Arati Rao
Sep 09, 2011

Live-Issue: How effective is the teaser ad these days?

Many brands have used the teaser ad route of late, but opinions on how effective they are are divided, finds Arati Rao

Live-Issue: How effective is the teaser ad these days?

Suzlon used it for P.A.L.S (Pure Air Lovers Society), Hero MotoCorp for the launch of their new brand, and the beverage brand behind ‘The Coolest Job’ is continuing to run its teaser campaign at the time of going to press.

Commenting on whether agencies still see teaser campaigns as effective, Anil Nair, chief executive officer and managing partner, Law & Kenneth, said, “If what you’re ‘teasing’ for is a new proposition or a new thinking process, then it makes sense. But if you do it too often, it loses its value.”

He added, “We used the teaser route for two days for Hero MotoCorp. Since we were launching the new brand on 15 August after a long weekend, we wanted to ensure that people knew something exciting was coming up. We also had sideboards at the cricket stadium during the India-England series, which said, ‘A new Hero will rise’. But I don’t think we can claim we have done a very interesting teaser campaign ourselves.”

Dharini Mishra, global head of brand, Suzlon, says she personally has found teasers to be very effective, particularly in the case of low-association brands. But she also believes it’s time for the teaser ad to evolve. “What would have intrigued the audience a couple of years back will not work today. The evolution of the target groups and their constant exposure to innovation demands that teaser ads evolve, not just in the mechanics of it but in terms of simplicity and messaging. Also the attention span of the audiences is getting less and less. It is very important to get the right mix of creating intrigue and providing the answers,” she said.

V Sunil, executive creative director, Wieden +Kennedy, Delhi, however, says the agency doesn’t encourage its clients to do “funny innovations”. He added, “Mostly teaser ads aren’t effective. Very often the teaser or build up is more interesting than the final ad. We believe it’s more important to brand at a deeper level, than do useless media innovations which make it difficult to hold the paper, or make the reader turn to another page inside, because the reveal turns out to be the most boring thing.”

On the Vaseline ad in rebuttal to Michael Vaughan’s tweet, which also had an ad without copy on the front page of leading newspapers leading in to the complete ad on the sports page, a Vaseline spokesperson said, “There has been a debate generated in response to Vaughan’s comments on the alleged use of Vaseline to beat the hotspot technology. This is an opportunity for the brand to reiterate to our consumers the ‘real’ and ‘multiple’ benefits of Vaseline - in an engaging manner and topical manner.”

Partha Sinha, managing partner, BBH India, says the first 
ad wasn’t created as a teaser. “It was a way to make sure people don’t miss the main ad, if they didn’t normally read the sports page. It was more of a ‘media plan’ or ‘media arrowhead’ than a teaser.”

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman and chief executive officer, McCann Worldgroup India, concluded, “Something which didn’t work for me is Frooti’s ‘Digen Verma’ from years ago. It was magic and then they lost it. There are actually very few teaser case studies in our country. Creative people are very excited about teaser ads but I can tell you more cases about presentations where they have not got made because budget cuts happened. Normally, clients feel it’s a waste of money.”


Anil Nair

Anil Nair, CEO and managing partner, Law & Kenneth

“The problem with new media is that it is so interactive, the consumer will figure out what you’re teasing. A lot of people try to take the principles of traditional media and apply it to new media. The backlash on that is pretty strong. There are interesting ways seen internationally though like Lynx ‘Jet’, when people thought it was an airline with hot air hostesses, but it turned out to be for a Lynx deodorant variant. If you do it in a clever, interactive, evolved way, it’ll work.”


Parsoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India

“The effectiveness of the teaser depends on the frequency of your ad, which depends on budget and placement. It is very important that your ad is noticed. What happens is that media is so fragmented and cluttered, that at times, if the teaser ad isn’t planned well, people don’t relate it to the main ad. ”



Dharini Mishra

Dharini Mishra, global head of brand, Suzlon

“I see a lot of digital teaser possibilities today. For P.A.L.S we did a series of ads and a few digital and online games which teased the audience to then satiate them with the main messaging. Social media also gives one great potential to explore all kinds of intriguing teaser ads and messaging. Our teasers on radio also worked very well. I think radio as a recall and engagement medium is very strong. We ran the P.A.L.S teasers on radio even after we revealed the concept on TV and print. We were hoping to get people to relate the radio ads with answers from the TVCs and that was very interesting.”


V Sunil

V Sunil, executive creative director, Wieden + Kennedy Delhi

“Mostly teaser ads aren’t effective. Very often the teaser or build up is more interesting than the final ad.”




Partha Sinha

Partha Sinha, managing partner, BBH

“You need to be very sure of the quality of the teaser to tease people, and at times, marketers and agencies tend to forget that consumers are busy people at the end of the day and they aren’t exactly dying to connect the dots. The concept of a teaser ad isn’t something that I think works anymore. However, if you want to create an “arrowhead” to maximise your first impact or exposure, that’s a different thing and may work.”

Campaign India

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