old adage goes, never judge a book by its cover. Or in the contemporary times, a mobile phone's price by its style quotient.
And Motorola seems to have kept that in mind while rolling out its latest offering - the Motoflip. While its other cell phone ranges, the Motorazr and Motoslvr, target the premium segment with their style quotient, the Motoflip targets the masses who aspire to own a stylish phone, but can't afford one. Loaded with all the features that a modern day cell phone possesses (FM radio, GPRS, MMS, 600 phone book entries), the Motoflip is priced at an affordable Rs 3,990.
"Before launching this range in the market, we conducted research amongst consumers," says Lloyd Mathias, marketing director, Motorola India. "What we discovered was quite shocking." Considering the kind of features this flip phone offers, people guessed its price at around Rs 5,000-6,000. Naturally, this deceptive perception became the base for the Motoflip's launch communication, as devised by O&M.
The recently released TVC for the Motoflip takes a different route from other Motorola ads; this one is more subtle and sombre. On what appears to be a quiet Sunday morning, a family - parents and son - is having breakfast together at the table. There is a tangible tension in the air. The mother wipes her face nervously with her sari, and the father glances her way. He nods to her. Taking his cue, the mother asks her son, "Kal raat bhi aane mein do baj gaye… (Last night, too, you got home at 2 in the morning…)?" The son replies that he was caught up in his work and continues to sip his tea.
Next the father says solemnly, "Dekho beta, jo maza imaandaari ki kamaai mein hai, voh kisi aur mein nahin (Son, the joy one gets in making an honest living is incomparable; no other means can bring that)." The boy, who doesn't know where the conversation is headed, agrees innocently.
The mother can't take it any more and comes straight to the point. She asks her son plainly if he has been indulging in any illegal activity. The father thrusts something at him and says, "Kal raat aapki jeb se aapki maa ko yeh mila (Last night, your mother found this in your pocket)." What he has in his hand is a Motoflip phone. As the bewildered boy stares at his concerned parents, a voiceover concludes, "Motoflip. Dikhe itna mehenga, kuch to log kahenge (Motoflip. It looks so expensive, people will talk)." In a classic denouement, the phone on the table beeps, at which the boy's parents exchange concerned glances again.
The ad, conceptualised by Emmanuel Upputuru, senior creative director, O&M, Delhi, along with Abhijit Avasthi, group creative director, O&M, Mumbai, swears by the insight that when someone from a middle class home buys something that looks expensive and beyond his means, his immediate family will wonder what he must have done to be able to afford it. The campaign line, 'Dikhe itna mehenga ki kuch to log kahenge', was penned keeping in mind this insight.
"We wanted to communicate the phone's affordability without losing out on its desirability," says Upputuru of O&M. "We did not want to make it look like a cheap phone because of its price. The Motorola values of irreverence, surprise and provocation have not been sacrificed in any way." That is why the agency chose to stay away from talking directly about the affordability factor, choosing to build a narrative instead.
The setting of the ad has been made to look as real as possible. The actors wear little or no make-up. When the parents exchange knowing looks, the viewer is made to feel that the two may have had a conversation earlier on how to broach the subject with their son. No background score has been used for a large part of the ad, and the only sounds, apart from the dialogues, are that of a clock ticking and the son stirring sugar into his tea. All this has been done to lend a serious tone to the film and build the suspense.
The film has been shot by Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Productions. Deo added some layering to the film, such as the boy reading a newspaper, the back page of which carries a headline on youth crimes in the city. "I didn't deliberately have a shot focusing on the headline or it would have been too obvious," says Deo. The film was shot in seven hours in a flat in Andheri, Mumbai. The lighting, done by Hemant Chaturvedi, was adjusted to bring the situation to life. The parents' faces were lighted from below to add to the solemnity, whereas the light on the son's face was projected from above to bring out his nonchalance.
Although Motorola has a range of affordable phones in its kitty, this is the first time that such a phone is being advertised aggressively. A second TVC will soon follow, which will have the same boy going to office with his phone, and the various reactions he gets from his colleagues. The second film is slated to go on air in the first week of November 2006. Apart from these, outdoor, press, PoS activities and the web have also been leveraged.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!