Spot Light | Idea Cellular
Reviewer: Santosh Padhi
With around 16 years’ experience in the advertising industry, Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder of Taproot India, has worked on campaigns for brands such as McDonald’s, Johnnie Walker, Bajaj Auto and ICICI Bank.
Idea trouble: Santosh Padhi.
The ad for Idea Cellular by Lowe India shows young people using their phones for advice on how to settle into a new city.
What did you think of the ad?
I would give them a high score on everything except the idea in this particular campaign. I’m more convinced with the other social messages (on caste equality, educational equality, power of the people) which were highlighted in their earlier campaigns, which actually made you think that a phone can actually impact our society in a positive way. Like the teacher in a city using a phone to communicate with her students?in small villages or even the Walk and Talk campaign made an impact and managed to remind (people) about the ignorance towards health. They address genuine problems that exist today and the country needs to address (these problems).
The reason I don’t like this ad is that the problem doesn’t exist in a big way. It’s hyped to make a point. In a country like ours, people do treat each other very well on an individual level. If you go to a different state, barring a few incidents, it’s only for vote-bank politics that religious problems are created and that too in one or two states, much of which happens around election time. So I don’t think it is right for a brand like Idea to weave this into someone’s head, especially if it’s not a problem in the first place. It’s the last thing a brand should highlight, especially when we have a big list of social problems, far more important than this.
Cross-connection: The ad should have highlighted more pressing issues.
What must one keep in mind while creating an ad for a competitive sector such as telecom?
I think Vodafone is a great example. Their work has been consistent. Apart from the message, they have managed to get some newness and freshness in their communication through simplicity, new execution devices or the way they tell the story, etc. These are small, but essential things that make a big difference to a medium like film, especially in (such) a competitive category.
What is your favourite ad in this category?
It’s?Vodafone?again. This was an international campaign which wanted to highlight the benefit of talk more and pay less, as incoming calls were very expensive. Those days, even the incoming used to be charged heavily. I love them because these are just 5-second commercials which are so message-centric and yet very funny.?The TVC starts with (a) youngster calling the father. The father picks up the phone, the son tells the father that he’s gay,?the father quickly cuts the phone after saying “ok fine”, just to cut down on his incoming call cost. So every time they (took) issues that one would like to talk (on). Second situation— the pregnant wife calls the husband saying the kid she is carrying is not his; again, he cuts the phone saying “no problem”.
As told to Gouri Shah.