What an Advertise-Meant?

my take on the latest Indian advertisements             

Archive for the ‘Service Providers’ Category

Airtel Little Boy & Toy Phone Ad

with 14 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Issi vishwas ko banaye rakhe, humara atoot network”

Agency: Rediffusion Y&R

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: February ’09

Ad Message: Reinforcing Airtel as being trustworthy, seamless service provider

Target Audience: Middle-higher income 25+ years subscribers

Frequency: Medium-High

Description: The ad starts with a mother rebuking her small boy and saying that he won’t be allowed to go out and play today. The boy is made to sit in a corner as he longingly looks out of the window at other kids playing. He then grabs his toy phone and sneaks out of the room to climb up to the rooftop. Once alone, he places an imaginary ‘phone call’ to his dad and complains to him saying that since you are not here mom scolded me and that he should call up mom and scold her in turn. When he gets back in his chair, his mother gives in and says that he can go out and play once he finishes off his milk. Hearing this, the little boy brightens up and says “Dad had called, right?” as the mother walks away smiling. The boy jumps with joy as the voice over follows “aaj ek vishwas hai ki hum apnon se door nahin, issi vishwas ko banaaye rakhe, humaara atoot network

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Just when you had thought that the cute-kid-factor had been done, overdone and then overdone some more in the ads these days, here’s another one in the same space. But guess what, this has been done well enough to bring a smile on your face. “Aap mummy ko daantna”, now haven’t we all said these four words as kids at one time or the other hoping that our appeal in the higher court (aka Dad) would be heeded to. This is exactly why this spot manages to strike a chord, and powerfully so.

What I also liked was the subtlety of this one – no ‘real’ phone calls happened and yet the idea of reliable and trustworthy 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 shot really well, whether it is the hung clothes or the stuck kite, the essence of a lazy afternoon in an apartment society has been captured perfectly. The cast ofcourse does full justice and the kid is undoubtedly the show-stealer.

Only improvement areas: the ad could’ve been edited better to make it crispier enough for repeat dekkos and no offense, but I’m now waiting for the day when Airtel will get Rahman to compose them another iconic tune/background score to move on to. 

Go Airtel, you got the recipe right this time – a boy + a toy = lotta joy!  

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 8 120
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 8 80
Music/Jingle 10 6 60
Cinematography 5 8 40
Acting 5 8 40
Duration vs Impact 5 7 35
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 8 80
Ad Memorability 5 8 40
Tagline 7.5 5 37.5
Product Association 5 9 45
Target Audience Connect 7.5 8 60
Entertainment 5 8 40
Claim 2.5 8 20
Emotional Appeal 2.5 9 22.5
Total 100   760

Weighted Average Rating: 760/100 = 7.60 (on a scale of 10)

Polling button to be added soon. Do leave in your comments until then!

Virgin Mobile ‘Free after first 3’ SMS Ad

with 7 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Think Hatke”

Agency: Bates 141

Duration: 50 seconds

First seen: January ’09

Ad Message: Introducing the new ‘Free after 3’ SMS plan from Virgin Mobile

Target Audience: Young 15-22 years college crowd

Frequency: Medium

Description: The ad starts with a girl having breakfast with her father, as he tells her ‘you are getting late beta’. She suddenly breaks into a foolish grin and says ‘last night kiss was like hmmm…he was awesome yaar!’ as the father nods at her. Next, she is in a college lecture when she gets up abruptly and shouts “Kitna bolta hai yaar, lecture suna raha hai ya lori, feeling so sleepy” and sits down. In the next scene she is sitting in front of a prospective groom who dares to ask “You made this samosa? very tasty huh”. The girl says “God kya dhakkan hai, mom has brought me one more namoona” before switching to a polite “jee thank you”. Last shot shows her in her PJs saying out loud “what am I wearing? Right now..nothing!” The ad ends with a voiceover “Live your sms life, nonstop, national or local send free sms din raat without any bag. Virgin Mobile, Think Hatke”

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Ohh dear, this is where their hatke thinking has gone too far. Unlike any of their previous campaigns which simplistically showed the out-of-box-thinking youth of today and how they are outsmarting the oldies to get their way in any situation, this one complicates things, and unnecessarily at that.

The idea that there is a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in every teenager and it is via the torrential use of smsing that they manage to live a sane life was a good idea to begin with. But not everyone will immediately link the girl’s blasphemous sentences as being the sms’s that are doing the rounds with her friends. Nor did I find the completely nerdy look of the girl (obviously inspired from Ugly Betty or apni Jassi closer home) befitting for getting across the naughtiness of this character.

Moreover, there are flaws in the consistency too (or maybe a case of an editor with extra sharp scissors?)– like why does the father nod in the first scene when there is no reaction from others in the scenes that follow? Why does she add a coy “jee thank you” in the scene with behcara potential groom? If at all, they should have had the girl say something sugary and polite at the end of her ‘real feelings’ in every scene, and that would have gotten across the idea much better imho.

Also, the whole new tariff plan from Virgin that you now have the option of sending 100 free sms’s after the first three paid sms’s of the day does NOT come through. It’s yet another powerful marketing strategy (which hopefully will sail-through inspite of this ad) from Virgin Mobile when you think about it, bang-on with the target audience…but just a glimpse of the logo ‘Free after first 3’ hardly does justice to it.

Now, living up to the trend they have a pretty decent microsite too – www.livethesmslife.com (which is where I got to know the above details about the tariff) with some cute Thumb Asanas to watch out for. But as for the ad, I will remain zara hatke whenever this one is on.

Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 5 75
Execution
Storyline/Screenplay 10 1 10
Music/Jingle 10 5 50
Cinematography 5 5 25
Acting 5 4 20
Duration vs Impact 5 2 10
Cost vs Impact 5 5 25
Recall 0
Brand Recall 10 5 50
Ad Memorability 5 2 10
Tagline 7.5 6 45
Product Association 5 2 10
Target Audience Connect 7.5 5 37.5
Entertainment 5 2 10
Claim 2.5 2 5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 1 2.5
Total 100 385
Weighted Average Rating: 385/100 = 3.85 (on a scale of 10)
What is your rating of this ad –

Airtel Hello Tune Ad Featuring Saif & Kareena

with 17 comments

 

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: Gaana bolo, Hello Tune paao

Agency: Rediffusion DY&R [Need to confirm]

Duration: 45 seconds

First seen: January ’09

Ad Message: Introducing new Hello Tune service from Airtel (Dial 543215 to get your desired caller tune)

Target Audience: All Airtel subscribers (15+ years age group)

Frequency: High

Description: The ad begins with Saif Ali Khan busy playing video games when Kareena Kapoor sits on the couch next to him. She says “Talk to me na baby” while Saif snubs her “Not now, bebo”. Not backing off, she asks the name of the song he was humming the day before and Saif curtly replies with ‘Pyaar hua, Ikraar hua”. She then wheedles him to set the song as her caller tune right there or else the game is over. Just when you think she has had her breakthrough in taking Saif’s attention away from the game, he just dials a number, blurts out the song title and tosses the cellphone back in Kareena’s hands. A shocked Kareena just manages to say “ho gaya?” while Saif goes back to his game in peace. The ad ends with the voiceover – “Gaana bolo, hello tune pao. Simple. Dial 543215.”

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

What an unabashed lift from the Tata Sky Aamir-Gul spots…the irreverent husband, the mellow music, the focus on the dialogue, even the couch and backdrop…the similarities are only too glaring. One might contend that Airtel was the one to start this trend with their Madhavan-Vidya series; but it was definitely Tata Sky who took it to the next level by weaving the product benefits with a delightful story each time.

Now that I have gotten that itch out of the way, I have to say it is watchable nonetheless. Saif and Kareena are looking good together and they get to play lighthearted, real characters for a change (though Kareena’s hamming gene gets the better of her at times). The girl gets her song, the guy gets his PlayStation, the idea gets conveyed and everyone is generally happy…seems like feel-good-advertising has arrived big-time.  The fact that Airtel is promoting this feature via multiple platforms further helps – promo spot in Indian Idol, tie-up with the movie promos of Victory et al.

Well, I may be highly unimpressed with the choice of this overexposed jodi or the déjà-vu feeling I get because of the Tata Sky ads, but then I am not the one ecstatic about the availability of caller tunes one-phone-call-away.  In the benefit of Airtel, the young 13-25 year olds most likely to use this feature would be ready to drool over Saif or Kareena (or both 😉 ) and will lap it all up. So good for them!

 But my ratings are –

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 0.5 7.5
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 2 20
Music/Jingle 10 5 50
Cinematography 5 6 30
Acting 5 6 30
Duration vs Impact 5 5 25
Cost vs Impact 5 5 25
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 7 70
Ad Memorability 5 4 20
Tagline 7.5 4 30
Product Association 5 7 35
Target Audience Connect 7.5 7.5 56.25
Entertainment 5 5 25
Claim 2.5 7 17.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 5 12.5
Total 100   454

 Weighted Average Rating: 454/100 = 4.54 (on a scale of 10)

How would you rate this one –

Vodafone SMS @ 10 p ‘Proposal’ Ad

with 12 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Now everyone will know”/”Make the most of now”

Agency: [Need to find out]

Duration: 45 seconds

First seen: January ’09

Ad Message: Introducing the new reduced tariff for Vodafone SMS service

Target Audience: Middle income group (13-24 years)

Frequency: Medium-High

Description: The ad opens with a middle-aged guy picking up a ring from a store where the owner(s) shake his hand and smile at him encouragingly. The rest of the ad shows the guy’s journey to his destination – a group of oldies in a cab staring at him, another guy shaking his hand, a group of college guys giggling at him, a girl offering him a ride in her car, people staring from their verandah and an old lady even pulling at his cheeks – all of them sporting a mischievous I-know-what-you-are-up-to smile. He finally reaches the café to meet his girlfriend only to find the others staring at him with the all too familiar look again. He slides next to his girlfriend nervously as the ad ends with the all-red-Vodafone screen displaying “SMS @ 10p, Now everyone will know. SMS TEN to 111”

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

It is alright to create ads that force you to flex your imagination, but eventually the truth must dawn. And that’s where this one falters. From what I have understood of this ambiguous ad is that the affair and the fact that the guy is going to pop-the-question today is the talk of the town thanks to Vodafone sms’ being as cheap as 10 p. But that’s what I thought of it. I mean, just the fact that I have to wonder if I got the story right is enough of a put-off for me.

Moreover, can I relate to it? Hell no! Will the 13-24 year old youth who is the primary user of the SMS feature (and most likely to be thrilled about the cheaper service) be able to relate to this ad? I don’t think so.

Whether it is the sleepy-distinctively “non-Indian”-town backdrop or the main guy who looks like he is caught in a mid-life crisis, this one seems to be trying too hard to be different. I would go so far to say that it is ok to be predictable and get the message across rather than being innovative and leave the viewer (read potential customer) wondering.

In fact, they did have a truly brilliant idea in “Now everyone will know” (oh, the irony of this tagline!) concept – the same ad in a college setting with some visuals of people actually texting each other fervently would have done the trick for me. Oh, but that would have been too in-your-face you see ;). The only other thing that deserves a mention is the background score, it seems to be different, and yes in a good way (unlike the rest of the ad). You can grab the mp3 version here.

Sorry Vodafone, but ‘Not everyone will know’ what you are trying to say here!

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 4 60
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 3 30
Music/Jingle 10 6.5 65
Cinematography 5 5 25
Acting 5 6 30
Duration vs Impact 5 2 10
Cost vs Impact 5 3 15
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 5 50
Ad Memorability 5 3 15
Tagline 7.5 6 45
Product Association 5 3 15
Target Audience Connect 7.5 2 15
Entertainment 5 3 15
Claim 2.5 3 7.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 1 2.5
Total 100   400

Weighted Average Rating: 400/100 = 4.00 (on a scale of 10)

What did you think about this one –

Tata Sky Plus New Ad (Aamir Khan-Gul Panag Series)

with 10 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: Isko Lagaa Daala to Life Aur Bhi Jhingalaala

Agency: O & M

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: October ’08

Ad Message: Reinforncing benefits of the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) feature from Tata Sky Plus

Target Audience: Middle and higher income group households (25+ years)

Frequency: Medium-High

Description: The ad begins with Aamir Khan picking up his remote as he jumps to answer the ringing phone. Turns out it is his mother-in-law’s call as he insists on talking to her even though the match is on. He then goes on to chat in length about her singing, papaji’s yoga, daisy and its 4 newborns and how he is not bothered even if he misses a goal or two. All-knowing Gul is shown smiling in between shots as she is fully aware why her hubby is feigning interest.
She explains that the match is getting recorded, thanks to Tata Sky Plus ‘Pause’ feature and Aamir will get back to it from exactly the place it left off. Last shot shows Gul wishing that only if her mom knew the truth…to which Aamir counters ‘kya, papaji ke baare mein?” as another pillow-fight between the husband and wife ensues.

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Television commercial sequels that communicate a fresh idea while being as good as the original can be counted on fingers. Is this ad one of them? I say yes it is! It has picked up the right elements to carry forward – the same cast, the same sets, and the same match-ke-liye-kuch-bhi-karega hubby in action, but with a brand new spin in the story.

It’s again a ghar-ghar-ki-kahani situation – your partner frowning at the thought of attending a call (that too from the in-laws!) in the middle of the match. Though I would have loved to see a before-and-after kind of screenplay in this ad…imagine Aamir (minus the Tata Sky Plus service) giving an exasperated expression before lying to his mummyji about ‘working hard on an office presentation’ or ‘helping wifey cook for guests’ just to get off the hook, literally in this case.

The beauty of this ad also lies in the fact that the benefits of ‘pause’ feature come across perfectly via a lighthearted account and not in a preachy-techie kind of way. Aamir’s sincerity in playing the mischievous hubby’s character is what works wonders for this ad and his chemistry with Gul just keeps getting better and better.

Go ahead, get yourself Tata Sky Plus and speak to your in-laws without ever worrying about missing a crucial goal or that confrontation in Baalika Vadhu you’ve been waiting for 😉 

 

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 8 120
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 8.5 85
Music/Jingle 10 7.5 75
Cinematography 5 7 35
Acting 5 8.5 42.5
Duration vs Impact 5 7 35
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 9 90
Ad Memorability 5 8 40
Tagline 7.5 8 60
Product Association 5 8.5 42.5
Target Audience Connect 7.5 8 60
Entertainment 5 8.5 42.5
Claim 2.5 8 20
Emotional Appeal 2.5 7 17.5
Total 100   805

Weighted Average Rating: 805/100 = 8.05 (on a scale of 10)

How do you rate this one – 

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
Execution      
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
Recall      
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 –  

Tata Sky Plus – Aamir Khan, Gul Panag Ad

with 7 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: Isko Lagaa Daala to Life Aur Bhi Jhingalaala

Agency: O & M

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: October ’08

Ad Message: Introducing new Personal Video Recorder (PVR) feature from Tata Sky Plus

Target Audience: Middle and higher income group households (25+ years)

Frequency: High

Description: Starts with a shot of sleepy Gul Panag (looking oh-so-adorable in her cropped haircut) waking up to Aamir’s “oye kumbhkaran, office nahi jaana kya”. In what follows, Aamir’s definitely in a mood to impress wifey-dear as bed-tea, breakfast, lunch tiffin, a refrigerator-check and an offer of picking up groceries are tossed at her one after the other.
Only when she picks up the newspaper in the evening (while Aamir enters dutifully carrying the entire ration) does she stumble upon her hubby’s secret mission – ‘India all set for finals today’. Gul now confronts Aamir (who tries hard to look ignorant about the match) and informs him that with Tata Sky Plus not only can she record her TV serial while Aamir enjoys his match but if need-be Aamir can also pause the match and it will start from where it was left off.
As soon as the futility of his charade dawns on Aamir, he returns to his impish self and promptly sends off Gul to prepare tea handing her the tea pot. Last shot shows Gul throwing pillows at him while Aamir desperately fights back with ‘Dekho pause karke bahut maaroonga’

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Ok, let me say it without mincing words – this is the best ad I have seen in recent times. The two advantages (record-and-pause) of the PVR feature of the Tata Sky Plus service have been perfectly depicted using a story that every, I repeat, every household can relate with (the fact that the cricket season is in full-swing right now does not harm at all).

Needless to say, Aamir simply rocks with his DCHRDB-style portrayal of the mischievous cricket-ke-liye-kuch-bhi-karega husband’s character.

But what the casting director can really pat himself on the back for is choosing Gul Panag, ‘cause her pairing with Aamir is like a much wanted breath of fresh air on the john-bipasha or saifeena-smothered-small-screen. She does a fabulous job in supporting Aamir and that too when she had big shoes to fill in after the stunning Mrs. Aamir from the last ad 😉

Now, I have never been a fan of Tata Sky’s tagline ‘Isko laga dalaa toh life jhingalaala’ but the way they have cleverly modified the same line for their Plus services – ‘isko laga dalaa toh life AUR BHI jhingalaala’, sure is noteworthy.

As for the teasers that preceded this final ad, it seems more like they were thrust-in as a last minute decision – given that there was no significant gap between the airing of the teasers and the final ad – the final ad followed just 3 days after the teasers. Anyway, at least Tata Sky didn’t seem to have spent a fortune on the teasers that could be used..err…abused by someone else 😉

Overall – great idea, great illustration of the service’s new features and a great cast – well, be happy Tata Sky Plus, for you have hit a home run (or should I say a SIX :)) with this one!

 

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 8.5 127.5
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 8.5 85
Music/Jingle 10 7 70
Cinematography 5 8 40
Acting 5 8.5 42.5
Duration vs Impact 5 7 35
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall      
Brand Recall 10 8 80
Ad Memorability 5 8 40
Tagline 7.5 7.5 56.25
Product Association 5 8.5 42.5
Target Audience Connect 7.5 8 60
Entertainment 5 8.5 42.5
Claim 2.5 8 20
Emotional Appeal 2.5 8 20
Total 100   801

Weighted Average Rating: 801/100 = 8.01 (on a scale of 10)

How would you rate this one –