Direct and simple

Direct and simple

Reviewer: Vipul Thakkar

Vipul Thakkar, executive creative director, Mudra South, has spent more than 15 years in the advertising industry and has worked on brands such as Marlex Appliances, J Hampstead, Xylys, ICICI Bank and Killer Jeans.


The new campaign by Ogilvy and Mather India for Tata Sky shows two friends in different situations while on holiday—at a parade, outside a Hollywood actor’s home, and at a bank that’s being robbed. But even in the worst possible situation, their experience shows, it always pays to ask—even if it means asking two ferocious dogs to let them into the movie star’s home. The campaign urges consumers to ask about the benefits and promotions offered by Tata Sky.

What did you think of the campaign?

The idea is simple and that’s exactly what is so brilliant about it: Go ahead, no harm in asking. The campaign showcases simple analogies that convey the message beautifully. The execution is flawless and the best part of this three-film campaign is undoubtedly the casting. It’s a coup of sorts. Both the characters really bring alive the insight that all of us take small pleasures in getting freebies in life.

How does this advertisement compare with their older campaign featuring actor Aamir Khan? Does it work for the brand?

This campaign works wonderfully even without Aamir. In fact, I would go to the extent of saying that it just proves that if you have a strong idea married with perfect execution, you really don’t need a celebrity to make the communication effective.

Which brand, according to you, is doing a good job in the direct-to-home, or DTH, space?

All DTH players have more or less the same things to offer, but how that is communicated is surely a game changer. Over the years, both Airtel and DishTV have lost the plot in communicating what they want to. There are too many messages propagated by too many celebrities (Bollywood personalities, celebrated musicians, sports personalities). But DishTV has got the first-mover advantage and therefore is a market leader. Videocon has no recall, aided or otherwise. Except for Tata Sky, the only other contender that has kept its communication pretty much focused is a relatively smaller player, Sun Direct, and I hope it pays off for them in the long run. But these are still early days, and the friendly neighbourhood cablewallah is far from being extinct.

What must brands keep in mind while working on a category such as DTH, where product differentiation is minimal?

Simplicity, single-mindedness of communication and creating a unique offering, no matter how small, will help any DTH player connect with the masses. Word of mouth also plays an important role, so they need to ensure that they put their money where their mouth is.

As told to Gouri Shah.