Four variants of a Taproot Dentsu ad for Bharti Airtel, promoting it as India’s first open mobile-phone network, figured on both indices of the Mint-Ipsos-TVAdIndx survey of television commercials (TVCs) broadcast in June.
The ads feature a montage of consumers with a litany of complaints—poor network connection, call drops, what have you—which lead to the conclusion that “all networks are the same”. Then Airtel makes a case for its own network—its customers can check the location of its mobile towers and the signal strength in their vicinity using a mobile app or a website, and get back to it with any complaints. “We have nothing to hide,” goes the catchline.
The Airtel ads grabbed the top three positions—and the seventh place to boot—on the ad reach index, which measures brand awareness and recall. They also took the top three places, and the fifth position, on the ad diagnostics index, a gauge of softer features like believability, enjoyability and likeability.
Two other ads for mobile-phone companies figured in the ad reach index—one by Lowe Lintas for Idea 4G LTE at the fourth spot and one by Ogilvy & Mather for Vodafone 4G SuperNet at the 10th position. The Idea ad also won the sixth place on the ad diagnostics index.
The ad blitz by Airtel, India’s biggest mobile-phone company by subscribers, and other incumbent operators comes as Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd prepares for the commercial launch of its services, which parent Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, who has spent Rs.1.5 trillion on it, has billed as the “world’s biggest start-up”.
It also seems designed in part to address consumer and government concerns over frequent call drops and poor signal strength.
TVCs for Johnson’s Baby Natural Massage Oil, Pepsi-Paytm, Mountain Dew Game Fuel (starring actor Hrithik Roshan) and Godrej No. 1 Germ Protection Soap took the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth places on the ad reach index.
4. Idea 4G LTE
A man asks gadget guru, played by TV actor Vikrant Massey, what the big deal is about 4G. Massey shows him the many ways in which 4G has changed the way youngsters view the Net. Like being able to download a full movie within minutes of boarding a plane. The tag line: ‘The biggest small change is here.’
5. Johnson & Johnson
The ad shows a woman massaging her baby, exercising the arms and legs as if teaching him how to cycle. As she turns to get Johnson’s Baby Natural Massage Oil, the baby starts doing the cycling motions on his own. The tag line: ‘Johnson’s aur aapka sparsh savaare uska kal (Your touch and Johnson’s touch will shape his future).’
The ad, which shows three friends joking with each other and talking about how one of them won a laptop in a Pepsi contest, asks viewers to pick a “geek” Pepsi bottle to enter a contest for a smartphone or laptop and assured Paytm cash of Rs.15. The tag line: ‘Pepsi thi jeet gaya (I won thanks to a Pepsi)!’
8. Mountain Dew
Actor Hrithik Roshan, beaten in a video game, says he needs game fuel—so he fuels up on Mountain Dew Game Fuel. He is soon in “hero mode”—and wins. The tag line: ‘Mountain Dew Game Fuel. Naam bante hain risk se (roughly, nothing ventured, nothing gained).’
9. Godrej No.1 soap
When their granddaughter returns home after a hockey game, her grandmothers (played by Revathi and Kirron Kher) start arguing about whether she should bathe with an anti-bacterial soap or a beauty soap. She, however, flaunts the Godrej No. 1 Germ Protection Soap, with ‘neem’ for protection against germs, and coconut milk for soft skin. The tag line: ‘Suraksha bhi, sundarta bhi (Protection and beauty).’
10. Vodafone SuperNet
A girl receives a standing ovation for her violin recital— from the audience as well as her music teacher, who has listened to it through an HD voice call. A voice-over promotes the life-like sound on HD Voice Calls, all thanks to the new Vodafone SuperNet. The tag line: ‘Vodafone. Power to you.’
The Johnson’s ad also made it to fourth place on the ad diagnostics index, with promos for Mountain Dew, Pepsi-Paytm, the Datsun redi-Go hatchback and McVities Wholewheat Marie biscuits taking the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th spots.