Reviewers: Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt

Beautifully crafted: Manish Bhatt and Raghu Bhat.


The new campaign for Star HD, by Ogilvy & Mather India, shows two friends discussing the benefits of “asli HD" or real HD. They talk about factors such as picture and sound quality, among other things.

What did you think of the campaign?

The campaign does a great job of informing people about Star’s HD feed. It doesn’t adequately establish the superiority of Star’s HD feed over competitors. The “reasons to believe" for Star’s claim of being the asli HD are only mentioned, not demonstrated. Since it’s an educational campaign, a lot of information needs to be downloaded. The creative treatment breaks down all this information into easily digestible nuggets of conversation between friends. The choice of “desi irreverent" analogies—the fake 500 note and the sugar-cane juice—is apt as it is faithful to the characterizations of the two friends, at least one of whom looks like a lovable rogue. They help simplify fairly complex information.

Digestible nuggets: Desi analogies help simplify complex information.

What must agencies keep in mind for a media brand campaign?

Brands are built by what people say about the brand, not by what the brand says about itself. Therefore, rather than advertising, content would be the most powerful way to differentiate a media brand. Can technology be a differentiator for a media brand? Maybe not. First, no media brand will have sole usership rights on any technology. And second, it can’t even ensure great delivery of the technology. For instance, what happens when I watch Star’s superior HD feed on a really lousy TV set?

Does this campaign make viewers aware of HD feeds, which is a fairly new concept?

In the coming months, we will see an increase in spending towards positioning HD as the next big thing. TV manufacturers, channels and DTH providers will all try hard to own the HD plank. In this light, Star’s campaign can be seen as an attempt to gain the first-mover advantage. However, most viewers currently have no clue about HD or its advantages. When there’s a fair amount of fuzziness around HD, the benefits of being the “asli HD" would also be a question mark. Moreover, better picture and sound quality could still be attributed to the hardware (TV set) rather than the software. In the long run, three factors will come into play: a) whether HD actually delivers a better TV experience, b) whether HD goes beyond a buzzword to become a relevant consumer benefit, and c) in a crowded HD scenario, how much money Star TV can pump in to leverage the first-mover advantage.