KOCHI: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has called upon manufacturers to build their brands on the basis of ‘dharma’ and as competition offers customers more choices across products, the advertisement, which ultimately decides the fate of a product, should convey the truth to the customers.
Bachchan was speaking at the 44th IAA World Congress here at the Grand Hyatt, Bolgatty, on Wednesday. He said the integrity of a brand is important, and every brand should convey meaning, an image, to the customers. For instance, India is not anymore the country of snake charmers or Kamasutra. Now, India’s brand brings to mind engineers, doctors, space technology, etc, he said.
Bachchan pointed out customer’s hard-earned money is dharma or what he called ‘dharm’, and the brand should provide their products accordingly. “That is brand’s dharm. - My face is present on over 24 products’ packaging. Not endorsing tobacco and alcohol products, that’s my dharma,” he said.
Likewise, one man’s dharma is not another man’s dharma. He also recalled how his father Harivansh Rai Srivastava, a poet, removed Srivastava from the name and replaced it with Bachchan. “Srivastava indicated the caste. By replacing it with Bachchan, he showed his rebellion against the caste system. The name Bachchan, in a way, indicates his dissent against the caste system,” he said.The brand also cannot be stereotyped. The brand has to reinvent itself. Brands can stand on their own if customers pledge its full support. He also said ethical cooperation of brands can enhance the quality of products.
Puneet Goenka, in his opening address, laid stress on the theme of the World Congress, ‘Brand Dharma’, which is looking at the basic principles a brand has to follow to connect with its customers and society at large. He said what matters at the end of the day is the deep connect a brand establishes with the audience and the language, dialects in which the brand speaks with the audience. Also, how purely and honestly does the brand believe in the culture and value system of the audience.
‘There are still loyalists for outdated brands like Marx, Mao’
Though Mao and Marx are outdated brands, there are still loyalists for this ideology, said spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “It seems God himself advertises to make his presence felt. He sent so many prophets to convey his presence. Of course, God has his competitors in Marx and Mao.
But there are still loyalists for these outdated brands in this city, this state and this country,” he said in his motivational speech at the inaugural session of the Global Summit of the International Advertising Association (IAA) at the Lulu Bolgatty Convention Centre in Kochi on Wednesday. Ravi Shankar said if one does not believe in the quality of the product he provides to the customer, it is not dharma. Following one’s conscience is dharma.
“We may have different cultures, practices, customs and languages, but there is an underlying current of humanism, which is dharma,” he said. Ravi Shankar said too much of social media activity will affect the personality of children.