Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pioneering effort by Ogilvy India with the Vodafone TVC campaign:

The zoozoos were one of the most successful TVC campaigns in a long time. Generally you had a couple or more ads for a particular brand of products. With the zoozoos, Vodafone and Ogilvy India went ahead and made 30 ads for showcasing the Value added services (VAS) campaign in 2009. they were the talk of the town during IPL 2. Come IPL3 and the zoozoos are back but they have lost the zing.

One thing thought noticeable is that some other brands too have followed suit with a number of ads. Tata Docomo with its caller tune variety of ads, Airtel with Sharman Joshi and Idea with Abhishek Bachchan. All three were for the Value added services. The difference would be in Docomo ads which were particularly for the caller back tunes where the caller listens to the tune set by him rather than the tune set by the person called. Maxx mobile too followed it with Mahendra Singh Dhoni but in a small way where they too had a series of ads though not in the same quantity.

The scale for each campaign though could be different. The zoozoos must have cost a bomb for production. The Airtel ads too would have cost more. Similar would have been the case for Docomo. Idea’s campaign though was different. It has Abhishek Bachchan sitting in one position with his traditional peon and the attractive secretary mouthing different dialogues each time. The setting was same every time except the dialogues. It was a very cost effective way of producing a series of ads.

Thus Ogilvy India has stayed true to its reputation of being one of the best agencies and the most innovative as well.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Usage of children in endorsements:

The rule of advertising is to use celebrity or people in ads who relate to the target audience. E.g. A sportsman would endorse a sports shoes not a filmstar. The rule doesn’t hold in the continuously changing market in India. Especially if it involves children. There was a time when children were used in ads only for children’s products such as nutrition category (Bournvita, Chyawanprash) or ice creams (Amul or Kwality) or chocolates (Cadbury).

As time progressed children were used more and more in ads for products not bought for them but were for household consumption such as consumer durables (Airconditoners, refrigerators, television, Audio systems) or food (Maggi, type of masala). Pester power was considered to be the weapon then. Things have not changed. Pester power still remains but the thought process behind using children for an array or products/ services has changed. Nowadays children are used for all types of product/ service categories. Aviation, banks (Axis bank, IDBI bank, Kotak bank), Cars (Volkswagen, Maruti), insurance (ICICI Pru, HDFC Standard Life, Metlife, Max newyork), detergent (Rin, Ariel, Tide, Wheel), oral care (Colgate, Pepsodent), tourism (Mahindra resorts), real estate (almost all ads in print media such as Lodha, DLF, HDIL), mutual funds, retail (big bazaar), Textile (Raymonds), telecommunications (Vodafone), oil and gas(Jaypee), cement, steel to name a few companies. You name a category and children are used. The rationale being that research has shown ads with children having more recall value than its ads of competitors without children. Children are endearing to all of us. This could be the reason for the high recall.

Communication is all about the message rather than the characters involved. The effectiveness of an ad is in understanding the way to reach the target audience and knowing the idea to make the target audience relate to the message and thus the product/ service. This has been understood by the Indian advertising industry.

Thus we see the latest offering from Metlife fixed income plan where we see the grand son blackmailing his grandmother for buying stuff and relating it to fixed income from financial products. A child in an ad who does not know what insurance means.