JWT’s AnxietyIndex is designed as a place to discuss how brands and consumers are responding to the global recession. With daily content updates, AnxietyIndex.com includes contributions from around JWT’s network, offering a truly global perspective.
The Indian consumer is very anxious when it comes to crime and is constantly looking for a sense of safety in his surroundings. In a spot for Godrej Security Solutions, created by JWT India, the home safe brand addresses this anxiety by giving the consumer control over the situation.
A couple is sleeping peacefully when rumbling from another room wakes up the wife, who urges her husband to check out what’s causing the commotion. The husband spots two thieves trying to break into the family safe, then calmly heads back to bed, popping cotton balls in his ears to muffle the sound before cozying up under the covers. The wife inquires as to what happened, and he replies, “Nothing, it’s just some thieves.” The spot concludes with the line “No matter when trouble arrives, what is the need to be scared?”—and a shot of the frustrated thieves breaking into some dinner leftovers instead of the safe.
Rather than relying on fear tactics to convey the benefits of using a Godrej safe, the brand smartly breaks the seriousness of the category by using subtle humor without compromising the gravity of a break-in.
Al-Rahji Bank, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, has been doing something interesting: sponsoring advertorials that educate Saudi newspaper readers on what to expect when applying for a home loan. The advertorials provide general information, rather than a promotional message. Al-Rajhi wants to ensure that people seeking home loans are well-informed on the complexities before visiting the branch—a smart move given how poor customer service is here in Saudi. Once an ad has motivated customers to visit the bank, they can’t rely on sales staff to provide much help.
Importantly, the advertorials also help to assuage anxiety around home loans and help people understand that a home is likely within their reach. Recent AnxietyIndex research by JWT found that Saudis are anxious about making major purchases in the near future and that as many as 64 percent are not confident about their ability to get a home loan, making this one of the biggest worries among Saudis. AnxietyIndex has written about educational-themed initiatives from several other financial institutions—a good way to position themselves as supportive and helpful at a time when consumers are anxious.
The DIY category tends to benefit from downturns, since many people prefer to save money by doing repairs and renovations themselves. Plus, since people tend to cocoon rather than go out, they want to make their homes as pleasant as possible—focusing on family needs and the home is seen as a solid investment.
So bauMax, an Austrian-based chain in Central and Eastern Europe that’s akin to Home Depot, was clever to revive its Selfman hero, who guides ambitious DIYers via a series of How-To videos. Each video segment is several minutes long and embeds advice and instructions within a humorous plot; a handy list of tools needed for the project is also included. The result: While the DIY industry in Austria had a sales decline of 1.6 percent between September 2008 and June 2009, bauMax sales increased 1.5 percent.