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Kantar launches Creative Effectiveness India Report 2024 celebrating best performing Indian ads

The report states that generating a strong emotional response is key for building strong memory structures, beyond just brand recognition.

On July 4, 2024, Kantar, a global marketing data and analytics company, unveiled the Creative Effectiveness ads it found across India in 2023. The company tested more than 12,000 creatives for its clients around the world in 2023. Over 11% (more than 1,400) of those creatives were tested in India.

A unique aspect of choosing these ads is that consumers choose them. The India report shortlists close to 300 ads, tested across categories, markets, target groups (TG), and media channels.

Learnings from Kantar’s Blueprint for Brand Growth indicate that great advertising is rocket fuel for building predisposition: growing meaningfully different brands more effectively and efficiently. Creative quality, second only to brand size, greatly influences campaign profitability, with double the impact that reach does on brand salience.

The number of winners has doubled from last year. Kantar awarded 10 standout performers in TV ads and four in digital ads.

The overall winner for Most Creative & Effective TV Ad and Most Consistently Effective Advertiser is Hindustan Unilever and the winner for Most Creative & Effective Digital Ad is Nestle. Under the Digital Ads category, Eicher Motors, Delightful Gourmet, and TATA Group were the award winners.

Hindustan Unilever won both awards Unstereotype category -  Vim Liquid for the male category and Dove for the female category.

Soumya Mohanty, managing director, and chief client officer - South Asia, insights division, Kantar, comments, “Earlier this year, Kantar launched the Blueprint for Brand Growth– a breakthrough understanding of how businesses build strong and profitable brands. One of the growth accelerators for building strong brands is to pre-dispose more people. Great advertising builds pre-disposition and loads the dice in favour of the brands. Creative content can and should punch above its weight”.

Kantar research emphasises that ads must persuade and convey messages that are novel, credible, relevant, and different to enhance short-term sales. However, high-quality ads, which leave a lasting impression, generally perform well in both short-term sales and long-term brand-building, thus reducing the need to spend money on performance marketing.

Prasanna Kumar, head of creative domain and executive vice president - South Asia, insights division, Kantar, believes that brands' purpose-led creative has been more effective on consumers. As per the company, creative quality is one of the essential factors among the top 10 drivers of advertising profitability.

“Truly creative ads are the ones that are effective. The journey from being just creative to being effective starts by including your key stakeholders - your target consumers, into the process by pre-testing your ads. This year we have seen some original creative ideas shine through by ensuring that they have brand and consumer at their heart,” he says.

The report also states that beyond brand recognition, generating a strong emotional response is key, because emotion helps build strong memory structures, and most advertising effects are not immediate. Emotion plays a critical role in effective creative- and not just in TV content.

Ad learnings from 2023

Kantar, in its report, revealed some of the learnings of 2023 from what it found while seeing what consumers look for such as personalisation, creativity, going nation-first, and impactful. The company says that 65% of Indians will buy brands that stand for something they can identify with. While purpose or value-led creatives open possibilities for emotively engaging creatives, the effective ones execute it in a manner such that it becomes personal to the consumers.

Consumers are also open to original creative ideas- ones that are hyper-creative or break existing category codes. The reward for the brand lies in the ability to integrate persuasive and meaningful impressions into the creative idea.

Only 28% of Indians (vs global average of 75%) have watched any ‘foreign’ content. This challenges the assumption that a single pan-India creative approach, even with universal and validated consumer insight, will yield positive returns on objectives.

Brands are now refreshingly taking on the challenge and opportunity of engaging Southern consumers differently from Hindi-speaking markets. Investing in original creatives, by going native on multiple dimensions- insights, creative ideas treatment, and execution ensures maximising of reward for the brand.

The most efficient route to optimise budgets for creating ads that effectively crossover the transference challenge across many India, is to create regional adaptions by playing with a backdrop, celebrity, casting, product window visualisation, slogan, etc.

Go deep and wide is about taking a campaign pan India by starting with a pan India insight, creative idea, and treatment but executing with some nativity elements to amplify the resonance with the regional markets. Pre-testing helps to identify whether the mix of insight, story, and elements work together as intended and identify opportunities for improvement. 

The value of creativity starts with the brand. While executional elements like distinctive brand assets and consistency in advertising style are undeniable aids in ensuring that the brand takes credit for the impressions left behind by the creative, its potential is amplified when the brand is integral to the story.

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