What an Advertise-Meant?

my take on the latest Indian advertisements             

Airtel Digital TV (DTH) Ad

with 5 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Agency: JWT

Tagline: Come home to the Magic

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: October ’08

Ad Message: Introduce Airtel Digital TV, communicate Product information & benefits (175 channels, movies on demand etc.)

Target Audience: 25 years+ middle income group and above

Frequency: High

Description: Mr. Rahul K steps out of the airport exit to be greeted with a rather large and assorted gathering. He looks understandably perplexed as a band kicks-off an elaborate welcome ceremony for him.

Shots of Sudha Chandran (surrounded by Antarctica residents, a Kathakali dancer and 3 squirrels), Baywatch babes and Marilyn Monroe look-alike, Raju Srivastava flanked by tribal dancers (and I am sure I am missing some of them already) appear one after the other leaving the poor Rahul (and dare I say viewers too) in a tizzy. Armed Cowboys, a winking Rannvijay (definitely eye-candy ;)) and Bugs Bunny are about to push the bechaara foren-return guy over the edge when he spots Madhavan and Vidya balan and manages a meek smile.

Madhavan hails a taxi, nothing less than a stretch-limo driven by a formula-one racer and our ‘protagonist’ is visibly happy to speed away and reach the safe confines of his apartment. But alas, that happiness and peace is quite short-lived, soon to be broken by cricketers and other randomly chosen sportmen flocking his elevator.

(This one definitely seems to go on and on…so bear with me please) Now, the next shot is the only moment in the entire ad when our guy seems genuinely pleased, and why not? a glittery Kareena is there at his doorstep. In fact, he does not give his own wife a second look as he finds AR Rahman seated at his piano playing the all-too-familiar Airtel tune (yes, standing next to ARR is the cute little girl Diya Sonecha of sone-ka-daant-ad fame). And if Kareena is here, can Saif be far behind? He is seated at the guy’s sofa and urges him to join him while handing him the remote control, his gateway to the MAGIC!


[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

I am trying to understand something here, so please help me if you may. What is the story here? Why would a guy returning from “some place” that has an airport and so can safely assumed to be a fairly advanced part of the world be the right candidate to be awed by the wonders of the idiot-box? Why? I guess even Mr. Rahul hasn’t found the answer to that one as he continues to sport mildly to wildly confused looks throughout the ad.

And what about the “See you at home” teasers? Why were those completely and utterly wasted in the so-called “grand-finale”? Of all things, why did the admakers’ decide to be subtle about that and that alone? I mean the rest of the ad is pretty in-your-face, ain’t it?

Well, all I can say is that if Reliance BIG TV ad hijacked their campaign by cashing-in on the teasers, Airtel DTH deserved it. They were apparently not planning to gain anything out of the teasers so might as well let some other company do it!

The only saving grace is Rahman’s infallible jingle that makes sure that viewers will remember it as an Airtel ad and well…yes, just the sheer number of celebrities and pseudo-celebrities does create a certain amount of stickiness for this ad.

so, here goes the table:


  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 5 75
Storyline/Screenplay 10 5 50
Music/Jingle 10 7 70
Cinematography 5 6 30
Acting 5 6 30
Duration vs Impact 5 5 25
Cost vs Impact 5 4 20
Brand Recall 10 7 70
Ad Memorability 5 4 20
Tagline 7.5 4 30
Product Association 5 5 25
Target Audience Connect 7.5 6 45
Entertainment  5 7 35
Claim 2.5 7 17.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 2 5
Total 100   547.5

Weighted Average Mean: 547.5/100 = 5.475 (on a scale of 10)

What do you think this ad deserves –


Written by AsMi

October 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Dude,
    I can totally understand what you suffer from.Its called being creatively challenged.Cant you see a simple message so beautifully and tastefully conveyed in the ad – the world of entertainment coming alive at home with digital TV. Why dont you try and come up with an example that could do the same job better than what this one is doing?And try to keep it in the real zone with the real challenges.Oh no!!!!You are the ones who sit with vernier callipers trying to make advertising make sense or nonsense to the world.Good intention but such pathetic skills?Practice more.Cheers.p.s. you must check out what general opinion is about the same very ad on youtube,just for a little bit of introspection!

    [Thanks for the comments KN. But I have to admit that if I were so sure of the ‘beauty’ and ‘taste’ of this ad, I would not go and launch a personal tirade on other people’s personal blogs and personal opinions.

    P.S. are you from JWT? That would explain a lot of things ;-). AsMi]


    October 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm

  2. KN, my 2 cents…

    And please forgive me if you think I too suffer from some kind of physical/creative/mental problem!

    “Checking out general opinion” is the job of agencies (like yours, if AsMi’s guess is correct) or some surveying institute/group. A blog, in all likelihood, is a dump of an individual’s thoughts and analysis. Only after going through such blogs can one create a general opinion. And while doing so, I would anybody would give a lot of weight to AsMi’s comments.

    Regarding your statement – “Why dont you try and come up with an example that could do the same job better”, I would say two things:

    1) Definition of the word ‘feedback’ nowhere says re-execution/re-implementation of the subject. It just talks about discussing +/- of the existing stuff.

    2) For consumers (even the author would be one of them), the more important thing is what is shown to them – and not what could have been shown to them.

    I am not able to restrain myself commenting on your another point as well – “You are the ones who sit with vernier callipers trying to make advertising make sense or nonsense to the world”. I think if the author can change people’s opinion against the one that is projected by the AD, it seems the AD agency should think of hiring the talent. An ads need to be convincing – against all odds.

    KN, pathetic intention but good skills! Please do not practice more. 😉

    [ ***Standing Ovation Romil*** AsMi]


    October 13, 2008 at 10:17 am

  3. KN,

    Enough has already been said by Romil (love your choice of words) and AsMi but just let me restate one of your lines-
    “you must check out what general opinion is about the same very ad on youtube,just for a little bit of introspection!”

    As far as i know,Introspection is one’s own feeling and independent of other’s feeling. If people on youtube appreciate this ad, it doesn’t mean AsMi can’t express what she feels about the AD(which she does beautifully)

    I think you should post your blog link as comments to Ads in youtube as well.This way people can see the objectivity of your response.

    [I tried that, but my comments are not accepted. Hmm….why am I not surprised 😉 AsMi]

    Keep going AsMi, let people with vernier callipers
    make sense or non sense of your Advertise MEANT
    [Thanks bro! AsMi]


    October 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

  4. Do you know the names of the actors who play the role of Rahul and his wife in this ad?


    November 21, 2008 at 9:27 am

  5. @SK: The wife’s role is played by Richa Pallod. I am not sure about the guy.


    November 22, 2008 at 6:42 am

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