The latest commercial from Havells’ features a notch girl called Bijli, who when faints due to heat, is saved by the Havells’ ES 50 fan. Simple metaphor, Bijli, used to deliver a green message, ‘Bijlee ko bachata hai, ES 50 energy saving fan from Havells.’
“The creative concept of the campaign is to establish Havells ES (Energy Saving) 50 as a fan that saves 33% more electricity from any other fan in the category,” says Anil Gupta, managing director, Havells India. “Prevention of global warming has become a global buzzword for marketers. There are obvious trends in all sectors that drive companies to promote anything they do that helps the environment.”
Green does seem to be the next black in the West, where not a week goes by without a marketer promoting what it is doing about climate change. In a quest to achieve a first-mover advantage among their counterparts as the preferred choice of consumers when ‘green’ becomes a purchase criteria, advertisers are earmarking a part of their ad spends towards promoting their eco-friendly images and campaigns.
The question, however, that needs to be asked is whether the Indian consumer is evolved enough to discriminate and choose between brands based on these issues and at times, be willing to pay a premium for the so-called green products and services?
Thankfully some marketers think he is. “The Indian consumer is evolving rapidly and with the democratisation of media, global trends reach India much more rapidly than in the past – all of this means that the consumer will wake up soon to issues around environment sustainability,” says Punita Lal, marketing director, Pepsi India.
Though there isn’t too much noise about the subject in the Indian market place yet, it does not mean that the consumers are ignorant. An Acccenture survey of 7,500 consumers in North America, Europe and Asia in October 2007 found that 98 per cent of respondents in Brazil and India said that climate change would directly affect their lives compared with 73 per cent in Europe. Further, 82 per cent were willing to turn this concern into action – for example not using the car as often.
The pace at which global warming has started affecting the day-to-day lives of people, in form of increase in food prices, oil shortages, droughts and floods will see a lot more people even in a success-hungry country like India looking at sustainable consumerism. Also, it still being a ‘family-oriented’ country, issues that may affect the future generations could inspire people to live eco-responsibly. “This issue, more than anything else, is really going to affect the poor- who are the largest vote bank,” says Pratap Bose, CEO, O&M India. “So sooner or later the governments are going to enforce green policies, CNG initiatives in metros being just one of them.”
For marketers and their agencies, this is a definite gap that, when plugged, could reap rich benefits. “It is true that by engaging proactively and going ‘green’, the private sector is acknowledging the reputational and ‘branding’ value these activities have - and this holds true in both developed and emerging markets. IFC believes that the private sector has a critical role to play in accelerating the adoption of sustainable business models going forward,” says Robin Sandenburgh, IFC Principal Environmental Specialist for South Asia.
To read the whole story, check out Campaign India's latest issue dated May 23