The Ayodhya Wave: Marketing Lessons In Divine Light

In the aftermath of the Ayodhya Ram Temple Consecration, brands strategically position themselves for a lasting legacy, expecting to go beyond the immediate sensation, aiming for a lasting impact on brand loyalty and market positioning

Viewed through a marketing lens, the Ayodhya Ram Temple Consecration emerges as effective marketing, captivating the nation and resonating with people globally. The live stream of the celebration spanned hundreds of locations worldwide, ensuring a massive viewership. Notably, the attendance of thousands of VVIPs added a touch of star power. 

From traditional hymns to social media trends, the celebration offered a blend of ancient and modern marketing strategies. 

Key Takeaways

The key takeaways from the consecration included the active involvement of the community in the planning and execution of the event; the emphasis on inclusivity - making it a shared experience for people of all backgrounds; the blend of traditional and digital channels; technology integration and brand values leading to devise marketing campaigns that resonate with their audience to leave a lasting impact.

In a dual effort to enhance the magnificence of the Ram Mandir, Signify India, formerly Philips Lighting, adorned the Ram Path and specific temple areas with custom decorative and functional lights, executing striking façade lighting for the Dharampath Gate and Surya Stambh Gate. 

Expressing the magnitude of the involvement in the Ram Mandir consecration, Nikhil Gupta, Head of Marketing and Strategy, Signify Greater India states, "If you have to go big, go all out. This was possibly the biggest 360-degree campaign activation we have seen in a long time. From social media to on-ground buzz, to the actual event and its live telecast, everything was timed to perfection." Highlighting the meticulous planning and the emotional resonance for the brand on this occasion, he stated, "For Philips Lighting, being associated with the Ram Mandir construction, this was bigger than anything we had imagined it would be."

Simultaneously, Bisleri was seen increasing water supplies along routes to Ayodhya and within the city, actively supporting its development. Through its sustainability arm, Bisleri Greener Promise intended to collaborate with local authorities to install 200 recycling bins along a 5-kilometre stretch near the Ayodhya Ram Mandir.

Tushar Malhotra, Head of Marketing, Bisleri International stresses, "While Ayodhya is a strong marketing and commercial opportunity, as a brand with purpose, Bisleri  is trying to foster responsible consumption." 

Long-term Market Positioning

The strategic involvement of brands is expected to go beyond the immediate sensation, aiming for a lasting impact on brand loyalty and market positioning. By aligning themselves with a culturally significant occasion, brands anticipate cultivating a sense of emotional connection with consumers, fostering long-term brand loyalty. Brands are foreseeing the Ayodhya Ram Temple Consecration not only as a momentary marketing opportunity but as a catalyst for sustained brand association and strengthened market standing.

Piali Dasgupta, Senior Vice President – Marketing, Columbia Pacific Communities sheds light on the long-term expectations brands harbour from their participation in the Ayodhya event, particularly in terms of brand loyalty and market positioning. She asserts, "While such high visibility events are a great way to increase brand salience and loyalty, along with earning top-of-mind awareness, brand building is a long, slow, laborious journey, resilient brands are built over decades. Participating in one such event, while is helpful for grabbing a share of wallet as well as share of mind, can’t beat consistency, which is key in acquiring and retaining market supremacy."

On the other hand, Yatnesh Pandey, VP-Marketing, GreenPly Industries cautions against a blind pursuit of reach, emphasising the importance of depth in engaging and capturing the audience's attention. 

He underscores, "It is not just the context but the fitment with the context with their position and offering that make the consumers consider to the brand."

Drawing from examples seen during the event, such as a battery-renew recharge brand and an airline offering flight tickets to the destination, Pandey emphasises the critical role of context-triggered content in leaving a lasting impact on consumer consideration and revenue generation.

The Aftermath

Following the Ayodhya affair, brands can ensure a positive and long-lasting legacy by actively participating in local community projects and sustainable business practices, establishing meaningful and authentic connections with their audience. 

In addition to helping the community grow, these campaigns also help customers establish a strong sense of trust and loyalty, which helps to ensure that the brand's legacy is positive and lasting.

According to Gupta, "Participating brands will be able to leverage the Ram Mandir event and the associated rub-off, for a limited time only." He underscores the crucial aspect of meeting elevated customer expectations following association with such a high-profile project.  

"We believe, associating with the Ram Mandir consecration, simply reiterates the high standard our customers hold our products to and our ability to consistently and repeatedly deliver on their expectations. Signify has undertaken and doing multiple projects in Ayodhya, and we believe we will be able to extend our impact in the holy city much beyond the Ram Mandir", he adds. 

Shrenik Gandhi, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, White Rivers Media emphasises that the Ram Mandir consecration transcended a mere marketing moment, evolving into a culturally significant event evoking a profound sense of belonging. 

He notes, "The consecration of Ayodhya has provided growth avenues for brands in the hospitality, travel and FMCG sectors particularly, thereby augmenting the overall economic development of the region. A lot more on-ground activations and offering unique experiences will help brands to ensure a lasting legacy."

Delving into the complexities surrounding the Ayodhya event acknowledging the polarising nature of religion in a country like India, Dasgupta reflects, "If one does a sentiment analysis of the Ayodhya event on social media, it won’t be hard to see that the internet is divided on whether a state-funded celebration at this large a scale for the Pran Partistha event is justified for a secular country like ours." She explains that the online discourse reflects both admiration and criticism, with some praising the event's significance and others voicing concerns about the potentially divisive impact on India's secular fabric. 

Underscoring the delicate balance brands must navigate in aligning with events of a religious nature, Dasgupta notes, "Brands choosing to participate in an event of a religious nature, while on one hand, gain mass popularity and visibility, but also run the risk of alienating certain sections of the population, on the other hand."

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