Tanishq Ekatvam Ad Review

Idea ReviewBy Mukul Bhartiya / November-09


Last month’s Tanishq ad for their “Ekatvam” range of products was much talked, due to the topic it chose to show and message it conveyed. As soon as the digital advertisement was released, #boycotttanishq started trending on social media sites. It immediately drew the line of confrontation among two groups; one group were claiming to be of Hindus and other group were claiming to be of seculars and liberals. The concept of an expecting Hindu girl married in a Muslim household being nervously surprised for their in-laws celebrating “God Bharai” ritual for her didn’t go down well with a section of Hindus and they vowed to boycott Tansihq’s products. Not only that, they even started voicing their displeasure on social media. When they started voicing their displeasure on social media, another section of people jumped in the defence of Tanishq.

But this is all about responses it got; let me examine the communication decision taken by the Brand and Marketing Manager of Tanishq. Was this a brand communication or a statement of corporate or product team’s ideology?

Let us understand what it presumably showed:
-Love beyond the boundaries of religion.
-Acceptance of each other’s culture.
-Different customs and importance of jewelry in it.

And what was construed by a section of people:

-It pressed the raw nerve of inter-religious marriage where girl is necessarily a Hindu. This is a very hot social and political topic and evokes a very strong response. For many, this is a historical, political and narrational wrong perpetrated against one community.
-Some criticized the nervous surprise at girl’s face, which they took it as otherwise non-acceptance of her customs by her husband’s family.

Marketing and brand communication can’t overlook the prevalent social fault lines and it also can’t overlook the sentiments of major target customer group, because it may affect the sales. Very next day, share prices of Tanishq dropped by around 2.5% which confirmed the sentiments of that group which was angry over this advertisement.

Now let us analyse few more facts mentioned below, which are important to establish that whether it was a well planned communication to increase the sales or an ideological statement either coming from the corporate team or brand team:

-The theme of advertisement is a very controversial topic which evokes even stronger response. I will not get into the details.
-The community who were angry, i.e., Hindus have the custom of buying gold ornaments during different festivals like “Akshay Tritiya” and “Dhanteras”. They even buy gold when enter the new house. And of course, marriage is a huge thing. Women folks in villages save money to buy jewelry whether they have daughters or son, because at the time of marriage, they have to give it to the daughter or daughter-in-law. So, for them, not only it is their personal choice but social and religious ritual as well.
-Jewelry is not just a woman thing among Hindus, men also wear them.
-Muslim community doesn’t have the social or religious ritual to buy ornaments; it is completely their personal choice.
-Men from Muslim community are forbidden by their religious edicts from wearing gold jewelry.
-Population ratio of Hindus to Muslims in India is 8:1.5, so without Hindus form the main market segment.

So, when odds were so firmly placed against this brand and marketing communication, then it was definitely a statement of ideology by the team at brand or corporate level then a communication designed to boost the sales. May be the team was experimenting with an idea of brand identity they want to create or maybe they had designed it for Pakistan and not India.

Note: I tried looking for the advertisement on Official Youtube channel of Tanishq Jewelry but it wasn’t available there.

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Sanjeev Jha
excellent analysis of the advertisement
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