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Most of the services used by Indians on a daily basis, are the ones that do not advertise. The carpenter, the electrician, the local kirana store or the housekeepers. The purpose of advertising is to make a wider audience be aware of the services you provide but how much of it is affordable and what percentage of it actually affect the sales. Most of the registered brands and companies use a variety of platforms to advertise. Television ads, print ads, social media ads, sponsorships to events etc. But some of them don’t.

The well-known story is of Rolls Royce, a car company that does not advertise and instead reaps the benefits from its reputation among its wealthy clientele. Zara, a fashion brand, only spends about 0.3% of sales on advertising. Krispy Kreme, a famous donut enterprise, does not advertise in the traditional media platforms but it is often seen sponsoring events and during end credits of many tv shows. GoPro, this high-definition camera company spends very less in traditional advertising but has an incredible social media following that find value in their content which is posted on their YouTube channel. Many vloggers and video content creators own and use a GoPro. Advertising alcoholic beverages has been banned in India as per the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill, which came into effect on 8 September 2000, but the consumption of it amounted to about 5.4 billion litres in 2016 and was estimated to reach about 6.5 billion litres by 2020. The famous Ice bucket challenge on social media platforms, performed to increase awareness of ASL, brought in more attention than any traditional ad would have. In the face ads that are constantly repeating over multiple traditional platforms is a big spend. And these brands chose to spend that amount on other aspects of their businesses. They instead chose the non-conventional way of bringing the spotlight to people. The names mentioned above are that of well-known established companies and can afford to not advertise on traditional platforms. They hire people to come up with wacky, out of the box ideas to better reach their market and to expand their sales, but what about the small-scale businesses and start-ups. They do not have the capital to invest in billboards or digitalised ads but are also looking to increase their revenue and to attract more customers. What can a single business owner do to advertise without having to spend a fortune? What can you think of to make your business known?

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