'Surrogate Advertising' is a form of advertising which is used to promote banned products like cigarettes and alcohol, in the disguise of another product. This type of advertising uses a product of a fairly close category ex- club soda, or mineral water in case of alcohol, or products of a completely different category ex- music CD's, playing cards etc to hammer the brand name into the heads of consumers. The banned product (alcohol or cigarettes) may not be projected directly to consumers but rather masked under another product under the same brand name, so that whenever there is mention of that brand, people start associating it with its main product(the alcohol or cigarette). In India there are tons of companies doing that, from Bacardi Blast music CD's , Bagpiper Club Soda to Officers Choice playing cards.The masking product i.e the music CD's, or mineral water might not even be marketed in real,it is just a strategy used to generate top of the mind recall.
It is said that birth of surrogate advertising happened in Britain, where housewives started protesting against liquor advertisements which provoked their husbands. The protest rose to a level where liquor advertising had to be banned and brand owners seeing no way out decided to promote fruit juices and soda under the brand name, the concept later emerged as Surrogate Advertisements.
Surrogate Advertising In India
In India extensive surveys resulted in similar findings which showed that liquor ads had direct influence on Consumers purchase behavior, and no sooner the Cable TV Regulation Act banned liquor and cigarette advertisements, thus India gradually adopted surrogate advertisements. Advertisements for liquor and cigarettes have been banned since 1995. So companies usually either go for brand extension and promote the extended products or promote certain products which might not be available in the market,ex- you might not necessarily find a Bacardi Blast music CD. The excessive pressure of the ban forced companies to focus more on brand building and thus liquor companies started sponsoring and hosting glamorous events, yet many others started distributing t-shirts, caps, key chains, drinking glasses with the brand name displayed on these products.
Some commonly seen brands and their advertisements
Bagpiper : Club soda
Imperial Blue : Music CD's 'Men will be men'
Royal Stag : Music CD's , Mega cricket, with the theme 'Make it Large'
McDowells No.1 : Soda and Indian cricket with the tagline 'The No.1 Spirit of Leadership'
Haywards 5000 : Soda and packaged drinking water
Royal Challenge : Golf accessories, music CD's and mineral water.
Effectiveness of surrogate advertisements
According to the inferences drawn from several surveys and interviews, 42 out of 50 people can understand the actual liquor or tobacco product being advertised. Surrogate advertisements do impact a consumer's buying decision as well It also informs about the leading liquor brands thus promote sales.
With government now enforcing ban on surrogate advertisements, companies are turning to event sponsorship, event organising, corporate films and more and more innovative IMC strategies.
http://www.isrj.net/June/2011/Commerce_Surrogate_Advertising.html http://www.scribd.com/doc/53687500/Surrogate-Advertising http://www.adclubbombay.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3224:surrogate-advertising-in-india&catid=144:editorial&Itemid=175 http://www.icmrindia.org/free%20resources/casestudies/Banning%20Liquor-marketing.htm