Presently, Tewari is high on the brand's big Padmavati tie-up, that has already 'broken even'.
Few brands are able to master the art of lacing their communication with sharp and hard-hitting content each and every time they decide to talk to the audience. Tata Group's Tanishq is one such example. The Bengaluru based brand that turned twenty this year has to its credit, some of the finest ad films in recent times. While Tanishq and Lowe Lintas' collaboration has resulted in some creatively satisfying work through the years, we at afaqs! decided to take a detour from celebrating the agency and instead speak to the lady at the helm of Tanishq's marketing affairs.
Deepika Sabharwal Tewari, vice president - marketing, jewellery division, Titan Company, on being questioned about her involvement in crafting the brand's interesting ads, candidly tells us, "Finally, the buck stops at the client only!" She explains, "A marketer will be finally responsible for approving the strategy, creatives and execution. So, to that extent, I am fully involved and I take full responsibility for all the work that Lowe Lintas and Tanishq co-create. That doesn't mean it is taking away from the creativity, ideation and inputs that the agency brings to the table. But finally, who gives the approval?"
Tewari, who has been closely associated with Ogilvy & Mather India for a period of twelve years says, "... At Ogilvy, we used to say, and I still believe it, clients get the creatives that they deserve. So when Lowe brings me the 'Remarriage creative', for instance - I know that they would not have even taken it to another client. They know that this is something Deepika will like and I know what brief Lowe will leap at."
Taking from that 'Remarriage' ad reference, this ad is regarded as the turning point in the brand's advertising strategy. "We may all know a divorcee or a widow getting remarried. However, it is not spoken about. And we thought that society was ready to discuss this topic in the open. Similarly, all our other relationship ads are set in a modern context. If you look at the 'Mia' ad, we brought the whole conversation around gender bias, gender inequality. And now, many people are saying that it was refreshing to see something other than the usual male bashing or narrating a poor woman's story."
Working at Ogilvy has helped Tewari understand the dynamics better when sitting on the other side of the table. "Two things that worked for me and are part of my Ogilvy school of advertising and my Tanishq school of marketing train of thought, is consumer insight. Every creative based on a strong consumer insight, can resonate with consumers and leave them thinking. The second is that every insight is not relevant to every category or product. When you have a combination of these two things then great work happens," she informs.
Lowe Lintas, it seems, has taken upon itself to build purpose-driven ads for almost all the accounts that the agency currently holds. Even industry stalwarts have gone on record to say that ads need to solve a problem, but last we checked, the real goal of an ad was to boost sales this way or that. Exactly what you said! The purpose has to be of the service to the brand and the brand does not have to be in the service of the purpose," exclaims Tewari.
However we can't help but wonder, how does one ensure that the burden of content is not overriding the sales purpose in the ads? Tewari explains, "We don't have a single stand per se. We are not here to make a social change. That is the by-product of the whole thing. I am not for 'Nari' or feminism!" Tewari tells us that she sanctions content only when it works for the brand, is progressive, and leaves the consumer thinking. "... we are affecting a lot of people without saying 'Hawa badlo' and all that!" she chuckles.
In the past, Tanishq released an ad which talked about how the brand is ready for varied types of weddings. So, which is the pain-point of the brand when it comes to market penetration? "Tamil Nadu," says Tewari, "I need more love from this southern pocket. We are gaining in Andhra (East). We are loved in the North and the West too."
Jewellery market players are seen to be divided between traditional and modern brands. Tanishq is seen as a leveller. While people may appreciate the ad films, they may still buy wedding jewellery from a family owned brand or a family patronised brand. She says, "So, a couple of points here that I would like to make. Firstly, Tanishq is the brand for the progressive-minded Indian and that's not an age criterion but a mindset criteria. So, we have a lot of progressive 'dadis' also who say that 'Tanishq se hi khareede ge'. Second point being, all young women want to buy from Tanishq and you know how parents these days laud their daughters, especially fathers. They give in and say, 'theek hai tum khush ho Tanishq khareed ke, so you must buy!' So, the thought that 'I will only buy from my traditional jeweller' is getting weaker with time."
Tewari tells us that her argument is supported by math as well. She elaborates, "... we are a twenty-year-old brand. All women who got married twenty years ago probably bought their jewellery from Tanishq. In the next five or ten years, they'll be the ones shopping for their children. So then we will be their family jeweller!"
An industry cannot work in isolation; Tewari shares how the augment of the Karan Johar era of 'sangeet and mehendi' ceremonies has positively helped the jewellery business. Not just Johar, "Iconic people like Sabyasachi (Mukherji) certainly influence the jewellery market," adds Tewari. Speaking of which, the brand has collaborated with the upcoming historical drama film, Padmavati. Tewari believes that movies are eternal and with this association, Tanishq too will be remembered forever. "For generations, when people are going to see this movie, our jewellery will be there in every frame," is how Tewari puts it.
But apart from nostalgia what exactly is in store for Tanishq on the business front with reference to Padmavati? Tewari elucidates, "Whatever Bollywood wears, becomes a trend. Heritage jewellery is anyway going to become a trend now thanks to Bhansali. So, why should we not gain from the wave which he is going to create? From a business point of view also, the ROI works out very well."
And that's not all! The Padmavati 'gain wave' has begun for Tanishq, "I have already built my fortunes with this film by cashing it on Diwali! We are probably the only jeweller that grew this festive season. We had double-digit growth! Everybody made large offers while we had Padmavati," shares Tewari.
Interestingly, Tewari tells us that the Bollywood craze is such that even now when the 2008 released film, Jodhaa Akbar, is telecast on TV, her Jodhaa Akbar jewellery collection witnesses a spike in sales. She tells us that the association with Padmavati is a win-win situation even if the movie bombs at the box office. She says, "That song, 'Ghoomar', has given us so much. The sales will certainly boom!"
Concluding the chat, we asked Tewari about that one wish which preoccupies her mind even today when the brand seems to be in a happy place and the future looks promising. "I would want to know how fifty million Indians will buy Tanishq and what's the way to open our doors to them and also how to maintain this number!" And with that, Deepika Tewari signs off.