While most of the Indian television shows now have become a meme or parody worthy (Rasode mein kaun tha?) there have been few shows, which have etched their memories in our minds. Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai is one such landmark show.
Fun fact: the show gained popularity much after it ended, it became popular once the channel having its slots free started to show its re-runs during the summer holidays. Today, we know almost every episode by heart. As I was re-watching the show this time for the nth time, I found some important marketing lessons this show teaches us.
1) Humour will always be loved
Indravadhan (aka Indu) is my all-time favorite character. With a joke up his sleeve in even in the most tensed situations, Indu never fails to tickle your funny bone.
Comic relief is always welcome and can get one out of some very difficult situations. Recently, we saw the latest edition of Xbox being pirated before its release, instead of going into a panic mode the team decided to put up a cheeky tweet in the middle of the night, which was much appreciated.
2) Own your brand’s personality
All the 4 main characters remain true to their characters throughout and that’s what makes them extremely lovable. We love Monisha because she retains her middle-class ways even after being a part of an affluent family and facing endless sarcasm from her mother-in-law. Similarly, Rosesh even after facing much ridicule for his voice and appearance (and poems!) continues to stick to who he is.
Similarly, a brand should have a unique personality and stick to it. It does not mean it shouldn’t improve over time, however, the core characteristics should remain intact to maintain their place in their customers’ minds and hearts. Ask yourself this. Would you prefer to have a business meeting in a Starbucks or a McDonald’s? Today, people recognize these 2 brands merely by their elements of a curved M or a crowned mermaid. Both these brands have distinct personalities in the minds of the consumer and hence serve a different purpose.
3) Know your audience in and out
Anybody who has seen the show knows how Maya loves to list out the things Monisha does or will do in any given circumstances. So much so that she has a ready-made list ready of all the ‘middle-class’ stunts Monisha will pull-off.
Marketers need to know their audience exactly in this manner. They should have a ready list of brand personas, their behaviors, and the next best action they are serving. With the huge amount of data now being available thanks to digital, this has become a piece of cake.
4) Always keep your trusted partners happy
While one, can be the best marketer out there or have the best marketing team, it’s nearly impossible to gain success without partners. Taking Sahil for example, no matter how annoyed he might get being in the doldrums due to his mother and wife he always manages to find a way out and make keep them happy.
Similarly, be it your agency or vendors, they make your marketing success, and to keep them satisfied is important.
5) It’s OK to make mistakes
Well though the characters have their own quirks, they are flawed and that’s what makes them so lovable. Whether its Maya’s hypocrisy or Indu’s overkill with humor we love them because they have flaws makes them more realistic than idealistic.
Most brands prefer to take the safer route because in today’s world it’s easier to get trolled for anything and everything. Even if your marketing fails it’s ok to take ownership, pick the pieces up and get the game going. More often than not, consumers want a brand they can relate to.
For example, the wrong movie was announced as the Best Picture winner at the 2017 Oscars. PwC was tasked with counting the votes and was responsible for the mishap. Instead of making excuses, PwC owned its mistake and offered a short and clear apology.
Another great example is when Taylor Swift boycotted Apple Music after the service offered three free months to customers without paying artists. She posted about this on Tumblr, and Apple responded on Twitter with an apology and a statement that it would change the policy and pay artists.
Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai will always be special to us as it had some of the wittiest, and clever writing in the history of Indian television. Apart from the 4 main protagonists the side characters like Madhu Phupha ( Sonic branding with the infamous “hain?”), Kaccha Kela and Dushyant will also be forever cherished.
We hope you have enjoyed this fun take on marketing lessons from one of the most iconic shows on Indian TV. We shall conclude with this
Author: Aishika Bhattacharya
Disclaimer: The images are not owned by Marketing Weekly.