Big TV teases Airtel with series of spoofs

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 08, 2008
The teasers created for the launch of Airtel digital TV have been used by its month-old competitor, Big TV, for a series of revealer spoofs

Airtel & #BANNER1 & # digital TV, the DTH venture from Bharti Enterprises, may have unleashed a teaser campaign to announce its launch in the market. But the revealer, at the end of the day, seems to belong to Reliance ADAG's Big TV.

Airtel digital TV, all set to hit the Indian television landscape, had created a four-teaser television campaign, which is presently on air. Each teaser starts by revealing a unique character that utters, 'See you at home soon'. This is followed by a big red couch flying in and landing with a thud. The campaign has been devised by JWT.

However, Big TV's agency, DDB Mudra decided to do some teasing of its own. Post the launch campaign - which had the central brand thought, 'Ho toh Big TV ho, varna na ho' - the agency's next job was to create a buzz around Big TV's individual features. An opportunity came in the form of Airtel.

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"When we saw the teasers, we got to know they belong to Airtel through market intelligence. We then thought of spoofing these and creating a 'revealer' of sorts, which talks of the features of Big TV - a job we had to do in the first place," says a source in Mudra. No official comments from the agency were forthcoming.

The Big TV ads - three of them, ten seconds each - make use of Airtel digital TV's creative signatures, such as the big red couch, the black background, and the line, 'See you at home soon'.

The first ad has the couch landing with a thud, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass. The voiceover says, 'See you at home, with digital picture and sound. Only on Reliance Big TV DTH service. Ho toh Big ho'.

The second ad has one couch giving way to hundreds of others, while the VO goes, 'See you at home with over 200 TV channels'.

The last ad in the series has a couch landing with a thud, while a tub of popcorn follows. The VO goes, 'See you at home with 32 cinema halls'. This is a feature wherein Big TV offers 32 exclusive movie channels, which are not part of any other network.

By using Airtel elements in its communication, the whole idea is to "take the steam out of Airtel's missile," says the Mudra source, "as everything is fair in love and war." Besides, a certain kind of outrageousness is a part of Big TV's brand DNA.

Because Big TV isn't big on celebrities, unlike Airtel digital TV (which is likely to use a large number of them), it chose the spoof route to get its point across. Interestingly, the couch used in Big TV's case is also red in colour - a brand colour common to both Airtel digital TV and Big TV.

The spoof idea was thought of overnight by Mudra, while the films took just two days to complete. The graphics have been done by Morse Code. "Big TV has taken this detour all in good humour," adds the Mudra source.

Big TV's 'revealer' is currently on air on news channels, and shall continue to run as long as Airtel's teasers enjoy airtime on television.

JWT and Airtel executives could not be reached for comment.

Next on the cards for Big TV is a TVC on the feature of providing 32 exclusive cinema halls. And this film doesn't draw inspiration from any competing brands.