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Old people roped in for ads: A quiet way of winning trust over a brand?

When we came up with the idea about 'Annapoorna paati'; for the recent ad for Annapoorna,

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In advertising, we should remember who the baby boomers really are. They are not just the typical "grandpa" or "grandma" but those who elicit a warm, nostalgic, and loving feeling.

Just be their sheer presence and through an exhibition of innocence, kids have a direct entry into our hearts, whenever and wherever we see them. They want to be loved, to be cared for, to learn, and to contribute in any way possible. The same emotional connection can be felt with the elderly as well. Seniors have a special place in every family and can make a big impact on our lives. There is a popular saying that states "The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person" By breaking down social and physical barriers, seniors can debunk multi-generational stereotypes and offer fresh perspectives to the younger generation.

For instance, When we came up with the idea about 'Annapoorna paati'; for the recent ad for Annapoorna,  the original concept was conceived with a bachelor in mind who will be shown cooking and sharing food with his neighbours. This was contemplated to reiterate the "sharing" aspect Annapoorna as a brand was trying to portray. However, we changed the character to a grandmother to strongly emphasise the brand's rich 45-year heritage and how that tied into our respect and love for our traditions and food culture that's been passed down from generation to generation.

It’s safe to say that there is no other medium that's consumed as frequently and on a larger scale as television advertising. That's why the representation of a senior for Annapoorna's commercial can undoubtedly offer a valuable insight as far as the way older people are perceived and treated.

There is something so appealing about elderly advertising. Much of it has to do with the way our society portrays seniors. If you notice in most commercials or movies that feature people of advanced age, they often exhibit child-like innocence or infallible quality in judgement and good decision-making skills. Bringing in old people for advertisements is very niche. They are showcased metaphorically to convey wisdom, strength and trust in print ads, and television commercials to influence the buying intent of not just the elderly, but younger consumers too. We all fondly remember Vodafone's campaign in 2017 #MakeMostOfNow where an elderly couple is shown holidaying in different places for their second honeymoon.

This goes to show that seniors want to see what they want to be, not for what they are. Seniors do want to feel youthful and spry and for them "Age is merely a number".

In another ad by Godrej, two grandmothers are caught in a little tiff over what their granddaughter should choose, soap for skincare or germ protection. Getting grandparents made sense for this commercial because they are the best endorsers for natural ingredients. This is because they lend a lot of credibility and authority to the product. The younger generation can also safely assume that seniors would have used those ingredients in the past.

We recognised the importance of age and its effectiveness in advertising.  That's why the decision was made to rope in a hearty, elderly woman to star in Annapoorna's commercial. This was not just done to build the brand's trust quotient but also to emphasise how love inspires every one of us to cook from the heart. This is because, for many of us, our greatest influences for our love of food and cooking has been a mother figure. To this day and even in the days to come, we all can agree that food tastes better when prepared by our grandmothers.  Their food whether simple or complex are delicious, nostalgic and made with love. They show us that the special touch they lend to cooking meals day in and day out creates warm memories for life. Food brings people together and our grandmothers have always ensured that we unite as a family at the table.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Madhavan Sankara

Founder & CEO of Madarth

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