Let’s start it off like this. Can you recall some of the best advertisements from the last few years? Cred, Zomato, Swiggy’s Space campaign, Dunzo’s take on Geet from Jab We Met, Cult fitness, etc. What’s the one thing common in all of these? They were all quirky in their own way. And that’s probably why you remember them.
Christening of Zomatification
Brands are using quirkiness in their advertising and branding to stand out amongst the audience a lot more today. Content that stands out is more likely to be recalled by your audience, which in turn adds to your brand value.
This is why a lot more content today is offbeat and centred around unexpected imagery, humour, or unconventional messages. This approach thereby creates a unique company culture and identity for the brand. One of the best examples of this is, in fact, Zomato. A trendsetter in every sense, every second viral marketing trend on social media is credited to Zomato. The latest doodh and kheer tie-up with Blink It, their ‘ghar ka khana’ tweet, and even their smiling delivery guy, to name a few.
Brands often develop brand mascots or characters that are quirky and build brand recognition and a connection with consumers. Vodaphone’s Zoozoos or Mentos’ donkey, Big Babool’s Chidya and turtle, or even Parle G’s iconic girl. We all remember these characters years later for this very reason.
But why do brands emphasise on quirky content or push content that’s “out-of-the-box?” Simple. Sales! The only reason why brands set trends, adapt to trends or sometimes let go of trends. Any content that helps a brand grow its sales is pushed ahead. And if quirky does the job, so it be!
Nevertheless, using humour and unconventional messaging in advertising also generates word-of-mouth marketing, as consumers are more likely to share content that they find interesting and memorable. This holds in all eras but is especially emphasised in this digital age.
Quirkiness + Technology = A Deadly Combo
Digital platforms and social media have risen as focus areas of marketing, and content is majorly valued in terms of its shareability today. How likely will your audience share or forward your ad to their peers and friends? Will the audience relate to the copy or the message the brand intends to share? No wonder meme marketing is currently a popular tool for brands to advertise.
But while every other brand is currently jumping on the bandwagon of quirky, hatke content, we, as advertisers, need to understand that not all brands can benefit from quirkiness. It is important to align your content with your brand’s values and your target group. Memes and unconventional humour might not always work in favour of your brand.
Drawing the Fine Line vs. Reading Between the Lines
There’s a thin line between being famous and infamous. It’s important for brands and advertisers to strike a balance and consider the potential disadvantages before opting for offbeat or unconventional content.
There have been instances when brands have received backlash and had to withdraw their campaigns for being offensive and sexist. Zomato’s infamous mac n’ cheese, butter chicken, Layer’r shot’s ‘shot maara?’, and Ola’s Micro Story-“Too expensive to take GF out on a date?” are just a few of them.
So what’s the key takeaway when curating quirky content? Play safe! Understand the difference between being unique and memorable. Curate content that’s appropriate for all types of customers. Experimenting with your content isn’t wrong, but not at the cost of going too far and upsetting your audience.
Also, quirky branding and offbeat content should be an extension of your brand’s personality and values. Avoid being too gimmicky or inauthentic. Align your content with your brand; strike it down if it doesn’t resonate. Jumping on a trend is a big NO here, no matter how tempting the idea of going viral is! And lastly, the single most important lesson of our communication studies- be open to feedback from customers and make adjustments to your branding strategy to keep it going strong always.
Talking of, do let us know your feedback on this blog! That’s it folks. This was our take on Quirky being the new ‘It trend’ in advertising.
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