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  • Raghav Sand

What the ‘F’ of Advertising

Consumerism is the most widely followed ‘ism’ in modern times. The dictionary meaning of the word, ‘ism’, used primarily as a suffix, is: denoting a system, principle, philosophy or ideological movement. We are all consumers, and apart from public sector citizen welfare activities, everything else requires some form of advertising. In simplest terms, advertisements create awareness and curiosity about a product or service among consumers. Our world has made a lot of progress in the last two centuries. Some of the practices in the field of product development, manufacturing and selling have streamlined since the beginning of industrial revolution.

In the early days of industrialization, products were sold in the vicinity of factories, but as the scale and scope of operations expanded, enterprises had to undertake awareness campaigns. From hand-painted hoardings and banners, we now come to know about new products through digital medium. Among all these advancements in the field of consumer economy, one thing has remained constant: the art of storytelling. Advertising through audio-visual means is the most potent way to draw and retain the attention of people.

Morality and individuality are more than just rhyming words. Whether it is life decisions or purchasing patterns, choices make us what we are. Brands deploy various methods to convey their message. Every successful marketing campaign infuses the impulse to take action. As per American Marketing Association, “marketing is the process of identifying customer needs and determining how best to meet those needs. In contrast, advertising is the exercise of promoting a company and its products or services through paid channels. In other words, advertising is a component of marketing.”

Through advertisements, enterprises make consumers aware about a product or service. As per management studies scholars, advertisement is part of marketing. Whether it is a legacy brand or a start-up, nothing sells itself. Depending upon the life cycle and market position of a brand, a customized campaign is designed to increase revenue. The success or failure of an advertising campaign is judged on the basis of its impact on sales. Needless to say, the price and quality of a product or service should be competitive for any campaign to achieve its true potential.

As per, there are 5055 words that start with the letter ‘F’. If we look at ten such words from the perspective of advertising, an interesting pattern emerges. Chances are, by the end of the article, you will be able to realize how brands convince you. The brands and their advertisement campaigns mentioned below as examples are not part of an exhaustive list by any stretch of imagination. Once you get the vibe, try to recall the advertisements that have left an indelible imprint on your mind.


A simple campaign talks just about the function of the product. Believe it or not, it is difficult to execute a simple idea. If done well, a basic campaign can be as effective as an elaborate storyline. The script for an advertisement that will not deviate from the functionality of the product or service is concise. Given the diverse nature of sensibility of consumers, a functional advertisement may be perceived as sufficient by some, while others may feel that the brand is not trying hard enough. The critics may even label a functional ad and its brand as lazy. A simple advertisement about a water purifier (enumerates filtration process) or a basic analogue wrist watch (shows time correctly) are appropriate examples of functional advertisements.

Family and Friendship

Everyone has a softer side. Some choose to acknowledge it, while others keep it under wraps. A variety of brands choose to talk about themselves by keeping the institution of family as the focal point. By following such a strategy, if a brand is able to strike a chord, it can set the cash registers ringing. The purpose of an advertisement is to trigger a positive response. It starts with igniting curiosity and ends with registering a sale. When an advertisement campaign of a brand revolves around family and friendship, its recall value is very high. Nostalgia plays a big role in the success of such campaigns. Consumers tend to spend more freely when they are in a happy state of mind. An emotive response to the campaign from the consumer will be more than sufficient for the brand’s success. Among others, food and beverage brands, and car manufacturers frequently choose to tread on this path.


Making the consumer laugh and at the same time convince them to spend their hard-earned money is not as easy as it sounds. The ability to conceive and execute comedy is a rare talent. An advertisement campaign with a fun quotient is far ahead in popularity when compared to other genres. It is impossible to forget the campaigns of Fevicol, Happydent and Vodafone’s ZooZoo. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Fevicol advertisements were extremely popular and highly anticipated. To show the stickiness and effectiveness of the adhesive being promoted, brand managers at Fevicol (Pidilite Industries) enthralled high street and hinterland simultaneously. Many have tried to emulate Fevicol, but they have eventually fallen short.

Vodafone’s ZooZoo, the ballooned bodied creatures, made everyone laugh and left viewers asking for more. Most recently, the witty script of Cred advertisements, a company which rewards users for making credit card payments through its app, is using humour as the vehicle for brand awareness. It will be an amateurish mistake to not mention ‘Amul’ topicals before moving on the next sub-heading.


At some point of time, all of us have to confront our fears. Using fear as the foundation of an advertisement campaign is not new. Brands have successfully convinced consumers to purchase their products and services for overcoming fear. Very few brands use scare tactics. Insurance products and fire extinguishers are essential, but their campaigns strategically use an element of fear to get their message through. Most people in the world are under insured or uninsured, therefore, it is important to make such people aware about the harsh truth. The news of accidental fire can be disturbing and chilling. To this day, many residences, offices, hospitals and other publicly accessible indoor spaces are not equipped with proper firefighting equipment. When brands use fear to convey their message, it may seem pessimistic. On certain instances, people don’t take action if they are not made aware of the grave consequences of their inaction. Therefore, under certain circumstances, advertisements which use fear are a necessary evil.


After elaborating some of the advertisement philosophies, it is time to conclude the article. One of the most widely used advertisement strategies involve celebrity brand endorsements. Make no mistake, this is a tried-and-tested way of influencing consumer behaviour. Brands with celebrity endorsements usually get complacent about their campaigns. The expectation to monetize from the fame of a celebrity garners instant interest from the loyal followers. Some of the other F’s of advertising include festivals, future, fairy-tale (dreams about a better future) and faith. Occasionally, brands bring faith and religion into their narrative.

Creativity is a fine balance between imagination and execution. Everyday we are making choices based upon the information available to us. Persuasive advertisements create buzz about the brand. Enterprises grow large when their product or services become part of consumer’s habits. Retaining consumers is important and that can happen only when the product or service solves a problem and/or creates convenience.

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