A Dash of Whimsy

Mathrubhumi’s latest campaign reiterates its credibility as a platform for businesses to advertise 

Festivals make for a perfect time for businesses to reclaim, reestablish or assert themselves in the market. It is a given that during (most) festivals, a lot of buying will be happening, but also that a barrage of advertisements will have to be endured. But how do you convince a business that out of all platforms that are available, it would be best to advertise with you?

That’s a fundamental problem that even an established brand like Mathrubhumi faces. Its latest Onam trade campaign contains over-the-top and whimsical films that typify Malayalis and their shopping habits.  Unlike the usual drab and boring B2B campaigns, Mathrubhumi uses humour to establish its brand as ‘Kerala’s most formidable media force’.  

While Mathrubhumi’s earlier campaigns have focused on establishing their credibility and trust for readers and viewers, this particular one targets advertisers and media planners, but essentially harps on the same point of its credibility with Malayalis. They emphasise that Mathrubhumi has a strong presence across various media platforms that businesses could use to their advantage, and encourage them to approach their audience in an integrated manner.

The ‘battle of brands’ gets even stronger especially during a time like Onam, Kerala’s biggest festival. “They (advertisers and media planners) are bombarded with exaggerated claims of market coverage. We wanted to focus on our communication on what we as a group can deliver for our clients to help them achieve their festival goals,” explains Kamal Krishnan PS, national head – Integrated media solutions, The Mathrubhumi Group.

While mostly a digital campaign, they have also exploited the print media, through print advertisements with QR codes that can be scanned to view the films.

Francis Thomas, creative director, Maitri Advertising Works states, “Since it’s an industry campaign, we could be certain that the better planners would pick up on the cues and appreciate the humour and the way we’ve slipped them in.” Talking about the concept of the films Francis says, “We took instances from the Onam shopping habits of Malayalis and then added the filter of "What if Malayalis bought anything that was advertised in a Mathrubhumi vertical?" The challenge then was to see how we could integrate a minimum of two of our verticals into every ad.”

Leveraging on the festive momentum, Mathrubhumi seeks to establish itself as a go-to platform for advertising everything Malayali, but does so through whimsy and subtlety.