Marketing the “Diwali” Way

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 4105 , Published on 26 December 2012

Personally speaking Diwali has always been a festival of joy, hope and celebration for me. As a child I remember my grandmother used to quietly slip a hundred rupee note in my pocket so that I could buy crackers. My mother says I used to be so excited on receiving it that it made her think that I got my first pay check. Nevertheless, it wasn’t even less than a pay check for me. She knew those miniature form of “atom bombs” would make me jump out of bed.


I grew up in a small middle class family. One thing that used to amaze me was  the  number of gifts that rained on Diwali. I always wondered why did people exchanged gifts on this day. Silly thoughts encircled my mind like suddenly on the eve of diwali everyone becomes rich and so to “show off” they give gifts. Also, I loved the Cadbury chocolate pack which Papa  used to bring for us. All siblings fought over the chocolates for the simple reason that it was “chocolate”.

As I write this today all those memories are revived. Now I think all those questions have eventually lost their meaning.

Besides fun and enjoyment there are some very special things related to Diwali which leaves an endless impact on our mind. I am talking about Diwali Commercials we see every year. Each year it comes with different message, though brands remain the same but the presentation, picturization and concept comes in a unique way.

From a festival of joy and victory, Diwali has turned into a huge event for big companies like Cadbury, coca cola, Maruti to define a brand new relationship with consumers. A relation of love, trust and most importantly spreading happiness.

When asked Which is the Diwali commercial that has been an all time favourite for the industry?

Mr KV Sridhar quotes , “My favourite Diwali commercial would be ‘Iss Diwali aap kise khush kar rahe hain?’ by Cadbury, which was out almost a year ago. For me and I’m sure for everybody else, the best way to celebrate Diwali is to catch up with near and dear ones and make them happy. Hence I found the commercial very real.”

The above ad has been beautifully made and serves to convey the underlying message to the consumer in a very subtle manner. Cadbury chocolates serves as a simple and essential way of making up for past mistakes and as a token forgiveness. Going by the expressions of the young man and the so called “ Chacha” a instant connect is developed between the viewer and the ad. In the middle of this Cadbury chocolates pop up and bring a smile on their face.

Cadbury’s seems to be the brand and campaign to have captured minds and hearts. Every ad has something special, unique and quintessential about Diwali & India.

At this point I would like to capture the whole agenda on diwali in one arithmetic equation:

Diwali + Love = Sales

Few of the strategies used by companies to attract customers are:

  • Advertisements
  • Discount price
  • Exchange Offer
  • Easy EMI systems
  • Assured Gifts
  • Combo offers

But this all comes at a massive cost. Biggies shell out huge amount of money every year for such ad campaigns. Just go to Cadbury celebrations official facebook and see for yourself what marketing is all about. You will be taken away by a beautiful tagline imprinted on eye capturing saffron background.

Thumbs up for this. Is n’t it a nice strategy to tap customers from facebook- the largest social networking platform? A survey says 25% of the retailer’s online revenue comes from Facebook. Advertising on Facebook has tripled from last year.

On an average 3.2 billion people like and comment everyday. When you have a strong presence on Facebook, your business is part of these conversations and has access to the most powerful kind of word-of-mouth marketing — recommendations between friends.

In a yet another move to push sales in India Volkswagen has launched a new exciting contest ahead of Diwali. It is named as “Post it”. It involves press, digital and out of home media to woo customers in the car market.

Smartphones are flooding market this festival season.

Nokia is back this Diwali with “Lumia 510”. It will hit the market few days from now. The company is promoting it as a Diwali gift for the youth in the 18-24 year age group. It’s a move to regain smartphone market in india.

Even before the launch of iPhone 5 in India telecom operators such as Airtel and Aircel have announced their exclusive data plans.

A look at Airtel’s tariff plans:

The official India pricing for the iPhone 5 :

  • Rs.45,500  for 16GB model
  • Rs. 52,500 for 32GB model
  • Rs. 59,500 for 64GB model

eBay- the popular ecommerce site as usual is offering attractive discount deals.

Indians love to buy gold during Diwali. Keeping that in mind and going by TOI this year the sale of gold is expected to rise by 40%. High gold prices are unlikely to come in way of demand. According to Rahul Singh- House Head Marketing light weight jewellery is in demand with rise in prices. People are buying gold in anticipation that prices will rise in near future. Indiatimes is giving 10 % additional discount on purchase of gold coins this year. Go grab the offer.

HDFC has also announced its credit card offer. Now with every purchase on a HDFC credit card you get   2 % cash back.

Mahindra is promoting its scooters(Duro dz) it’s way. Now with every purchase of Mahindra scooter petrol worth rupee 2000 is on the platter.

Now let’s talk about something very very interesting. Asian paints has come up with an idea which is sure to grab your attention. Just visit Asian paints facebook page and see for yourself what’s awaiting you. Participate In 'Colour Ki Ladi' Contest.

Winners take home :

  • 3 prizes worth Rs. 1,000/- each will be announced every week.
  • If that is not enough to excite you than one lucky person can even get a chance to win a complete home makeover- all for free by Asian Paints.

At the end we realize that this is a time for consumers to do lots of shopping and for business’s to make lots of profits. I wish as any other year this Diwali also brings with it lots of sparks, joy and goodies. Just make sure you enjoy all these benefits with your dear ones and make the most out of diwali schemes. Business houses will anyway find their way into your home through new and innovative marketing tricks. With all new packaging for the crackers, marketers will blow life into our very own local brand crackers. At the very first sight of these crackers one think if they have all taken a special “make over” from Shehnaz Hussain’s boutique. With these thoughts I take leave from all my dear readers.

This article has been authored by Ankit Kohli from Great Lakes Institute of Management.


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