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Content is Beggar

Thoughts Spotlight!

Content is Beggar - DAY 10

Advertising agencies and content driven companies have been crying hoarse since a long time. And while the message is simple – Content is the King! is splashed everywhere. Sorry folks, I will disappoint you by saying something contrary – Content is a beggar!

*Source: Google Images – One of the earliest advertisement of Pepsi

*Source: Google Images – One of the earliest advertisement of Coca- Cola

You must have noticed the earliest advertisement of Pepsi and Coca-Cola – two giant conglomerates today. They started out with simple things – refreshing, good to taste and something new. Now the “Cola Wars” are beyond comprehension and twisted so much that to filter truth from the whole lot of it feels like squeezing a dry lemon for a fresh burst of juice.

Having worked for various companies for content writing, having explored various geographies and different brand purposes – the conclusive point of it all for me comes to – Content is a Beggar!

Before you ball up your fingers and give me a fistful, let me explain:

  1. King to Beggar : Then it was simple enough. Buy this or Buy that. This puts the decision power and control on the consumers. Moreover, it gives the consumers the feeling that they are intelligent to understand the products and buy. With simple advertisements that were plainly direct it also beamed the brand’s assertiveness and authority as a company. These days we sugar-coat , appeal, cry and even engage into negative publicity stunts. The product is relegated to the bottom like a footer note and the brand ambassadors are highlighted. Is this showing that content is the king? Think about it!
  2. Appeals and Recommendations: What does Shahrukh Khan know about educational startups or learning models? What does Amitabh Bachchan know about cooling ingredients of an oil brand? Are we just appealing to these actors’ popularity or are the companies just trying to level themselves to those icons? In this setup, where did the properties of the product align with the personalities endorsing them? Can content in this case do justice to the brand or does it too go into the footer note? Is this showing that content is the king? Think about it!
  3. Reviews and Engagements: One of the ways to appeal to the public at large is to boast of reviews and engage with the potential or new customers via social media platforms. While this is good and I don’t have complains – it does drain the company or brand who have to consistently be on their toes with engaging content all the time. Happens so that before AI takes over, all these engagements are done by social media manager and they get the pink slip if any human error is made in communicating and conveying the content consistently as marketed. Most times, these engagements are handled by the advertising agencies who have different accounts to maintain and the content may be too brash or bruise the potential customer or it may not be up-to the mark with the brand stories. Content in this context gets a great beating. Is this showing that content is the king? Think about it!
  4. The Internet and Social Media: Did you just hear a line swooshing by? It hardly took a millisecond to register. With content dropping from left, right and center – you are in for solid distraction all the time. This brings into perspective the fact that there is a very small window of opportunity for a new brand or an existing brand that’s leveling up to bring themselves to the customer’s notice. This window opens for hardly a second or two.
    Is this showing that content is the king? Think about it! Yes! It does but that happy feeling lasts for those seconds only. Once again, consistency knocks on the door insistently till you make it work – again and again and again. Wait! Did creativity become a backbench-er? Content that isn’t creatively appealing isn’t king! We go back to square one.
  5. Write anything you like. It should be in my inbox by the end of the day: Duh? If that’s what content is for – we can just wax eloquent all the way to China and back! Who cares? The truth is – many companies themselves don’t care about the content. They just want a good design garnering social media likes and comments. So when the copywriter or content writer sits to write about the brand/product/company – they draw a blank. Then they write what they best know about the company and then it is shared. Everyone suffers since it doesn’t bring in the desired results.
    Is this showing that content is the king? Think about it!

Did I get it all right? What do you think about the points I have put up? Do they meet your perspectives too? Would love to know your views and comments too!

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2 Responses

  1. Anand Singh says:

    Nowadays patriotism driven connent is the king, desh ki mitti se bani tiles, desh ki raksha krne walo ka oil, desh ye desh wo….
    Its all propaganda, companies are smart in using things that can manipulate customers easily, for example take patanjali.
    They also add MSG in their noodles but they advertise it in a way that you almost feel guilty about buying anything else.

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