'INQ'uilab for social networking

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | June 04, 2010
The UK manufacturer of social mobiles makes its communication debut targeting the young rebellious 'Facebook Generation'

INQ Mobile, the wholly owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, makes its communication debut in India, targeting the young rebellious 'Facebook Generation'.

The campaign aims to convey the attitude and personality of the INQ brand and the generation which has always grown up with the Internet in their lives.

The creative starts with a female model getting ready for a photo shoot, while continuously chatting with her friends in between on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. As she takes her time to get ready, her fellow male models wait for her and fiddle with their individual INQ phones.

Meanwhile, one of them dozes off for a while and the other one clicks his picture and puts it on Facebook. Thus, during the entire episode, the protagonists keep talking to each other and to the world, without even speaking a word, thanks to their INQ mobiles.

Designed and conceptualised jointly by INQ and Euro RSCG, this campaign is based on the creative idea of 'Inquilab', which is actually a cocktail of social revolution and fashion. 'Inquilab' by INQ is about the always-on power of being in touch.

The ads are based on the insight that today's generation has quietly created a peaceful revolution - it's not political but social. Relationships, for this generation, are rather different from how the previous one viewed them. Today, it's possible to be a very close, involved friend with someone without ever having met physically. Relationships today can be formed, altered or obliterated by a simple status update. It's cool to have what's called a 'relationship status'.

The campaign positions 3G-enabled INQ phones as a facilitator of today's virtual, socially-networked relationships. The ad is all about youth and their social revolution.

The objective of the campaign is to sharply define a space in a category which has seen multiple launches recently. Talking more on the positioning of INQ, Satbir Singh, chief creative officer, Euro RSCG, says, "It is not about a phone. It is about this generation's way of life - which is why we stayed away from creating a phone-y campaign. Instead, we have positioned it in the space of fashion and lifestyle."

He adds, "No one till date has looked at the mobile phones along the vectors of fashion and social revolution. INQ talks a new, refreshing language of friendship, bonding and sharing."

The ads have been conceptualised by Sushant Panda, director, Euro RSCG and Satbir Singh, chief creative officer, Euro RSCG. The film has been directed by Yusuf Khan and the photography is by Bharat Sikka.

The multimedia campaign covers print, TV and radio across four metros and also spans a breadth of digital activities including online, search and social networking sites. The advertisements are being aired across all news and entertainment channels and are supplemented by outdoor media.

Jeff Taylor, marketing director and co-founder, INQ, says, "The campaign is about the new generation all over the world, which lives online 24x7. We shot the campaign in conjunction with some of India's most talented photographers, directors and models, and are thrilled with the results."

For the record, INQ entered the Indian market in March with its social networking phones, INQ Chat 3G and INQ Mini 3G.

The third take

The ad fraternity doesn't look very convinced with the piece of communication. If some find a lack of a strong creative idea, others feel that the commercial leaves a lot to answer.

Vivek Dutta, national planning head, Hakuhodo Percept finds the commercial "ordinary -- maybe because there is a complete absence of any idea whatsoever!"

"Furthermore, the consumer would like to break away from the clichéd imagery shown in the commercial," says Dutta.

He explains that although he agrees that there are lots of shots showing how easy it is to be connected, the commercial leaves a lot to be answered. "Primarily, why INQ over others? SMS applications are available on other mobile phones also. Considering that CORBY has already established itself on a similar proposition, I fear that it would project INQ as a me-too brand. That really doesn't work well for a relatively new brand at the end of the day," he adds. The consumer, explains Dutta, is looking at a reason to choose his brand and he feels that this commercial really doesn't give him one!

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