year. “The Pebble World breaks the shackles which normal creatives could get confined to. It also helps us spin youth-relevant stories,” says Virgin Mobile chief marketing officer Prasad Narasimhan.
Coca-Cola’s 3D animation campaign for Limca, to rollout on August 1 across all media, will see the company entering the full-fledged animation space for the first time. “Animation gives us a lot of possibilities real life commercials don’t and research tells us animation now appeals to people across ages,” says Coca-Cola India general manager, marketing (flavours), Srinivas Murthy. The beverage maker, which has the likes of Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan as endorsers for various brands, says it is open to experimenting with animated characters in the future, too. Globally, Coca-Cola’s latest “open happiness” campaign also uses some animation. “Animation can be more economical than hiring celebrities and it gives freedom to create stuff that cannot be done using real people,” Vodafone Essar head (marketing and new business) Harit Nagpal said. However, industry experts say while animation ads help companies save costs of hiring celebrities, they are expensive to shoot and time-consuming. “Animation-based ads can be controlled in a studio and can achieve any effect. But they take longer, can be quite expensive and the brand must get it right. In Limca’s case, the idea is to give the consumer a fresh surprise,” says Ajay Gahlaut executive creative director at O&M, the agency working on the Limca brand.It works because consumers recognise day-to-day situations with a twist which makes it far more enjoyable than a normal testimonial. Fido, the cool swanky doodle that endorsed 7 Up and the Pillsbury doughboy hooting ooo-ooh? Asian Paint’s Gattu, ICICI’s Chintamani, Air India’s Maharajah, Sunfeast’s Sunny-a few of these animated characters have a strong connect with many of us. With the world of advertising turning more experimental, animated characters are increasingly becoming the face of Indian brands. And with more and more animated advertisements being shown on Indian television, it is evident that instead of using models or celebrities, companies are more open to using the tool of animation. This includes advertisements being made with the help of 2-D, 3-D and clay animation. And the animated advertisements cost same as the regular advertisements. These days, companies are trying to create a character that matches the characteristics of the brand, lending it a fresh look and promoting a new medium of communication. Amaron Battery, Vinita Cucine, Tata sky, ICICI Prudential are a few of the several companies that have succeeded in presenting the brand in an animated version. “An endorser must convey the character of the brand. Though celebrities help getting quick recognition there is a problem of multiple endorsements. Often celebrities become more powerful than a brand, which is known as ‘dwarfing of the brand’. This is not the case with spokes characters,” says Triton Communication director Sanjay Chakraborty. The popularity is not only based on the response that these characters get, but also the fact that these faces have a higher recall value. Apart from a giving the brand a new perspective, such characters are remembered for a longer duration. Celebrities get associated with too many products and therefore it is difficult to relate them with one particular brand. “With celebrities endorsing a number of brands, viewers are not much convinced,” says Famous House of Animation production manager Sharath Shankar. “When I think of Shahrukh Khan several brands such as Pepsi, Airtel, Santro, Emami come to my mind. Fido, however, will instantly remind me of 7 Up. The strength of spokes characters lies in effectively communicating the ethos of the brand and registering in the minds of consumers,” agrees Mr Chakroborty. The cost of creating these characters is as much as of a normal commercial. “It would cost about Rs 40-50 lakh to create claymation characters,” says Mr Chakraborty. Lowe Advertising creative director Delna Sethna says: “The first Chintamani ad cost around Rs 7 lakh. We made three such ads, but the third one cost around Rs 15 lakh, because of more detailing in terms of sets and props.”Animated characters also give more scope for creativity and flexibility. The impact and success of the mascot, however, depends on how effectively it conveys the brand values and the ideals that consumers would associate with. Spokes characters have to be dynamic and must be adapted with changing times.”As creators, we can design a completely new persona for the brand, we can make the animated character do anything, which is not always possible with models or celebrities,” says Vaibhav Kumaresh, who crafted Chulbuli for Clinic Plus shampoo and was associated with Amaron Battery ad, an example of clay animation. “When we scripted Chintamani, we wanted to project a middle-class Indian, who is constantly haunted by taxes and less savings. He was a projection of an average Indian’s extended reality,” says Ms Sethna. “It was indeed a big risk for us and the client to use an animated character, but risk is also there when we use models or celebrities. But it paid off well. Now if presented with such an idea, other clients will not shy away from animated ads or characters,” says Ms Sethna. “We have a print campaign for Croma, wherein we will use miniaturised characters,” she adds. So while ‘Chintamani’ of ICICI solves all your worries related to tax savings and good returns paving a new way for ‘no chinta, only money’ let Share Khan tell you how to smartly invest in stocks. With these and others setting the standards the trend is picking up fast and who knows animated characters might soon start replacing the celebrities and models cluttering the Indian advertising industry today.
OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH
1) To study viewer’s preference for celebrity endorsement and spokes characters.
2) To study the factors affecting viewer’s awareness towards different advertising strategies (celebrity endorsement or spokes characters.)
3) To study whether the shift in advertising strategy is affecting the brand awareness of a viewer.
Limitations of the study.
4.1 Research Methodology:-
Selection of correct Methodology is the first step in getting a good response or result from the research. It should be a mixture or a method that helps in extracting the correct information from the population using a sample.
In this research we are using DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH DESIGN as this area has some previous study. For this we are using Questionnaire method i.e. using a standard questionnaire to extract primary data as to what the viewer’s feel about the usage of spokes characters and celebrity endorsers and to highlight the attributes that has a significant positive impact on their perception towards an ad.
Statistical tool used:- Microsoft Excel
100 viewers of advertisements in the locality of west patel nagar block-D.
It is collected using structured questionnaire.
BASIS OF SAMPLING
Questionnaire: The respondents were mainly those who had an opportunity to watch both spokes characters and celebrity endorsers in advertisements. It is a Probability, convenient sampling
4.3 Limitations of the study
1) Research project was limited to one block of west patel nagar..
2) Due to time constraints, not many respondents were approached.
3) few people were not interested to cooperate.
4) comparison of all spokes characters was not possible because of time constraints.
5) The study would have been more compact had it been done under a particular ad agency or any company.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Findings and Recommendations
1) Most of the respondents can often recognize a product on the basis of its spokes character alone.
2) Most of the respondents often relates products with its spokes character.
3) Most respondents believe that celebrity endorsements are losing importance to spokes characters.
4) Most of the respondents stated that declining celebrity credibility and multiple endorsements are the reasons for their opinion that celebrity endorsers are loosing importance to spokes characters.
5) Most of the respondents find zoozoo(Vodafone) to be the easiest character to recall, followed by Ronald (Mc Donalds), Fido Dido (7 up), Amul Butter Girl and Gattu(Asian Paints).
6) Doughboy (Pillsbury) has been proved to be the most difficult character to recall, followed by chintamani (ICICI).
7) Electronic media has been found out to be the major source of information about spokes characters for most of the respondents.
8) Most of the respondents said that they will depend on a brand personality of a spokes character to build the brand image of their product.
9) Most of the respondents said that spokes characters are more popular in urban areas.
10) As per the calculated results, suitability to the product has been proved to be the most important attribute that a spokes character should possess so as to be remembered over a long period of time.
11) Most of the respondents said that they will like to have spokes characters advertised through clothing, accessories, bags etc, this proves the increasing popularity of spokes characters
12) There is a significant difference between age and response of the respondents on the issue that now day celebrity endorsers are losing importance to spokes characters. The main difference is there due to the age group (18-24) who supports this statement.
1) As per the research, it has been found that the young generation of age group (18-24) highly prefers spokes characters rather than celebrity endorsements, thus an ad agency or a company should focus on this issue work more on creativity to match up with the mindset of the youth.
2) An ad agency should strengthen its research area to conduct a similar research on a bigger scale.
3) Use of an endorser should be done after checking the relativity of the image of the endorser and the image of the product/services.
4) After checking the suitability and relavancy of an endorser or an spokes character, an agency should also check whether the idea is an innovative and entertaining one or not. If not then the idea should be reprocessed and rechecked.