Bharti Airtel marketing initiatives always seem to catch attention for the simple reason that Bharti is one of the biggest spenders on advertising in the domestic circuit. For Airtel, their marketing campaigns now are better and more closely watched than before for two reasons a) Airtel has gone global b) Airtel made news by shifting creative duties to JWT from Rediffusion last year. Immediately, there was rebranding and a new brand identity. While we have all come to terms with the new logo that was hugely dissected by experts in the beginning, the ad campaigns initially were very disappointing for me. However, the new series of TV ads do offer some entertainment and is a refreshing change from melodramatic adverts that Rediffusion used to churn out.
The latest Airtel 3G ad showcasing theatre personality Mohan Agashe was quite entertaining and I am sure made quite a few people laugh. Some may call it trite but it was a welcoming departure from the past. However, it is the new ad campaign “Har Ek Friend Zaroori…” that has gone very viral. I do not watch much TV and I first saw the advert on Facebook on my friend’s wall. With catchy music, youth-oriented concept and good connect, the Chetan Bhagat-like affect of the advert will be doing a lot of good to Airtel, which otherwise seems to losing its signal (I am an Airtel user who is too lazy to make use of Mobile Number Portability). But here we are strictly talking about advertising. I am a big fan of experimental advertising. Though hare ek friend…is not exactly experimental it is a different approach from otherwise conventional Airtel marketing team. The lyrics are young, cinematography is fun, and vibes are going to attract the youth to which the ad is targeted. I won’t be surprised if a whole lot of young people choose it as their mobile ring tone.
On the other hand, rival Vodafone is capitalizing on F1 to be held in India with full page ads. We’ll have to wait for the next IPL to see the next round of famous zoozoos. I think the challenge for Vodafone is to fill that void between IPLs to maintain momentum of good work. Now that the 3G fever has subsided a little, it will be interesting to see the advertising campaigns that the telecom companies will come with. The big 3 in Vodafone, Airtel and Idea have all performed well in the advertising department in the past one year. Airtel though did do some hopeless adverts in between but seems to have caught up and I hope it does not give up!