15 August 2023

Come Independence Day or Republic Day, every brand worth its salt wants to milk patriotic emotions to their advantage. It feels simply amazing: they seem so sure of their marketing success on these days.

So, why do almost all brands pitch a significant amount of their money and effort on them? If we look around, it’s not just an Indian phenomenon; it’s a global norm, practiced and perfected over many years.

What do we understand, as a ‘Brand?’ A Brand, though it connects at an individual level, is about a shared experience between all who swear by it. You will readily agree: a brand is like a cult. It creates a group of like-minded people.

Days like Independence Day and Republic Day transform an entire country into a giant ‘Like Minded and Similar Feeling’ group. Patriotic emotions run high on those days, among all of us - without exception. Now you see, why all marketers want to hitch their brands’ fortunes to the Patriotism bandwagon?

These days have their foundations on the concept of freedom. As we all know, the idea of Freedom resonates a lot with every living being. The teenager yearns to be free from parental control; the poor seeks freedom from poverty’s clutches; the one who has failed – from the taunts of the society; the artist – from the confines of the ‘úsual,’ and countless women – from the restrictions imposed by tradition and dogma, and so on and forth. Freedom is cherished and desired by all of us, in various interpretations.

Brands, in their own ways, are offering forms of freedom – from small houses, from uncomfortable travelling, from not connecting with your loved ones, etc. A pertinent aspect of advertising on these days is the opportunity to engage in Social Impact Marketing initiatives.

Tata Tea Premium’s earnest gesture to lend support to the Indian Artist community on the occasion of Independence Day won many hearts. They launched a unique campaign #DeshkaKulhad in partnership with Rare Planet - a startup that promotes the work of local artisans. It is a cause that would be dear to many among us. The artisans hand-painted 26 kulhad designs depicting the popular motifs and landmarks of different Indian regions, offering them the freedom to reach a global set of potential customers.

Another compelling campaign launched by HDFC Mutual Fund named #BarniSeAzadi, was a mega investor education campaign released to empower and support women on their financial independence journey. The campaign was conceptualised based on the insight that ‘barnis’ have been the quintessential feature of Indian homes and urged women to shed their old habits of saving money in traditional instruments like barnis, lockers, fixed deposits, etc. and invest their savings in Mutual Funds.

In the United States, sometime around its Independence Day, Old Navy, a popular American clothing brand released a short video about what it means to be American, from the perspective of new immigrants who received their citizenship. The short clip shares their positive experiences and shows why they are “As American As” in their words, while proudly donning the Old Navy American Tradition t-shirt.

In essence, associating with anything patriotic has an extremely positive rub-off for the brand and the imagery that it generates. We can safely say that advertising on these days is an extremely rewarding tool in a marketer’s armoury – not only building brand sales but also brand ‘Corporate Citizenship.’

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