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Building The Festive Connect: Damyant Singh Khanoria, CMO, OPPO India

For a country that’s reeled under the effects of Covid, especially in the last 18-tempestuous months, this time around, it’s a mixed bag of emotions writes Khanoria,

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For marketeers, this time of the year brings with it a certain sense of optimism and enthusiasm. As India gears up to usher in the festive season, there are innumerable indicators that suggest a high volume of sales. For instance, take Trade Desk and YouGov’s The Festive Season Pulse 2021 survey that predicts “91 per cent of Indian consumers are planning a purchase during the upcoming festive season and six in 10 are interested in learning about new brands during festive season sales.” While some may refer to it as the revenge buying in the post-COVID world, I believe, this time around, the festivities will signify that light at the end of the tunnel.  

For a country that’s reeled under the effects of Covid, especially in the last 18-tempestuous months, this time around, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. For those who have loved and lost, for those who have lived to the tale and for those who have realised the importance of relishing fleeting moments of joy. I suspect that many a brand this season will tap into this emotion and for the right reasons.  

Leading with emotions: 

Brands have often banked on campaigns that touch a deep emotional chord. This is perhaps also the reason behind Cadbury’s legendary comeback campaign that reconstructs the most-loved matching winning moment. Only this time around with gender roles reversed, it effortlessly encapsulates the emotion of a country that treats Cricket at par with religion. Similarly, the highlight of this year’s festive season will tap that very emotion—of reunions, intimate social gatherings, friends like family, and above all reconnecting with loved ones and making up for lost time and opportunities missed.  

When the occasion is so momentous, it is obvious that brands will put their best foot forward and come out with all guns blazing to reconnect with customers. From the consumer tech and telecom sector, expect a generous dose of special/limited edition products, collectors’ items, mega sales, special gifting discounts and massive celebratory offers to kickstart the festive season.  

Gear-up for the Cricket mania:

This brings me to the other emotion that’s slated to take India by storm this October—Cricket. It is no secret that the world of marketing and advertising alike have been fascinated by cricketing role models for time immemorial. From Tiger Pataudi advertising sharply cut suits for Gwalior Suiting to Sachin Tendulkar insisting on Boost being the secret of his energy, agencies have continuously knocked on the doors of sports personalities to woo and capture the imagination of its Indian audience. With the World Cup around the corner, brands will aim to create a strong pedigree of partnerships across the sports and entertainment industry to ensure increased touchpoints. Traditionally, the smartphone industry has been a frontrunner with a ringside view of mega sporting events—be football in Europe, footy in Australia or cricket in India. These sporting events give brands tremendous opportunities to share the spirit of sport and spread joy—all while continuously interacting with its audience.  

Fighting the good fight:

Lastly, throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen numerous brands put their force behind initiatives like door-step contactless deliveries, food distribution to the underprivileged and providing access to medical equipment in the second wave. As Diwali brings with it the meaningful tradition of exchange, for us nothing supersedes the gift of education for the children who have missed out substantially this year. One of the most fundamental setbacks during Covid has been the lapse in education for underprivileged children. Due to the lack of digital access and technological penetration, according to UNESCO, “more than 888 million children worldwide continue to face disruptions to their education due to full and partial school closures.” Even as the debate to reopen schools rages on in the national media, we intend to continue our endeavours to provide unprivileged children access to virtual education. Our initiatives in the education sector aim to help children augment their knowledge, making them digitally inclined and we look forward to touching the lives of many more children soon.  

To conclude, as festivities begin with much fervour and excitement, we hope this season brings safety, prosperity, and joy into your homes.  




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