2016 saw PM Modi’s clarion call to ‘start up’ and the whole of India obediently began dreaming about starting a new venture. The new government has also laid out an ambitious action plan to promote bank finance to aspiring entrepreneurs. Whether there’s the supporting framework and fertile environment necessary for a start up to germinate and flourish or not, whether it boosts a new kind of entrepreneur-driven economy or not, the spirit of starting-up has indeed been celebrated, encouraged and become a national talking point in the times.
And, when that happens, brands take note of it. It is the most non-intrusive way to join in the conversations. Brands get to organically become a part of the buzz surrounding its consumer base. Moreover, brands that catch the pulse of its consumers, tend to be better recalled and have a more positive perception amongst its new age consumers.
Back in 2014 and 2015, ‘women empowerment’ was the flavour of the nation, and by extension many brand campaigns. This seems to have now shifted to ‘entrepreneurship’ and many Indian brands are embracing the spirit of starting up.
Paying tribute to founders and their journey of hurdles is the underlying theme behind many brand campaigns in recent times. While some are scripted for ads, others have roped in real life founders. Let’s take a look at campaigns celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship in India:
Last year, Titan had chosen the start-up theme for its ad campaign for Celestial Time watch collection for men, positioning it as a watch made ‘for those who are destined to break the mould and chart new paths.’ The ad film featuring actor Raj Kumar Rao weaved in a beautiful story around the spirit of entrepreneurship, mentoring and gratitude.
Recently, jewellery brand Tanishq chose the entrepreneur theme for the launch of its new Niloufer collection, positioning itself as jewellery ‘for those who are willing to try something new.’ The ad film takes us through the journey of a female entrepreneur through the thoughts playing in her mind, perfectly capturing the trials and tribulations of being a female entrepreneur.
Just before she is to receive an award recognizing her accomplishments, we know that her journey to this ‘Thank you’ is made up of many apologies, as she went about juggling her family responsibilities, social obligations, household chores, and maid woes.
Signature, whisky brand from Diageo’s United Spirits, took its belief in starting up to a whole new level with ‘Signature Startup’, an online platform that brings forth a number of real life success stories featuring a drummer, a photographer, a new age content creator, an actor, a dancer, a handicrafts maker and many more, who’ve made the difficult transition from well-paying corporate jobs, to convert their passion into paycheck.
The idea is to inspire people to carve their own path, chase their own dream, and create their own signature, which is great for a spirit brand looking to build a long term brand story.
Recently, Haywards 5000 announced the second season of India’s first start-up reality TV show “Hauslay Ki Udaan” with its TVC capturing the journey of #NaaSeHaanTak. Launched in 2012, the Hausla Buland Academy provides online skills development courses and training through workshops.
“Hauslay Ki Udaan” season two is looking for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative business ideas, they will be mentored by a panel consisting of well-known entrepreneurs and industry experts as well as Hausla Buland Academy Professional Counsellors through online and offline mediums. The winning idea will receive a seed funding of Rs. 15 Lakhs from the academy.
The TVC captures the journey of a small town entrepreneur who charts his own path and reaches his next milestone.
This year, IndiaMART, the world’s second largest B2B marketplace, launched a massive campaign titled ‘India ki khoj’ to position itself as a facilitator for business growth. For the digital world, a video-driven campaign called “#IBelieveInIM” brought forth success stories of small and medium business owners on the marketplace.
While nine video stories were of entrepreneurs sharing their experience and success with IndiaMART, a 1-minute video captured vital snippets from each of these entrepreneur’s stories.
Last year, Vistaprint, an online print store that offers business cards, printed or embroidered apparel and other business marketing needs, had launched the #ChaltaHaiKoChaltaKaro campaign with a series of ad films throwing light on offline printers’ woes.
To bring alive the message, it chose young entrepreneurs who chose not to fall victim to the ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude. A series of films celebrating this very spirit featured Arunabh Kumar, Founder of new age media company, The Viral Fever; Ankita Tandon, Founder of Coupon Dunia, Anuj Goyal of Brijwasi Sweets, and many more who share their story of success and how they broke the ‘chalta hai’ norm.
In 2014, technology giant, Hewlett Packard had embarked on a global makeover mission to connect with millennials through its campaign ‘Bend the rules’. Along with showcasing its Pavilion x360 that bends too, it also showcased stories of real life young achievers who were ‘bending the rules’ of success: Then in 2015, it introduced a slight desi twist to its communication via ‘I like your soch but love my approach’.
The video stories included young achievers who had ‘bent the rules’ with their ‘alag soch’, like Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma of Chaayos, Suresh Menon and Hozay and many others. They talk about their trials and tribulations while starting up.
For the launch of its compact sedan Figo Aspire last year, Ford had kickstarted a pre-launch campaign called “What Drives You?” The objective was to discover the aspirations driving modern India, much like the new sedan that reflects the needs of the young consumer.
And to discover what young India aspires for, Ford had roped in the very versatile Farhan Akhtar as an anchor to bring forth passionate stories of entrepreneurs. Phanindra Sama, Co-founder & CEO, RedBus.in, Rajat Tuli and Rahul Anand, Co-founders, Happilyunmarried.com, shared their story in a drive-by interview with Farhan.
Last year, Arrow India had rolled out a series of six short films featuring successful male professionals who have taken the unconventional path to success. In the video stories, they talk about their definition of professionalism and how that translates to what they wear. Two of the stories are about founders, Ajay Shetty, CEO & Founder of Myra Vineyards and Anuj Rakyan, CEO & Founder of Raw Pressery.
With or without an individual style quotient, entrepreneurs do come in different shapes and sizes and gender, but the zeal to ‘start up’ is the common thread connecting all of them. It is good to see forward-thinking brands looking to build a strong perception, celebrate the spirit of starting up in their ad films.
It is even better to see more Indian brands building platforms and acting as enablers in the journey of aspiring entrepreneurs in the country. We believe the trend will continue in the years to come, as ‘Start up India’ picks up steam.