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