What an Advertise-Meant?

my take on the latest Indian advertisements             

Airtel ‘Bheed’ Ad featuring Shreyas Talpade

with 5 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: Atoot Bandhan, Atoot Network.

Agency: Rediffusion Y&R

Duration: 60 seconds & 45 seconds

First seen: November ’08

Ad Message: Reinforcing/establishing Airtel brand’s emotional appeal (particularly in rural areas)

Target Audience: Rural, middle income, 25+ years group

Frequency: Medium-High

Description: The ad starts with a village guy (played by Shreyas Talpade) packing his luggage while his father (played by Darshan Zariwala) looks at him from the hallway. The guy then pulls out an old suitcase filled with his childhood memories and while doing so notices a red string. Flashback scene shows that when the father and son duo were visiting the Pushkar mela, the little boy got scared about getting lost in the huge crowd. His father had then tied the son’s hand with his own using this same string. Next shot shows the son leaving the house in the morning in a taanga. He then calls his father on the mobile he has left wrapped in the string and assures him “baba, ghabrana mat, iss bheed mein main khounga nahi”.

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

As soon as I saw this ad, it felt like déjà-vu ‘cause I couldn’t help remembering the uncannily similar previous campaign where the guy calls his “daadu” once he is aboard the train and plays a game of chess with him over the cellphone. Now leaving apart the fact that the new ad uses almost the same ‘settings’, it does manage to convey how you can stay connected with the help of Airtel inspite of ‘physical’ distances.

Shreyas Talpade fits the bill of a dreamy-eyed rural character leaving for the big town as we have already seen him do in movies like Welcome to Sajjanpur and Iqbal. His earthiness would sure resonate with the masses (or rural market) which seems to be the audience Airtel is targeting.

The ongoing tagline ‘Atoot Bandhan, Atoot Network’ gels with the story and is in-sync with the ‘appeal-to-the-sentiments’ theme Airtel has been following consistently. My only complaint is that the ‘execution’ of this theme need not be so repetitive each time.

Bottomline: this old wine in a new bottle might just work, but definitely won’t work if re-bottled again.

Now for the brasstacks –


  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 4 60
Storyline/Screenplay 10 5 50
Music/Jingle 10 7 70
Cinematography 5 7 35
Acting 5 7 35
Duration vs Impact 5 6 30
Cost vs Impact 5 6 30
Brand Recall 10 7 70
Ad Memorability 5 5 25
Tagline 7.5 7 52.5
Product Association 5 7 35
Target Audience Connect 7.5 7 52.5
Entertainment 5 6 30
Claim 2.5 7 17.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 8 20
Total 100   612.5

Weighted Average Rating: 612.5/100 = 6.125 (on a scale of 10)

What’s you rating for this ad –  


5 Responses

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  1. Dear AsMi

    I am not convinced with your views as according to you ‘execution’ of this theme need not be so repetitive.

    My concern is .. Advertisment should always be in such a way that any individual identify new add just seeing its first shot.. So that selling process starts from the first shot

    Many agencies work on this concept.. remember the add campaign of TATA Indicom, Vodafone, BSNL, virgin, Raymond etc.

    So my dear AsMi Advertisment is not like whats its story line.. main aim is does it attract customer and recall its brand name while customer goes to market to buy that product..

    Also How can you give just give just 15 weights for Brand recall and ad memorablity.. these two factors must have weights more than 30… So have a relook at your weights and give your ratings accordingly



    November 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm

  2. I think weights are quite balanced.The traditional groups want to start from first shot & repetitive cliches but the best way is to score high on idea/innovation/creativity.
    That is the hangover customer carries to the market.
    kudos AsMi, I value your judgment.


    November 16, 2008 at 6:02 pm

  3. weight of 15 given to brand recall is correct because the airtel brand is quiet well know, everyone knows about it so it doesnt have much importance when the customer reaches the counter to purchase a sim.


    November 17, 2008 at 9:49 am

  4. @RaMi: If you notice ‘Recall’ section has 15 weights in all. This implies that ‘Idea/Innovation’ and ‘Recall’ are the two most important factors according to my table. I agree that there might be products and categories and brands for whom ‘recall’ might carry more weight but I have tried to strike a balance and come up with a distribution that is applicable in most cases.

    @Vipin, maya: Thank you for your support and bringing in new perspectives! Keeps me going 🙂


    November 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

  5. […] communication with your loved ones was beautifully conveyed. It fares much better than the previous Shreyas Talpade ad and yet carries forward the same “emphasis on relationships” theme of Airtel ads. It has been […]

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