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Videocon: Catching all the signals of life

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 21, 2010
In its new campaign, the latest entrant in the mobile telephony space proclaims that its network is strong enough to catch the subtle signals in life

At a time when other players in the segment are focusing on innovations, value offerings or are desperately using celebrities, Videocon mobile services, in its new campaign, uses the somewhat ignored, but nevertheless critical feature - signal strength. For this, the campaign uses analogies of subtle signals in daily life, which one can't afford to miss.

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The campaign, conceptualized by MWG TAG Ideation, broke in the form of two 30-second commercials, both a montage of situations portraying certain signals in life. A kid moving his bag to make space for a newcomer in the class symbolises friendship; the wife covetously looking at a piece of jewellery signals expenditure for her husband; while the son kick- starting his scooter with a long face indicates his demand for a new bike.

Similarly, situations like a young guy sharing his umbrella with a girl at the bus-stop; a kid pulling back the father by his tie; and a stylish woman stealing the show at a job interview are symbolic of one emotion or another. A VO runs throughout the ads, interpreting the subtle and not-so-subtle signals.

Commenting on the campaign, Himanshu Saxena, vice-president and general manager, MWG TAG Ideation says, "Mobile telephony, as a category, has for long stood as a communication enabling device. But with the rapidly growing acceptance as well as application of mobile technologies amongst the emergent Indian YMCs (young minded consumers), it has turned into a life enabling tool, with a larger focus on fructifying opportunities at work and play. It is this fresh category role of 'creating access to life's opportunities', which Videocon mobile services has chosen to make its central brand platform."

Saxena explains that on a deeper note, the campaign acknowledges that opportunities in life spring up all around us; and people who succeed in life are those who are able to identify and convert the right opportunity. The brand simply works as a conduit, which amplifies life's opportunities, making them effectively accessible to customers.

The creative team at MWG TAG Ideation that worked on the campaign includes Amit Nandwani, Sushant Barua and the servicing team comprises Himanshu Saxena, Vikram Sivaramakrishnan, Beena George, Amit Nandwani and Sushant Barua.

The films have been shot in Mumbai over a period of four days. Warm, light-hearted and easily relatable situations have consciously been chosen; and the conversation, too, has a non-serious, feathery touch. The soundtrack has been specially devised to support the narrative and give the ads a unique audio identity.

The films have been produced by Black Magic. The background track has been composed by Mumbai-based singer, Rupert; and the voiceover is by the actor, Harsh Chhaya.

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairperson and regional creative director, McCann Worldgroup India is all praise for the creative team and hopes that the campaign will generate favourable responses for the brand.

"It's great work by the team. The communication binds both the physical and the metaphysical. By relating mobile signals with the signals of life, they have associated the product attribute to the philosophies of life," adds Joshi.

Needless to say, the telecom category in India is super-cluttered, with new players popping up every other day and competing for every possible square inch of POS space. In such a scenario, how successfully would the positioning set the brand apart?

Commenting on the positioning, Sunil Tandon, CMO, Videocon mobile services, says, "We wanted a positioning that's simple and understood by all. It was to be expandable and be able to lift the image of brand; and give it the essence of youthfulness and excitement. The 'Pakdo Life Ka Har Signal' campaign simply fits the bill."

He adds that a powerful idea and an innovative execution always stand out amidst all the clutter. "Be it communication or product offerings, we have and will continue to be a differentiator. Not just the campaign, we have also gone ahead with product innovation. Apart from per second and per call plans, we have come out with per month plans. For each consumer, we have come out with packages for Rs 99, Rs 149 and Rs 399; so that they can do away with their worries of monthly expenditure and enjoy the services."

The brand used IPL 3 as a powerful media platform to launch the campaign. Massive cross-media integration has been done for the launch, through print, outdoor, radio, TV event and the Web, including sponsorship of the Mumbai Indians team and the associated engagement programmes. However, after IPL, Videocon plans to strike a balance between TV, print and retail.

"TV will be there for brand building; print will communicate the new product offerings; and retail will be there to create at the point of purchase one-on-one contact," Tandon explains.

Talking about marketing spends, Tandon says that the budget is quite flexible. "Because of IPL, in the last 45 days, we have spent around Rs 80-90 crore just on ATL. Another Rs 30 crore went into retail outlets." While the biggest thrust was on TV during IPL, Videocon has also conducted in-shop demo and shop-in-shop programmes at retail outlets.

The initial response to the campaign, says Tandon, has been quite good. "As of now, we have broken all records in Mumbai. One of the competitors recently celebrated its 1 lakh SIMs in eight days in Mumbai; we have achieved the same figure in just three-and-a-half days."

Tandon adds that like the mother brand, they too intend to eventually become a market leader in the segment. "We are targeting 18-25 per cent of the market share, depending on the markets where we are launching. We anticipate around 10 crore customers in three years' time."

Getting the signal right?

The ad fraternity seem to be quite impressed with the simplicity of the communication and its interesting play on the word, 'signal'. However, the question is how large the 'signal' could be made, to carry the baton forward.

"It's mostly word play using the word 'signal'; and thus finds associations of the word in daily life. It's nice and simple," says Titus Upputuru, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi.

On the other hand, Nitin Suri, executive creative director, Dentsu Marcom appreciates the different take on the network story; but finds the VO redundant. "The signals needn't be explained in the VO. Maybe being subtle would have had greater impact. Also, the production values don't stand out much," he says.

Sandipan Bhattacharyya, executive creative director, BBDO India, loved the 'Yeh naukri bhi gayee haath se' signal. "But that's probably because I've suffered jolts in the past from this signal. Only drawback -- they sort of fall into this observational montage formula with a clever jack voiceover that almost every telecom and insurance brand has dabbled in. And consequently, the 'freshness in execution' scores take a beating," he explains.

"Is there a thought in exploring one signal at a time, more powerfully, more surprisingly? Maybe the creative director suggested that; maybe the client promptly snubbed her because a montage gives a 'bigger' feel. Maybe that's where the campaign's headed soon," he observes.

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