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The art of advertising - Things you can learn from 'Bull' TV series

It’s about bringing alive the creativity from the mundane

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Pictures have always been worth a 1000 words. Thus in an era where words are limited to the number of characters, content limitations and complexity in translation; advertising has become a powerful tool in establishing connect with the consumer. The ultimate goal of advertising is either promotion or awareness; what sounds like a simple task is a difficult challenge many brands face today – creating stickiness for the brand is not easy. Advertising doesn't lay in mere collaborations of words to create content but it lies in simple & bold creativity that is visually rhetoric and can make people think and relate to the brands/products.

In my 23+ years of storytelling journey, I have come to a conclusion that the only way any brand would be able to establish a connection of any scale with the consumer is when they have stories which provoke emotions. Using a fusion of words and graphics without a story would only state the messaging without any meaningful impact. Advertising is art if mastered and has the potential to create valuable stories. Perhaps one can always refer to an advertising manual for better results but that’s not enough. It’s about looking differently at things that are routine. It’s about bringing alive the creativity from the mundane.

Very recently I came across a TV series called Bull starring Michael Weatherlywhich largely highlights the results of combining human psychology, human intuition and high-tech data to learn and understand the thinking mechanism of jurors, attorneys, witnesses, and the accused to make them tick. This made me think that advertising can become a seamless tool if the method/techniques used in the show could be implemented in the current advertising environment. Listing down 3 rules that I think could do marvels if implemented right way in the Indian advertising industry.

Rule #1: Your Consumer is Your Enemy

It will sound awful but there is a science behind following this rule. Ever considered convincing your enemy to buy your product, the answer most-likely is never. So when you look at the toughest consumer as your target to crack, you need to create a pitch that is tempting enough even for your enemy. If a brand manages to convince the enemy to buy the product, that definitely speaks oodles about the idea’s strength. The secret lies beneath a 1000 failed approaches and 1 successful messaging.

Rule #2: People Love Things That Are Relatable :

Quite a few people complain about the media being too cautious and them showing similar content repeatedly. There is a very good reason for this. Bolder content increases the risk which could provide increased rewards or no rewards at all.  People who watch this show should be able to find quite a lot of faces as well as plenty of stories that feel familiar to them. Using a similar approach in advertising; creating advertisement which makes people comfortable making them recall a similar scenario would establish an immediate connect with the brand ensuring higher recall.

Rule #3: Using Tech to Create Roadmap

Bull is largely based on a premise where people can predict people with remarkable accuracy by using a combination of data, tech and a few other technologies. This results in a pinpoint roadmap of what will work and what will not work. Considering an approach like this will make brands understand consumers’ POV in a more refined manner which will later help them in creating products that will work with a large set of consumers.

The communication would have become quite simple if there was Dr Bull in every agency. Dr.Bull would have helped the agencies in creating that out of the obvious idea that would penetrate the minds of the consumer establishing an instant connection. Although the Art of Advertising doesn’t come with the manual, these rules can always make the approach towards consumers better and the overall communication seamless.

(The author is, co-founder and managing director, Makani Creatives. The views expressed are his own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)

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