Beware of the inappropriate abuse of happiness!

Beware of the inappropriate abuse of happiness!

Happiness becomes prized catch in Ads

Tuesday – Jul 31, 2007

Brand managers are reinventing the tried and tested emotion, and in the present day scenario Happiness is lucrative. Companies are tugging at heart strings by using the word ‘happy’ in advertisements to pitch their wares. More interestingly, even products range are being planned around the evergreen feeling.

“India, as a country, is in a buoyant mood. The economy is doing very well with the happiness quotient being high. Little wonder then, the feeling is coming out in various commercials,” says Prasoon Joshi, Executive chairman, McCann Erickson India.

Airtel ad, for one, shows a group of people singing ‘Happy recharge to you’ as a customer recharges his mobile card. Similarly, the job site Clickjobs.com created a character called ‘Happy Kumar’ for its campaign.

“Happiness is something everyone aspires for. But in today’s times, it has become a prized catch. If an ad is built around the emotion, it’s close to the common man. It’s quite strange, but traditionally, Indian advertising has missed this simple feeling,” says Joe Felix, senior Vice-president (sales), Clickjobs.com.

The mosquito repellent brand Good Knight also inspires consumers to ‘protect happy moments’ with their families. Fast food chain McDonald’s commercial goes with the punchline, ‘Call for happiness, call McDonald’s’.

As Vikram Bakshi, managing director and Vice-president, McDonald’s India, puts it, “As always, we have strived to make our commercials interesting, fun and relatable to our customers.”

Optical storage manufacturer Moser Baer gives its tagline, ‘Hello happiness’, a prominent place in campaigns. And Luxor Writing Instruments is set to launch a new stationery line called ‘Planet Happy’.

‘since it’s mainly a youth-oriented product, our endeavour is to bring the happy feeling in our commercials also,” informs Pooja Jain, Executive director, Luxor.

The happy brigade, of course, has been working overtime for the past few years now. Mahindra Holidays & Resorts runs a campaign with a punchline saying, ‘happy family holidays’. Likewise, luggage firm VIP Industries promotes itself with ‘VIP happy journey’.

But coffee brand Bru and FM station Radio Mirchi were the early birds to join the happiness bandwagon. While Bru employs words like ‘happy moments with Bru’ and ‘Treasure of happiness’, Mirchi aggressively uses ‘Mirchi sunne wale always khush’.

According to media pundits, the word has a lot of positiveness attached to it. “It’s a very strong emotion with a broad canvas, which can be used variously by companies. Our success has also inspired other radio stations to portray themselves as a happy sunshine channel,” says Kaushik Ghosh, Senior Vice-president, (marketing), Radio Mirchi.

Happiness quotient notwithstanding, the jubilant feeling is fast turning into palpable gains for India Inc. Ever since Clickjobs.com threw positive attitude with Happy Kumar, the website’s traffic has gone up by 60 per cent. “Earlier, we used to get around 3,000 hits, but now the numbers have risen to more than 7,000. Positive emotions always bring positive results. This emotion is a good clutter-breaker too.” says Felix.

Likewise, Mirchi is ‘laughing’ all the way to the bank. “Our revenues have moved up in the last three-and-half years. The brand is worth almost Rs 2,500 crores at the Sensex. And the happy environment has helped our leadership position.” says Ghosh.

Clearly, brands are brandishing happy days, but admen warn about over killing the emotion. “People will get bored if they are shown similar things again and again,” says Joshi.

Well, brands are having a ball as happy is on a roll.