The boys are back

The boys are back


With more than 17 years experience in the ad industry, Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer for Mudra Group, has worked for brands such as AT&T, American Express, Volkswagen, Wrigleys, Future Group and Aircel.


The new campaign by Ogilvy and Mather for Vodafone’s BlackBerry service busts the myth that BlackBerry connections are only for the “office guys". The ad underlines the fact that everyone—from young professionals to college students—could chat, send emails, etc., on a BlackBerry for as little as 15 per day.

What did you think of the advertising campaign?

It is a simple idea well executed. This is a great example of how sweating the details in the execution can lift an idea. The casting is dead on, the performances are effortless, the song is bathroom singer-friendly. If I had to nit-pick, I’m not sure about the background, which is a little too loud for what the spot is about. It’s charming because it doesn’t try too hard.

What should agencies keep in mind while creating a campaign for such a competitive category?

Know your brand. Define its tone of voice sharply. In competitive and commoditized categories, what separates one brand from another is what it stands for and the tone in which it expresses that. One brand that does that brilliantly across the world is Volkswagen. The brand has an easily identifiable intelligence, wit and humanity in all its work.

What is your favourite campaign in this category and why?

The best campaign by far is the work for Net10 by Droga5. Unlike other carriers, Net10 doesn’t have hidden fees. And its rallying captures what consumers feel about those things, NO EVIL. The TV spots depict people who are really good, like the man who rescues and takes care of old race dogs, and it asks the question, who would take advantage of such a good man? The answer, his cellphone company, who inflates his bills with hidden charges. The solution is Net10, which doesn’t do any evil.

Keeping in mind the current controversy surrounding BlackBerry, how does this campaign work for the brand and its mobile service partner Vodafone?

The campaign objective is to broaden BlackBerry’s user base. While it does a great job of seeding the thought that the BlackBerry is not a stuffy phone for stuffy corporate types to do stuffy official things, the fact remains BlackBerry’s user interface, apps, etc., are not quite as cool as the other smartphones. As for the controversy, communication can do nothing about allaying the consumer’s fears. A great ad won’t save you if the government yanks your chain.

As told to Gouri Shah.