Samsung Mobile: The heart in your pocket

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 07, 2010
Making a shift towards all that is emotional, Samsung Mobile, in the new campaign for its entry level handsets, attempts to tug at its target audience's heart

No matter where you are, you cannot be more than a phone call away from dear ones. That's the message Samsung Mobile conveys, in the latest series of commercials for its Guru series of handsets. The campaign features brand ambassador and actor, Aamir Khan.

With the baseline, 'Dil to jeb mein rakha hai', the campaign is yet another trip down emotional lane. However, it is a shift from the earlier Guru ads, which were much cheekier; and the attempt is clearly to appeal to an audience looking for an affordable phone.

The campaign, designed by Cheil Worldwide, features a main film that weaves the central plot and several other short films on the same story.

The main commercial shows Khan as Raghu, a grounded family boy and a fresh graduate. While at dinner with his family, he receives a call on his phone. He promptly switches on the loudspeaker, so that his family also gets to know, much to their delight, that he has landed himself a job in the city. The rest of the commercial shows Raghu breaking the news to his love interest and preparing to shift to the city. As he leaves, Raghu gifts a handset each to his beloved and his father, telling them that he would never be too far from their hearts.

The commercial has been directed by Anurag Kashyap. The production house is Red Ice Productions. Vedobroto Roy, creative director, Cheil Worldwide is the copywriter. The music score is by Amit Trivedi; while the lyrics for the song in the ad have been penned by Gulzar.

The brief to the agency was to build an emotional connect with the product and the consumers.

"The brief was a bit tricky. Guru is the lowest end product of Samsung, but is also the most important product in the brand's portfolio. The market is flooded at this range; while the consumer too, at this level, tends to be a bit fickle -- wanting to buy the product, and at the same time, aspiring for higher-end handsets," says Roy, as he explains the need to convey the right message and make the communication easy to relate to.

The emotional route is not exactly path-breaking, as the commercial brings to mind similar ads in the past. Cheil, too, acknowledges this fact. "The idea is old, but there must be something right about this kind of communication. However, the main thing is the plot and the way it is presented. The film gives us a tactical spot to further exploit the idea," Roy says.

More short films on Raghu staying in touch with his family have been shot and are on-air. The campaign, which Roy expects will run through the year, will feature more such short ads.

Speaking on the insight, Roy explains how one tends to call home a lot more in the initial days of migration. "Our target audience is mainly the ones who move to bigger cities for jobs. The ad gives our TG an assurance -- an assurance that the product will be there when you need it and your phone could be your best buddy," he says.

Views Dil Se

The campaign has been received well for its simplicity, and the connect the film establishes between the product and the consumer. While parallels with other commercials featuring similar thoughts are inevitable, experts agree that the platform is right for the phone variant.

Sandhya Srinivasan, managing partner and chief strategy officer, Law & Kenneth is of the view that the current campaign is more enjoyable than the previous Guru ads. She raises an important point of how the small-town audience would enjoy seeing the brand ambassador as one of them.

"Versus the street smart Guru of yore, this Samsung Guru ad hits a far more affable note. The small-town audience may have seen enough emotional sagas, but Aamir Khan as one of them is a refreshing one," she says.

"Most advertising that I can remember targeting the small-town consumer has often shown one-upmanship, smartness, or the winning streak. But a mobile phone, at a basic level, is the simplest way to stay connected with a loved one," she adds.

Vipin Dhyani, founder and creative director, Thoughtshop appreciates the identifiable nature of the film and the execution.

"It is a very valid plank for a variant like Guru. A guy leaving town for a job in a city and making everybody feel emotional is identifiable. The device to stay connected with a mobile is also relevant. I truly believe that the small-towners will identify with the setup, art direction, location and nuances used," he says.

Both cite examples of similar ads. Dhyani recalls the films by Nokia and Airtel to be very similar in nature. "The point is that while we will use the same set of emotions over and over again; but can we use it differently? The context can be refreshing for sure. Though we are targeting the middle class, they too look for something radically different, yet meaningful," says Dhyani.

Srinivasan, however, puts her money on the Samsung ad when compared to other commercials.

"Yes, Airtel used a similar execution style. But I think this one just attracts you with its simplicity," she says.

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