Tales of misery during
the Mumbai floods are common. Marketers such as Reliance Infocomm have tactically used this opportunity to market their services.
The campaign shows various situations in which people were stuck during the floods, and how, each time, the various features offered by RIM came to their rescue. The creative idea behind this campaign is certainly effective. However, there is risk associated with advertising of this kind. Using the backdrop of people's misery to sell a brand might upset consumers who have been through the tragedy.
Sean Colaco, creative director, Mudra (Mumbai), who has worked on this particular account, offers a different take. He says, "The campaign merely makes the audience aware of the features which Reliance offers, which could be useful in emergency situations like the ones cited. It is just a feature campaign, nothing more, nothing less."
Both the agency and the company are aware of the dangers in an exercise of this kind. Colaco of Mudra says, "There is a thin line between leveraging someone's misery to promote a brand and subtly trying to educate the audience about available features. And this campaign clearly falls in the latter category."
A senior executive at Reliance Infocomm clarifies, "The campaign is not to sell a service. It is to let people know we're there when they need us." She adds, "In fact, through this campaign, we have introduced to the audience a feature called ICE (In Case of Emergency), which a customer can use in a difficult situation. And going by the number of positive responses that we have got for this campaign, we don't think it could hurt sensitivities."
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