By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

We gather information through our senses. We get knowledge of our external world with the order of Sensation- attention- perception.  Since our information processing is limited, our attention is selective, divisible and shiftable.

The main purpose of an advertiser is to catch the attention of the targeted audience in a most effective way and in a very short span of time. Therefore, in order to get the message across, he has to play on the psychology of the specified audience. He does this by effective visuals, a powerful punchline, social relevance, etc. In fact, physical properties such as headlines, slogan, size, etc. play a central role in attracting the consumer’s attraction.

As competition for the consumer’s limited attention is a great concern in today’s crowded market and media, it is important to understand how and when consumers devote attention to commercial stimuli and what determines their attentional strategies and patterns. This is an attempt to do so by analysing the Tata Tea advertisement on corruption. As corruption is ‘the’ burning social issue in today’s world, we would like to see how effectively the ad spreads its message cutting across all sections of the society. The advertisement hits at the conscience of the viewer and we would like to see how it does so.

Description of the ad in brief:

For the advertisement, click here.

The ad opens up in a common office with two men having a very light conversation hinting at corruption while eating. Two young men overhear the conversation, confront the men and cite a series of real life situations of bribes being given and taken. The ad ends with introducing the product and giving the slogan ‘Abh se khilana bandh, pilana shuru’.

Factors – target audience, purpose, audio and visual effects and slogan:

The ad shows the working class indulging in corruption for example- a traffic policeman, a teacher, clerk, etc. The advertisement does not even spare the middle men of God! By this we can infer that the advertiser is targeting the educated mass, mostly people belonging to the middle class. Another point to be noted is that the ad shows more men as corrupt and less women. Hence, we can say that the targeted audience may be mostly men who are addicted to frequent tea breaks in offices. The advertisement also targets the youth to fight against corruption.

The producer’s primary goal is to sell his product thereby maximising profit. How does he do this? He knows that the beverage tea is used to keep oneself alert and awake, especially in offices. After showcasing different scenes of corruption, he makes the youth introduce the product ‘tata tea’ by having them say ‘abh se khilana bandh, pilana shuru’. In this way, the viewer is conditioned to associate the stimulant tea with ‘awakening to corruption’.

The background of the office is that of a typical one with the sounds of the typewriter, the ring of the bell, conversations, etc. With the entry of the youth, a jingle is introduced when he narrates the various scenes of corruption. This jingle is mocking and entertainingly portrays corruption. Even the youth’s tone is very mocking when he explains corruption. The youth then asks ‘Aapko patha hai yeh log itna kathe kyu hain?…Kyunki hum khilathe hain’. He stresses on this dialogue and the ‘Jaago Re’ jingle is heard behind. This jingle hits the viewer hard and makes him think.

The advertisement in the beginning is documentary like with just black and white as the color background thereby hinting at the reality of the situation and the problem of corruption. It also makes the viewer understand that it is a grim topic. However, when the advertised product is introduced in the end, it’s in color, subtly hinting the viewer to link the product ‘tata tea’ with the social issue.

The slogan ‘Har subah sirf utoh mat, JAAGO RE!’ has a very effective note. It has a double meaning to it. The first, being the mundane process of waking everyday and drinking tea in the morning and the second, being to awaken and arise to the social issue. The slogan manages to convince the audience not to just be awake but also arise and confront the situations. But in the end, it showcases its product so effectively that the viewer is tempted to buy it.

In conclusion, the ad is most effective in attracting the audience to buy the product and to take a stand against corruption. It also acts like a social campaign against corruption and makes the audience gain faith in the product. Thus, we allow advertisers to have access to our mental world. They have paid for the opportunity to slip information to us about what feels good. That information ultimately affects the way we make choices, whether we know it or not.