Samsung Guru: A never ending saga

By Neha Kalra , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | June 06, 2008
Vedobroto Roy, creative director, Cheil Communications, says the sequential nature of the TVCs serve to bring alive the interaction of the brand with its consumers. That is also why the TVCs have been released in quick succession

Samsung must

surely win an award for the longest spun out TV commercials ever. The TVCs for its Guru range of mobile phones feed one from the other to tell the love story of the protagonist, the Guru guide, as he moves from one group of tourists to another.

Created by Cheil Communications, Samsung's creative agency, the saga of the Guru guide begins when a busload of Spanish tourists arrive at a destination in India. The Guru guide manages to get himself noticed over all the guides thronging the group by playing a Spanish ringtone on his Guru 100. A girl in the group makes no bones about the fact that she finds him attractive, much to the dismay of a Spanish boy who fancies her himself.

Guru guide
The love story received endorsement from consumers when Samsung received 30,000-40,000 SMSes to its on-air query whether the Spanish girl and the Guru guide should fall in love with each other.

In the second TVC, the mobile batteries of the Spanish boy and girl have run out. However, the Guru guide's mobile is going strong, thanks to its nine hour battery. The Spanish girl is impressed with the Guru guide, much to fury of the Spanish boy. This TVC, too, wove in the consumers by asking them to respond to whether the couple should draw closer. In response, Samsung received 300,000 SMSes.

The third TVC showed the Guru guide receiving an SMS from the Spanish girl, bidding him goodbye. He chases after her, but she's gone. His friends tease him, but he shrugs and says his life will go on like the Samsung Guru 100 mobile battery. And then he prepares to welcome the next group of tourists.

All three TVCs were for the Guru 100, the entry level mobile in the range, which was launched in February 2008. The TVCs highlighted the various features of the Guru 100: MP3 ringtones, a nine hour battery and a mobile tracker.

Samsung Guru 100
But the saga of the Guru guide doesn't end with the Spanish girl exiting his life. The TVC that's currently on air is for the Guru 200 and has him sending in requests to FM channels for first a French love song and then an Italian love song. The RJs are perplexed at these strange requests, but we know better. The Guru Guide is recording the love songs, preparing for French and Italian tourists. More love stories in the offing?

Vedobroto Roy, creative director, Cheil Communications, says the sequential nature of the TVCs serve to bring alive the interaction of the brand with its consumers. That is also why the TVCs have been released in quick succession: The first set of TVCs for the Guru 100 was launched with a gap of two weeks, one after the other. The Guru 200 TVC was released a week ago.

Roy says, "The briefs for the first set of three ads and the fourth ad were one-liners. The ads for the Guru 100 had to talk about its features such as MP3 ringtones and long battery life. The fourth film, for the Guru 200, had to be about FM recording, though it wasn't a new feature." Roy worked on the creatives for the four TVCs, along with Viral Pandya, executive creative director

The TVCs are all part of Samsung's 'Next is What?' campaign. Samsung plans to launch four-five handsets this year in the Guru range. Roy reveals that the TVCs for all these will continue with the story of the Guru guide, unless a drastic change is required.

Roy reveals that the Guru guide's role was to be played originally by Hindi film actor Aamir Khan, who is also Samsung's brand ambassador. The guide is shown to be a smart cookie, a small-town boy who thinks on his toes and uses his mobile to advance his career. The character is now being played by Ashish Kapoor.

The first three TVCs were shot by Think Pot Productions and directed by Manoj Pillai. The Guru 200 TVC was shot by The Reel Company and directed by Amit Gupta.

The media used to advertise the Samsung Guru 100 were television, print, outdoor and point of sale; radio wasn't used. But for the Guru 200, in addition to television, print and outdoor, Samsung plans to tie up with a radio station. The promos will begin to be aired soon.

The Samsung Guru mobiles are targeted at SEC B and C and people with small businesses, who need a mobile with a long lasting battery for business purposes, rather than personal.

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