Idiosyncrancies and Propaganda

I’ve came across my prehistoric blog (yes I had blogged before since 2003) and found my old post is still relevant up to this moment and everywhere I went people seems to be blissfully ignorant about the concept.

And so it goes…

A few weeks ago I’ve had a brainstorming session with some of my friends who worked in Advertising Company, his company had this client who was trying to promote their detergent product and their demographical audience was the Indonesian middle class family.

This advertising company was trying to concoct the ideal message to convey the aforementioned product to the targeted consumers and they came up with a story, which sounded something like this;

It was Monday morning and people were busy preparing the day and amongst this hustle and bustle there was a group of children running merrily to school.

When the morning ceremony came, children and teachers were rushing neatly towards the field, the flag was raised and everybody saluted as the clean flag (thanks to the detergent) flutters proudly in the sky, there was a great sense of patriotic everywhere and then a closing caption emerged-We are proud with Indonesian product and we are the XXX Detergent!

Upon hearing this explanation I was gobsmacked, it was very beautiful yet something was missing… something that was very obvious.

The most important aspect which we have to recognize is that aesthetic perceptions are differ between regions/countries/cultures and this concept was definitely not Indonesian (even though the modern urban young generation appreciated and adopted western culture more vigorously) but in this case the target consumer of this product had been the Indonesian middle class population and most of these people who were categorized within this group received only moderate education level and have less influence of western culture –except of course facebook- the concept was too complicated to be comprehend by the majority of this group and most likely will be completely ignored by them.

Conveying effective message needs a relevant context, which the listeners can instantly relate to. This is I think is the basic principle of delivering a good message, advertiser tend to ignore what the customer actually needs and what their background are.

Although in some cases if you have a very powerful product behind the message, preemptive communication can cultivates more yields, think about iPad to the technophiles or Justin Timberlake to the naïve adolescent female teenagers, it will fuel them even more. But these ultimate products emerges very rarely, ergo the basic premise still stands, give the customers something they can relate to and in order to achieve this, first understand their needs/traits/psychological patterns/cultural background/educational background/economic capacity/social status/social environment/preferences/physiology/gender/spiritual believe… well the list goes on.

Establishment of the concept enables for further adaptations, which can be cultivated to various platforms, as long as the basic principle is used.

This is always the problem with artist/designer/creative workforce in Indonesia, we were and are still the by-product of the western culture and contaminated at such level, we most of the time, forget our own identities and ignore this basic principle and even reject it completely.

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