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New Idea TVC, Not So Smart

August 19, 2014

The latest Idea (telecom) TVC is a perfect example of how to ruin an excellent brand building attempt that was well received over time.

I mean, who’d think of killing such great brand recall; or of replacing all the good values so far achieved, with a single cringing audience reaction of ‘why’?

‘What an Idea, Sirji’ brand thought

With their Abhishek Bachchan TVCs, they had a good thing going. Every time someone saw them, they smiled and felt good about having spent a few seconds watching a thing well thought of and well made. They have continued to touch upon contemporary issues. (Even if using simplistic concepts sometimes, like http://youtu.be/STZAcD2R6YI but you can’t not love their language barrier one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElxERkFfAwU) As happens with the best of companies, there were some damp ones, but on the whole, people were happy to think of Idea as an innovative company, at least in their adverts. 

‘Ullu Banaoing’ 

These ads sort of tapered down to ‘No Ullu Banaoing’ (Loosely translating as: No Fooling Around) advertisements that intensified around election time this year. A campaign not exactly at the same level of excellence, but still with some spark. The campaign targeted the flavour of the time, and connected with youth frustrated with the ageing polity, perceived to be fooling the masses.

Then someone thought of continuing that in an anthem, which, as an idea, must have sounded great to everyone. It had a mix of continuity, nostalgia (of chorus songs during Independence Day in the times past), and timeliness (being released around India’s 68th Independence Day).

Where the buck falls in the ditch

However, in the latest chorus piece singing Ullu nahi banenge hum, Idea’s advertising has taken a nose dive. From start to end, through the never ending 30 seconds, the ‘Ullu nahi banenge’ song drags on. The action is so slow it reminds one of the 1960s. The choir group looks shabby and not vintage. So determined not to be fooled is the group, that while they are passing along the light of knowledge (actually, a smartphone) to others, they don’t seem to notice their viewers gone numb. Not speechless – mimed. And there is not one face that stands out in the bunch of the otherwise good looking group. Surprisingly, with this advertisement, Idea has chosen to destroy all that we loved about their campaigns – and they are so attached to it, that they are not even taking it down.

Bad idea, really.

Advertisements, specially starring the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Ranbir Kapoor, come with limited contracts, so it is not be possible to revert to the old ads. But please, at least stop running this one?

+ Here’s one more think-alike article about creativity of Idea ads @ http://trak.in/tags/business/2011/05/12/creativity-indian-advertisement-idea-zoozoos-dairy-milk-havells/

+ To see the path Idea has taken, check out Idea TV Commercials at their media centre @ http://www.ideacellular.com/media-centre/tv-commercials

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