For long companies have been using traditional methods of advertising to highlight plain company statistics like sale, turnover, and growth. PR on the other hand, has always tried to keep the promotion more focused on human objectives. Unlike advertising which talks about brick and mortar things like network, business parameters, reach and popularity which are hard realities and very tangible attributes, PR has always talked about softer aspects of an organisation like ethics, leadership, values, people and style etc.
Quite certainly the times are changing and advertisers have realised that it’s not the cube shaped corporate ads about their businesses that sell but the intangible values that translate to reality. Bollywood actors may still be sought after, and Cricket may still be a religion, but the consumer is getting mature. As the aspirations are rising in this rapidly growing economy, the gratifications are also changing and hence the needs too. Consumers no longer trust a plastic beauty on screen to buy a product. They want testimonials of real people. They like to see real heroes who have made a difference and those who talk about values. This invokes a sense of leadership. Ads are becoming more of recommendations rather than promotions and are increasingly talking about social responsibility, team spirit, environment and good working cultures. Recent Tata Steel campaign ‘Values stronger than steel’, is an excellent example of that. This is something that PR industry has been trying to highlight for a long time and it’s good to see that finally advertising is warming up to the thought.