Experts share their favourite Diwali campaigns from 2020
From Mondelez to HP, brands have made beautiful ads as a tribute to the working classPixabay
Here is a listicle compiling the best ads of this year

Experts share their favourite Diwali campaigns from 2020

Here is a listicle compiling the best ads of this year
  • While the first half of the year was so unusual and unprecedented that the ad industry took a nosedive to as low as -60%, research studies have shown that the consumer sentiment is picking up and so are ad spends.
  • Diwali has brought an opportunity for brands to reconnect with their consumers, woo them again and remind that we are all in this together.
  • And Indian brands have not disappointed. From Mondelez and BYJU’s to HP, brands have made beautiful advertisements as a tribute to the working class that continues to struggle.
  • We reached out to experts to discuss their favourite ads from this Diwali and some of the reasons that make them special. So, here is a listicle compiling the best ads of this year.
Diyas and rangolis, food and family, gifts and greetings – this is what makes Diwali truly special. It is also an advertising carnival which brings up an opportunity for brands to reconnect with consumers as the market sentiment improves. Brands pour in big monies on traditional mediums to reach out to consumers at a larger scale. Every year, categories like FMCG, apparel, auto, e-commerce and consumer durables become the biggest spenders during Diwali.

However, 2020 is unusual. Coronavirus still hasn’t left our country and people continue to be cautious about stepping out. So, this Diwali won’t be about bursting crackers on the street and meeting your family to exchange sweets. It will all be virtual, about being there for each other in tough times and celebrating small victories while maintaining a safe distance.

So this year, brands have looked beyond family and home. After spending the first half of the year jobless, locked inside four walls, there are many who won’t get to celebrate the festival of light in its true spirit because they would be busy searching for small opportunities to support their family. The ironman, painter, watchman, delivery personnel and many other Indians will continue working, some bound by their circumstances and others by their duties.

COVID’s economic disruption has adversely impacted the collective optimism for festivities. Yet, all it takes is the determined optimism of hope and celebration to cheer someone. Therefore, many brands decided to shine a spotlight on these heroes who go unnoticed. They urged consumers to support different sectors of our society who have been badly impacted by COVID-19.

Common themes of togetherness, compassion, positivity, generosity, uplifting each other and supporting small businesses, emerged this year and took over the advertising canvas. Brands reminded their audience to help bring light and joy not just inside their homes but also outside their lives by sharing a little part of their happiness. After all, that's what festivals are all about.

So like this unusual year, we decide to do something different. We reached out to experts to find out their favourite advertisements and the reasons why they loved them. Here is what they had to say about creativity this Diwali:

Ronita Mitra, Founder and Chief Strategist, Brand Eagle Consulting:

Most brands have been warm, telling stories of togetherness and bonding with family, friends and neighbours. In that sense, all brands are playing their role in uplifting the sentiments of consumers, encouraging them to enjoy the festive season once again.

However the campaign that stands out for me is the Cadbury's campaign. The brand has weaved in "togetherness and inclusiveness" into the very heart of the campaign idea. and gone beyond merely producing an engaging ad with a well told, warm story. The Cadbury's brand has taken the idea of togetherness to a different level by involving and doing something meaningful for a segment of society that has been badly impacted by Covid - the local neighbourhood retailers. It has played the role of a truly responsible, inclusive brand that believes growth is sustainable when the eco system grows together. The idea entails high level execution effort in terms of integrating the gathering database with advanced technology to make the idea come alive in a real way for every consumer.

The campaign is an inspiring coming together of idea, execution and technology at every stage from conceptualization to the hyper personalised media plan.

Roshan Abbas, Founder & MD, Geometry Encompass:

I just saw a lovely HP Print ad on DiwaliDilWali, it was beautiful and emotional. A follow up to their earlier campaign 2 years ago on supporting local sellers, it brings together the beauty of innovation, emotion and has a fabulous performance by Seema Pahwa. While everyone is harping on supporting small sellers the route and product integration is what makes this different.

Karthik Srinivasan, Social Media Expert and Independent Brand Consultant:

I have seen a few Deepavali/Diwali ads and so far liked 2 of them more than the others.

Both have the same theme, of not stopping the kind of work/purchases that we do during Deepavali because of the pandemic. Whether that sells consumerism or is coated as restarting the seller-buyer ecosystem is a different question.

The first one is by Birla White, a brand that doesn't really have a say in Diwali, but brings itself very contextually and meaningfully into the Diwali discussion. This is by Autumn Grey.

The second is a surprise since it is not from India! This ad is for the Malaysian bank, RHB that features Tamilians (Malaysian Tamils) and Tamil language, by FCB Kuala Lumpur. The theme is very similar to the Birla White story in that both use the father-daughter dynamics for emotional appeal.

Heeru Dingra, CEO, WATConsult:

Out of all ads that seem to have gone live so far, Phillips’ Diwali campaign ‘Khushiyon Ki Ladi’, weaves a very beautiful and relevant story for the audience. Instead of approaching the festival directly, they took the viewers on a journey showcasing an interlinked chain of festivities, which surrounds all of us. With very relatable scenes like receiving a delivery, or purchasing sweets at a store, the video basically taught us the economy and dependency that businesses have on each other. With its smooth story narration and the ingrained feel good factor, the campaign did what it set out to do – make us associate Diwali with a feeling of community and interconnectivity.

Vishnu Srivastav, Vishnu Srivastav, Creative Head, DDB Mudra South:

My favourite Diwali campaign this year is ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’ by Cadbury. A large brand using its large platform to help other businesses in need. What could capture the Diwali spirit and Cadbury’s ethos of spreading cheer better? It’s data driven advertising with a deeply human impact.

Janhavi Iyer, Associate Director- Content Strategy, Gozoop:

The Not Just a Cadbury Ad by Cadbury definitely caught my attention this year. Not only is it supported by the use of sound media technology with the pin-code based personalization but it also meets one of the most important criteria for a great ad and that is actionability. With Covid leaving small and local businesses suffering, Cadbury’s ad was not just on brand but its simple message of buying local capitalized on the predominant sentiment of the nation, at a time when it was needed most. This year, as I stepped outside to shop for Diwali, I went to all my local stores, a conscious action sparked by a simple and insightful campaign.

I’d also give a shout out to Oppo’s Be The Light campaign. From a storytelling perspective, the short film struck all the right chords without pushing the product too much, making it a delight to watch.