Most advertising is intended to help establish brand recall, but brand recognition comes at the expense of negative perception of the brand in some instances. This has been the case on social media for WhiteHat Jr’s ads.
WhiteHat Jr is a start-up based in Mumbai that specialises in teaching kids how to code. The app allows kids to learn programming and allows them to create games, animations, apps and more.
You might have heard a lot of about this startup or may have seen them more than one time during last few weeks. The startup is receiving a lot of flak for their ad which shows a premise of investors crazy to invest in a mobile app coded by a 7 year old.
A lot of celebrities and social media users started pointing out the basic problem with the ad.
Many people took to social media to complain that while they did not have any children of their own in the first place, commercials for the service were shown to them.
They have pointed out in the most imaginative of ways across social networks, but mostly on Twitter, the endless exposure to ads by WhiteHat Jr, which teaches coding to school students online, has turned into a nuisance. The ad is being trolled a lot.
The 18-month-old sale of WhiteHat Jr to Byju’s, the fastest major exit in the Indian startup ecosystem, has attracted the attention of individuals with no previous involvement in the tech ecosystem, even after its founder and CEO Karan Bajaj had turned into a multimillionaire overnight by retaining an estimated 40 percent of the acquisition price of $300 million.
In ads on digital media channels, media planners estimate that WhiteHat Jr could invest between Rs 10 crore and Rs 15 crore. Bajaj did not comment on the size of the marketing budget but said that over 50% of the existing ad spending goes to TV ads.
Ads from WhiteHat Jr have also been trolled to attract online users who are not parents, their attract advertisement category.
As Anubhav Sinha points out, the same happened in the rat race of IITs where everyone blindly ran into it without having any passion or interest. Promotion of such stuff make you believe in something which is not really true. Definitely, Coding is a great skill to have and it is very much like art. But making it the absolute truth is something which goes against the morals of healthy society.
Showing Such Ads- Ethical or Non-Ethical?
While WhiteHat Jr is receiving so much flak, it’s not the startup only which is responsible for such ads. The great Indian Mindset of involving in the rat race without thinking of consequences and the FOMO (fear of missing out) of Indian parents might be the thought process behind it. A country where coaching classes sell preparation of IIT-JEE from class 6th, this is not something new for us.
As a society, we have to become responsible for what we normalize and what examples we set for our coming generations. At the age of 7 or 8, it is important to teach your kids respect, empathy, and love. Coding or any other professional skill will come with time.
Here is the ad. I’ll leave you to have your own interpretation of this.