All talk & no action : Woman’s day campaign’s 2016

During my agency days ( not so long ago), the March campaign calendar would mean coming up with woman’s day campaigns. No, not because it’s International Women’s day, but as it’s an opportunity to celebrate the greatest customer segment for a brand and remind women that ” they need to be reminded about how great & equal they are ….” .

Now, I am not against the concept of woman’s day. However, I find most of these campaigns that brands come up with, lacks substance. Probably because it’s mostly done with a ” oh ! we have to do this ” attitude.

If you want to have a look at all the campaigns executed by National brands, you can find them  here.

It’s mostly a lot of copying, attached with more cliches that comes in a brand new format every March, with absolutely no benefit to women. What good is a marketing campaign, if it does not produce any action? One might argue that it’s just meant to change your thought process or capture the emotional essence of the day.

Emotive marketing

Titan is the clear winner if that is the case, as they have nailed it right in terms of making one think or rethink about our own attitude. Watch the video & let me know, what you think.

Another powerful campaign I came across on a similar note was led by director Lal Jose via a local radio station in Kerala. I do not remember the specifics of the campaign but days before International woman’s day, Lal sir came with a promo on the radio claiming he wants the public to choose a name for the next character in his next movie. He described the character to be someone very strong and capable , strong hearted , who faces life wholeheartedly and yada yada yada.

On March 8th, the radio would then play the suggested names publicly and as expected most of the names or all of the names suggested where male names when the director never specified about the character being male or female. He then gave an end message as to how, changes need to take place within ourselves. One can notice a lot of similarity there, with Titan’s campaign.

Do you know which radio station created this campaign ? 

P.s :use the comment section wisely 😉

Now, my argument when it comes to such campaigns is that there is no space for action or to be more precise, there is a lot of talking and zero activity. Basically what it means is , ” Hey ! I want to sell something to you .. i want to tickle your emotions and leave you at that and get back to selling something..I want to celebrate womanhood but I really don’t want do anything about the campaign I am evoking …. and I am just interested in the views of my video or how viral or how many people spoke about it on social media.. my success metrics is about numbers & not the real deal”

Yes, as brands your business motive might be only to inspire change and not to follow up on, whether any changes happened or if there is a trickle of vitality as a result of the campaign. That’s where, I have a problem.

Action orientated marketing

Most of the time, one makes it look like the women that needs to be celebrated are the unsung heroes while the other makes it appear that the achievers or the CEO’s or the social activists or the entrepreneurs are the ones to be acclaimed.

Watch this video here. Until the 43’rd second I was all awestruck and happy, ‘ Wow ! Here is a brand that’s talking some sense ‘ & then BAM! disappointment hits.  So not only does the character’s mother have to do all these chores, but also has to be in a wheelchair to be qualified as an unsung hero. So, my wife, who works her arse off around our home, isn’t hero enough material, as what she does, is just so ordinary and what a woman with no disability should do anyway, right? You just lost a prospective customer. Bang ! The campaign microsite has further details.

I am not against giving awards but when it comes to the theme of International Women’s day, I feel womanhood in general should be celebrated. You don’t need to be a glorified CEO or social worker or disabled or have an inspirational story to deserve this acknowledgement.

Disclosure : I have worked with Eastern condiments in the past & I have immense respect for the brand and the team involved in the brand development..



As a marketer my take on all the woman’s day campaigns executed by brands in 2016, is that it clearly misses  a strategy or follow up. Simply put, it’s not action orientated marketing. There are lot of brands who have done action orientated marketing like Hindustan LeverPaper boat and P&G.

Yes, they have connected it to sales or what one might call shameless promotion, however as an end user, you are forced to take part in the cause and there is a clear follow up.

So when you choose to support a cause, don’t just get on with a cliche approach or ‘me too’ approach. What you need is an action orientated marketing strategy, where the action might be in form of people pledging support or sharing or buying products but the important part is that both general users & people for whom the cause is created for, participates equally. By that I meant if you are celebrating womanhood, you don’t discriminate or patronize the category. Understand that the biggest media platform or media for your brand is your consumers.

Now, if you are someone who needs advice on creating such marketing properties, let me shamelessly do my sales pitch. ” ROI driven & action driven new media communication strategy is my speciality 😉 ”

Now in case you want to have a look at the action orientated campaigns I have created in this segment, google #patontheback campaign by Volini, a marketing property I created for the brand , they have extended it to mainstream media and have continued the campaign for sometime.

Let me know what you think or if there are any campaigns you think is worth being mentioned here.