afaqs!

Airtel Digital TV: Packing your culture along

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 25, 2010
In its third commercial in the series, Airtel Digital TV shifts the focus to Bengal, as it promotes the offer of lifetime-free language channels

Leaving your native land behind surely does not mean leaving behind all that you hold dear about the place. That's the insight Airtel Digital TV used in the campaign for its lifetime-free language channels service.

The campaign, which broke in August, first spoke about Kerala in the South, and then moved to Punjab in the North. Now, the third television commercial in the series shifts the focus to West Bengal. Created by JWT Delhi, each film shows a protagonist moving out of the hometown; and carrying along all that is culturally significant and true of the region. Through this, the viewer gets an idea of the local entertainment options.

The latest film shows a Bengali bride moving to Bhopal after her wedding. As the bride leaves her home, she takes along with her most of what one would associate with the Bengali. Through the film plays a typical Bengali song; while the message at the end of the film is, 'Enjoy your local channels wherever you go'.

The earlier films too, in a similar fashion, captured Kerala and Punjab. The films have been directed by Shivendra Singh of Dungarpur Films. The creative team at JWT includes Priti Kapur, executive creative director and Kishaloy Basu, creative director. Fraz Batla is the copywriter.

"Our brief was very simple - to promote the Language Packs that Airtel DTH has, and remind people that Airtel DTH has a variety of entertainment in your local channels for you, wherever you are," says Kapur.

"The creative team then came up with the idea of a Pied Piper like young man, who unwittingly takes all the entertainment characters with him, when he moves to Jaipur from South India for a job. This was followed by the quirky conveyor belt spot (Punjab), as well as the Bengali bride spot shot in Kolkata," she adds.

Sugato Banerji, chief marketing officer, DTH Services, Bharti Airtel tells afaqs! that entertainment per se has to be set in a regional context. "Culture becomes more important when you move away from the natural cultural environment. People like to feel comfortable in their cultural environment; and language is the most important when it comes to cultural entertainment," says Banerji.

He goes on to say that it is increasingly important for the DTH service provider to reach out to more consumers in the interiors of the country, besides the usual high-definition TV viewers and the middle class, who opt for DTH for better quality. Thus, he states, regional entertainment is an effective tool to exploit.

"The deeper you go, the higher the language insularity. We might see some as obscure channels but for a person, in say, Orissa, the regional channel is the most important one. Language content, hence, is most important," says Banerji.

The television commercials will be supported by outdoor promotions in Mumbai and in cinema halls across the country. The media duties are being handled by Madison.

Moving on to the opinions...

The campaign has met with favourable views, as industry experts find that the insight is strong and the execution does justice to it.

Rahul Sengupta, national creative director, TBWA India approves of the insight and is of the view that it works well in India. "It is a lovely insight; very powerful. One of the first things people look for when they relocate is regional entertainment. It is hugely true, particularly for a country like ours. The films are nicely made as well," says Sengupta.

Emmanuel Upputuru, national creative director, Publicis India is slightly more critical; although he acknowledges that the insight creates empathy and makes the film relatable.

"Judged from the point of 'Does it meet the brief', it does the job. Judged from a tougher yardstick of, 'Will it be remembered next year', the answer is a polite 'No'," he says.

Rajeev Sharma, national planning director, Leo Burnett India likes the fact that the multiple executions serve a purpose.

"The multiple executions here, unlike a lot of campaigns, have a reason for being -- because each one brings alive the flavour of entertainment that each region enjoys. Is there a deeper human truth that lifts this to greater heights than above average? Perhaps not. But maybe that would be getting greedy," says Sharma.

"Overall, I think it is a watchable, well-executed campaign that does justice to a very clear proposition," he concludes.

Search Tags