Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from cricket on June 10 and brands have released timely creatives on the occasion. A look at 'Moment Marketing' - the current hot trend.
After a career spanning nearly two decades, Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on June 10, 2019. While Indian cricket fans everywhere were in shock, brands took the opportunity to post creatives for the occasion in a bid to make themselves more relevant. The cricketer's retirement sparked a slew of creatives on social media that fall under the category of 'Moment Marketing.'
By definition, 'Moment Marketing' is where a brand creates content that is relevant to some current news. We couldn't help but notice that as a trend, this is catching on rapidly, so much so that we wonder if a brand would have anything to say at all if they didn't read a newspaper for a week. Some recent examples
- HDFC Ergo put out a creative for MS Dhoni's gloves with the army insignia and
- Manforce put out a cheeky creative when a news anchor accidentally mentioned Sunny Leone's name instead of Sunny Deol, during election coverage.
We spoke to Viren Razdan, the managing director of Brand-nomics to understand 'Moment Marketing' better and this was his explanation - "Some brands live in the zone of topicality and for them, recency makes a difference; these brands act as social commentators to stay current. To these brands, 'Moment Marketing' is very important."
He further explained that "Alternately, if something happens within the domain of your brand, then 'Moment Marketing' is important there as well. For example, if you're a sports-related brand and you've used Yuvraj Singh in your brand campaigns, in some manner or the other, then it's to further the association. The association is what comes into play when it comes to 'Moment Marketing.' Otherwise, if one ad-hoc creative is present in the melee of others who are also trying to reap the benefits of the topicality - that association is weak."
We pointed out that brands rush to release creatives when news breaks but is that really a good idea? Razdan replies, "What's happening is that brands that are in this space feel it's better to be the first out there (in terms of putting out creatives) before ten others talk about it and they get lost in the melee. This is how speed becomes paramount. That's a little short-sighted because the cut through will only happen if the creative is impactful. While you might be first, it's not as if you've broken the news - the news is already out there."
He also emphasises that speed is important, but when we asked him if it was turning into a speed vs creativity situation, he responds, "If a brand is going to derive association from an event - how creative, interesting and engaging the content can be for consumers, matters. Brands don't break news, so the question of being first out is only in our minds. How the brand swung that event's association with itself and how it was able to own a part of the moment, matters. How they used it to deepen the relationship with the consumer through that moment, is paramount. Speed is a bit of a naive way of evaluating such 'Moment Marketing' events."
Razdan adds, "The generation we're dealing with has a huge appetite for newness and currency. It's something we've never seen before. In that entire wave, the concept of FOMO becomes very prominent for brands - currency has become paramount. That is a reflection of the community we're engaging with."
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He explains the basic mentality behind the way brands are taking to 'Moment Marketing', saying, "Brands have now started saying 'Let's have a strike rate of 150. The brand's communications might be good 20 per cent of the time, but at least we're visible and keeping people engaged.' That's become the mentality. The strategy is that if you hit 100 spots and if only 20 per cent work, then no worries, but you were at least there. The brand has to be talking about it - whether they've made sense or not, is something they'll decide later."
Prabhakar Mundkur, a brand consultant, agrees that turnaround time is crucial to churning out topical creatives, but he also pointed out that these days, "... most agencies are fairly well equipped to handle everything in house, including films, especially if this means putting together something from existing footage. If new footage is required, it is always a challenge, whether the film is being done in-house or being outsourced to a production company."
We asked him if creativity was a victim of shorter turnaround time, he replied, "Typically yes, turnaround time does come at the cost of creativity. Shorter times typically means compromises on creativity or creativity to suit the time frame, rather than creativity to suit the idea."
He took the example of the upcoming Father's Day event to put share his opinions on 'Moment Marketing. "I personally feel it's overdone. After all, these 'days' are just Americanisms that I am not sure really work with the same intensity in India. For what it's worth, Father's Day is unlikely to be celebrated in most households and yet, you will have a number of brands vying for attention in this space, just for this one day. I am not sure it is worth the investment," he says.
Here are some of the brands that paid tribute to Yuvraj Singh when he announced his retirement from cricket:-