A long time since I wrote on this blog. But here's one ad I felt like writing about.
Also because it happens to be contemporary.
This one is the latest from the Idea Cellular stable.
The ad features a news channel reporter trying to get an 'expert' opinion as to whether technology has made people unfit and lazy; the 'expert' doc, being AB Junior. As he walks away from the shoot to attend his wife's phone call, he gets an "idea". He exhorts the public to "walk when you talk"! "Now, which doctor has asked you to stick to a place, while talking?!" he questions. And the rest, as they say, is history! It becomes the nation's mantra - "walk and talk".
The old, the young, the women, the children.... all take to it, like a duck to water! Whether in a busy train, caught up in a lift or in the parking lot; people are following the "instruction" to a T.
And the heavy India, sheds a few pounds.
The doc is out of work !!!
Coz his idea worked!
And he's left swatting flies!
Rating - ****
Now, what I liked about the ad?
Well, for one it addresses two issues at one go: Firstly, our fixation with the mobile phone; rather excessive dependance on it. We all spend a considerable time on phone (not me personally, but I am the exception and not the norm!). And the second is, the 'growing' health concerns. Modern lifestyle has rendered most of us incapable of taking time off to try and shed some flab. Well, if not the time-crunch, blame the laziness! So, the ad combines the two issues and tries to give us a solution: walk when you talk!
(I personally, can't stand in a place and talk, if on the mobile phone. I walk while talking; so in a sense I connect to this ad. And I think most of you would agree. So, it's like a great customer insight put across well!)
Off-late, IDEA seems to gravitate towards including socially relevant issues. As cases in point let me cite a few. One ad had AB Junior as the village sarpanch, and he comes up with an 'idea' to stop communal violence. He declares that people will only be known by their phone numbers. And voila ! The idea clicks.
They actually modified this ad and released a new version recently, since the government also intends to come up with the Unique Identity Number for all the citizens of India. So move over phone numbers, Indian citizens will have their own identity numbers! A very smart move to stay in the minds of the public, by being relevant!
Another very recent ad, was the "education for all" ad, where Abhishek literally "mobilises" education for all! Watch the video to know more.
So what works for Idea?
They creatively use their brand property, i.e. "Idea" (the name of the brand as well!). The ads communicate how an "idea can change your life". And including socially relevant issues indicates their interest in the junta of India. And the ads also include their signature tune and "What an idea, Sirjee!" punch line for good measure. Great attempt at getting the brand properties ingrained into our psyche.
With mobile services cluttering the market (count in MTS, Aircel...apart from the already existent BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Indicom, Reliance et al), this campaign stands out, as evidently they are not telling us about their schemes, offers or value-added services. Infact, nothing at all about it! (Unlike Airtel's Vidya Balan-Madhavan promos; or the cute Zoozoos. Maybe more on that, later!).
Only time can tell whether these campaigns favour this brand. For one, I would never change my service provider (I have been a loyal Airtel customer; for the past 6 years!). Smart ads can't get me to change it; coz well, stepping back to reality, network coverage and allied services is not comparable (that's my perception, atleast). And I have not seen an "Idea" fanatic customer (you will find that in hoards, atleast for Airtel! Take me, for instance).
So thumbs up for the ad campaigns. Whether the idea takes off.... let's wait and watch.
Till then, all I can say for the campaign is ...."What an Idea Sirjee!"