Saturday, March 12, 2011

‘Keep cricket clean’- not a good idea

Idea Cellular has come up with some very good campaigns in the clutter of telecom ads. They have indeed managed to break the clutter frequently. Most notable of which was the ‘Walk When You Talk’ campaign with Abhishek Bachchan. Its earlier ads of ‘Sirjee’ too were very good. ‘Save Paper’ campaign too was done intelligently. There was also a single ad about Idea associating itself with the government’s UIDAI initiative. A common thread which can be drawn is that all the ads were based on a social issue affecting the common man thus making it relevant to the target audience.

The latest campaign with six Cricket World Cup winning captains (Clive Lloyd-1975 & 79, Kapil Dev-1983, Allan Border-1987, Imran Khan- 1992, Arjuna Ranatunga-1996 & Steve Waugh-1999) was also related to a social issue though not specific to the Indian audience. The world had recovered from the Match-fixing scandal until it was hit by the Spot-fixing one. A lot was said and done to prevent it. All the six captains have impeccable integrity and respect among not just the cricket connoisseurs but general public alike. By associating themselves with these captains and the theme of ‘keep cricket clean’, Idea has a broader audience to talk to. Cricket being the religion in India and the world cup in toe, the timing would not have been apt.

It seemed to be a masterstroke by Idea but unfortunately I counted my chickens before they hatched. Keeping at the theme, they should have talked about their brand relevance to the ‘champions of the world’ cricketers and what, if any, they are doing in partnership with the ICC to keep cricket clean. Saying it is one thing, following it up with actions adds credibility. By launching the ‘No Idea, get Idea’ ads, with these cricketers talking about getting Idea seems frivolous. The copy seems so obvious. With due respect, apart from Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and probably Steve Waugh, none of the other 3 cricketers have the charisma to endorse an Indian brand. Youngsters under 25 years probably would not even know how great a player and Captain Clive Lloyd was.

These cricketers could have been used to create a brand recall rather than to make a sales pitch. It surely doesn’t seem to be a good idea now. Disappointed would be the word to describe the campaign and a great opportunity lost to add further value to the brand

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The zoozoo saga continues with the 3G ‘superhero’

The ICC Cricket world cup in the sub-continent was bound to create a fight among brands to communicate and make the most of the eye balls the world cup was going to generate. It indeed can be seen to be true with a plethora of TVCs on air. The clutter just got more cluttered making it even more difficult to break it. Telecom brands, car brands, motor bike ads, insurance ads, bank ads, consumer electronics, fmcg etc are all there.

It also acts as a competition between ad agencies to make a name for themselves with their creative content. Ogilvy India has really stamped their authority over their peers. They manage to grab eye balls, clutter or no clutter. I think that for the Ogilvy guys, a Vodafone ad is not a client but a brand to experiment and give out their best creative content. Credit has to be given to the Vodafone brand managers too for their willingness to take risk and approve the creative rendition.

Rajnikant clearly has influenced the creative guys at Ogilvy. From exaggerated claims in smses and forwarded emails of Rajnikant’s superhuman capabilities to the world-saving Superman, have been successfully used here. It would be such a treat to be a fly on the wall when Ogilvy creative guys would be brainstorming on the ad.

I wonder what could have been the brief from the client servicing guys and the planners to the creative team. All other ads talking about 3 G have been focusing on how 3G helps see live content on phones and the faster speed of internet and low pricing. Vodafone too is talking about the speed but the way it has been depicted is quite fabulous. Using a superhero to communicate about the fast capabilities is quite an interesting and intelligent proposition considering the liking which, not just the Indians, but the whole world has towards superheroes.

Full marks to the TVC. The teaser campaign I must say was indeed successful. People would surely be wondering about what would be the surprise. Another thing I liked about the ad showcase was that it was a 60 seconder ad .And with exorbitant charges which the official telecaster charges, it seemed appropriate to show the ad for whole 60 seconds ad till the buzz is created and then trim the ad to show the bare essentials. The can bring a new ad continuing on the zoozoo saga of 3G superhero to keep the interest going. Bottomline, an awesome ad bringing a smile on your face.