The giant leap of stationery brands from television to digital marketing
Who doesn’t remember the hilarious Camlin permanent marker announcements that brought a dead man back alive, or Nataraj’s royal victory in a pencil race, or Shah Rukh Khan doing a ‘leak test’ to be identified? from his clone, or he spins everything from a student to a corporate employee to Linc Pens! These are just a few of the many iconic advertisements that have led to the foundation for several major stationery brands in India. They used television as a great medium to reach their potential consumers and spent a lot of money on ATL marketing. Several, especially those in the writing instrument category, have also called on famous endorsers to increase their awareness. However, as the digital revolution accelerated and consumer trends evolved, brands’ affinity with great ambassadors, and ultimately with television as an advertising medium, has gradually deteriorated. And then the pandemic, finally, really made the industry a digital foremost marketing entity. exchange4media traces the big shift in stationery brands in India from TV to digital.
From liberalization to digitization
According to TAM AdEx data released in 2011, writing instruments were the fifth largest television advertising category, accounting for 3% of overall advertising volumes in 2001. Brands were actively visible on screens and were trying to build a brand for themselves. market. . Shortly thereafter, starting in 2007-08, brands like Reynolds and Cello began featuring major brand ambassadors to increase their brand awareness.
Speaking on the trend, North Prachi Bali, Country Manager of Client-Client Partnerships and Sales Manager for FoxyMoron (Zoo Media), said: “This phase is directly correlated with the advent of the corporate world in India. The rise of the private sector, the socio-economic makeup of the country, Generation X reaching career milestones, Generation Y (millennials) as students with lofty dreams – all of this was meant to celebrate career success. And a huge marker of that success was the writing instruments. Having these big brand ambassadors has largely built this correlation in the minds of consumers. “
Vijay Jacob, Senior Vice President and Managing Partner of Wunderman Thompson Kolkata, adds Vijay Jacob: “In the past, the stationery category was very commonplace with local players offering low-cost but substandard offerings. At this point, getting people to know about and switch to brands in a popular category like stationery required the approval of celebrities and popular actors who had mass appeal. It helped people get interested in brands and got them to try them out even if it cost a little extra.
However, with digitization, the trend has started to fade. As big brand ambassadors started leaving the scene around 2011, the following years saw brands slowly embrace digital, which has become really important in the age of the pandemic. According to TAM AdEx data, the ad volume for the stationery category on TV was down 23% in January-June 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2019.
During the same period, advertising insertions for the digital stationery category increased 19-fold.
Havas Media India Head – Digital Rohan Chincholi explains: “What was once a classic, linear model of AIDA has now grown into a complex herringbone design, where a user is exposed to multiple points of contact that help in their purchasing journey. We have to admit that for all categories, the public is in a state of active evaluation – again in comparison with several other brands. If your brand is not visible, someone else will take over.
Grapes Digital Founder and CEO Himanshu Arya adds, “Traditional media like television is an expensive way to market your product. Brands know that students spend most of their time on digital channels. Hence, spending their market budget on digital media gives them an edge. “
From brand creation to visibility creation
Another thing that has changed in the marketing strategy of stationery brands is their focus from building brand awareness to boosting brand salience. And nothing could be better than digital marketing for it.
As Deepak Jalan, Managing Director of Linc Pen and Plastics Ltd explains, “The pen is a low involvement category. Most of the students have been our primary TGs and they demonstrate brand loyalty around the exams. So between 2008 and 11, when we were working with big brand ambassadors like Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, our goal was to build brand awareness and create a loyal customer prodigy. And while it didn’t have much of an impact on our sales at the time, it certainly did increase brand awareness. Today, brand awareness is no longer a problem for us. We just want to be available and visible to our customers at all possible touch points. “
He adds that apart from the usual point-of-sale presence, they are aggressively working on a solid digital strategy and have started to increase their presence on e-commerce channels as well.
Reynolds – India and South Asia Managing Director Rajat Vohra, on a related note, points out, “I would say our brand awareness share increased by 20 points after running ads featuring Sachin Tendulkar for three months at the same time. ‘time. But, interestingly, it didn’t go down even after we stopped running those big celebrity commercials. He remained constant. At the moment, it makes more sense to be digital because our core of students is there. Also, from there, we focus more on building relevance and awareness for the different products that we have. Although we are well known for our writing instruments, there are many other products in the art field, for example, that we want to promote and influencer engagement really helps us move this agenda forward.
Now, brands are relying on traditional TV advertising only for new product launches or festive occasions, like Bali Sharing: “Traditional advertising channels aren’t used much anymore unless they are linked to gifts / festive occasions. Digital is used to promote the personalization of the instruments themselves. In addition, many luxury / premium brands are using digital media to capture new audience bases. It has also led to a sense of polarization among consumers where stationery has now become a passion to pursue. “
Jacob adds, “Brands typically provide the primary launch communication or product information on traditional media while also sharing links to social media pages for continued brand engagement. Traditional media help to inform and build recall while modern channels help build familiarity and connection with the brand. “
The rise of electronic commerce
Another factor contributing to this shift from marketing rupees to digital media is the rise of e-commerce platforms.
Chincholi agrees: “Consumers have evolved; owning stationery has become an extension of his personality – from branding to functional relevance. To fuel these choices, ecommerce platforms have helped discover new brands and ensured prompt availability from order to delivery. Traditional brands continue to use social platforms with a lot of meaningful content and also use online videos very effectively. Given that 26.31% of India’s population is currently in the 0-14 age group, India has around 250 million children in school (source: ibef.org), showing potential gigantic from the single base of students. “
The category is therefore ready for stronger growth on digital platforms in the coming days. From adopting new technologies in products to expanding their social media presence, several things will write the next chapter in its history. It will surely be interesting to see how it goes from here!
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