Evolution of the modest rakhi: An outcome of changing consumers

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A cotton thread with little shiny beads or elaborate designs made of plastic and other materials, the childhood memories of rakhi for most are simpler. The festival, which begins the festive fervour in most Indian homes, has now evolved a lot, and is anything but simple. While the gifting market transitioned years ago with brands like Cadbury and Ferns & Petals coming up with several new concepts, the past few years have seen the thread of rakhi change as well. And now when you search for rakhis online, you will get much more than the simple cotton threads – they are now plantable, reusable, stylish, statement jewellery pieces, and courtesy Cadbury, bluetooth-enabled as well. So, what has prompted this change?

Raksha Bandhan is probably amongst the only few festivals in India that have risen above their archaic formats, evolving well with the changing socio-cultural norms. A festival with gendered roots, it has grown into an inclusive, all-encompassing opportunity to celebrate bonds. And brands, therefore, get an apt opportunity to promote their purpose-driven presence, a must at these times. 

DentsuMB India EVP & Head ‑ Planning & Strategy Vishal​ Nicholas explains, “Rakhi has evolved from being a religious festival to more of a cultural moment especially in the context of urban India. The occasion has gone beyond celebrating traditional male-female sibling relationships alone. Instead, there is a growing emphasis on acknowledging and celebrating other platonic bonds that signify love and protection such as the lumba rakhi concept that celebrates the relationship between sisters-in-law. Additionally, the rakhi itself has changed from being a simple, inexpensive decorative thread to now existing in much more elaborate avatars, whether its gold and diamond studded threads or the customizable bluetooth rakhi that Cadbury has recently introduced.” 

Mondelez India Vice President – Marketing Anil Viswanathan, who launched the bluetooth-enabled rakhi just a few days ago, adds, “Over the years, Mondelez India has been an intrinsic part of the festive celebrations and has always focused on creating shared moments of happiness and joy. While Raksha Bandhan marks the beginning of the festive season, as the preferred gifting partner we wanted to offer something extra special this year. This year’s #ConnectedRakhi campaign is backed by the insight that as one grows up, life trumps over spending quality time with loved ones. To change this behaviour and help siblings make good on the promise of spending the day together, we decided to launch the bluetooth-enabled #ConnectedRakhi. This is yet another tech-first approach to engage our consumers without losing the core emotion of a unique sibling bond.” 

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