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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In case of emergency, cut rope

A topic gathering enough interest lately is that of Generation G. To add to the ongoing conversations about charity, corporate social responsibility, consumers are also expecting companies to be generous through different ways.

Aircel, an Indian mobile operator took advantage of nature's adversity during monsoon rains in Mumbai and showed brand love and generousity to its customers by putting up a real inflated boat on a billboard, tied it with ropes and printed 'In case of emergency, cut rope'. I think this is a great example which proves that companies need to move beyond creating branded bus stops around cities, branding traffic islands, putting up their advertisements in virtually every single eye-space available and rather do something really innovative, keeping in view the local context, or even the natural phenomenon i.e. monsoon, floods, in this case. Similarly acts of distributing blankets during winter to poor people, arranging free eye clinics etc. are all tried and well received from time to time to show the caring side of the brand. But how many times does it actually makes the connection with the consumer and how long does the customer value that connection? As the idiom goes 'A friend in need is a friend indeed', consumers would rely on those brands only who stood next to them during bad times, hour of need and emergency.

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