Samsung: The Metro Connection

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : November 01, 2010
Following up on it campaign last year with brand ambassador Aamir Khan, Samsung Mobile is now focusing on social networking in the latest series of films for its Metro range of phones

You were asked to stop, take a break and smell the flowers the last time. This time, the idea is still to taste all that is fun in life, as you stay in constant touch with your friends. Samsung Mobile has launched a new series of television commercials for its Metro range of handsets, which focuses on the social networking capabilities of the phone.

Created by Cheil Worldwide, the films show, in a lighthearted manner, how the phone's social networking shortcut feature could be used to stay connected. The first film shows a young man in a metro train, constantly seeking advice from friends in the social networking space about a woman he is besotted by. His friends, young and old alike, on the other hand, are glued to their handsets, as they continuously tell him what to do. The film ends with the couple walking away together; the twist in the tale being that the woman too was on the phone with her friends, doing exactly what the man had been doing.

The second film, a short 15-second version, features the same couple in the train. The man continues with his efforts at impressing the woman, rattling away sweet nothings that are being texted to him by his friends. His friends decide to pull a fast one on him. The man is so preoccupied in reading out from his phone that he ends up asking the woman the phone number of someone else, when the advice to do so flashes on his phone screen.

The creative team at Cheil Worldwide includes Vedobroto Roy, associate vice-president, creative who has written the copy and is the creative head; and creative director- art, Ayon Sarkar. The films have been directed by Alain Gourrier; while the production house is Red Ice Productions.

The films continue with the thought of 'Thodi Zindagi Chakh Lo' from the Metro phones campaign last year, which featured brand ambassador and actor, Aamir Khan. The idea, however, moves on from the individual to the collective, with the phone being positioned as one's personal buddy.

While in the previous film, Khan played characters who are engaged by the phone's various features; the current films show the phone as a medium to engage and connect with a wider community.

Says Asim Warsi, general manager, marketing, Samsung India Electronics, "We continue with the core identity built around Metro. It is a phone that keeps you entertained, occupied and engaged. It is your own personal buddy. We still say 'Zindagi Chakh Lo', where we encourage the consumer to take a break and enjoy life."

"Here is a candy-bar phone that is affordable, and through the social networking route, helps you keep in touch and further 'enjoy life'. We are attempting to show how the device is keeping the hearts, mind and people connected," he adds.

With social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter becoming as big as they have, particularly on the mobile device, it is but natural for mobile phone makers to leverage the situation to the greatest extent possible.

Hence, unlike the previous film, the TVC does not focus much on the various features of the phone; it highlights the networking bit. Warsi says the consumer already knows and takes for granted that the other key multimedia features already exist on the phone.

However, the question arises: isn't this campaign a tad too late, with most brands already riding the social networking wave?

"We have been focusing on the social networking front with our high-end phones. However, now we are doing it with a budget phone like Metro. While the topic is not new; but we see that with our target audience, that is, the masses, it is not getting stale. Friend lists continue to increase and more people are busy on the networking websites," explains Warsi.

The core idea in the film is an age-old truth that friends are always with you. It is just the medium changes.

"In the urban race, we lose out on relationships. When was the last time you had a carefree chat with a friend, without the day's worries on your mind? It is here that we show how the Metro works. We all know how the mobile phone is longer a device to make calls. It is your personal entertainment system, your own pal. It makes sense with the name too. Metro is about what the people living in the urban areas need," says Roy.

Roy adds that social networking continues to be the in-thing. He concurs with Warsi that it is not old news yet.

"Orkut was big. Facebook is an improvement of Orkut and Twitter is even better. It is exciting. All of a sudden, I am in touch with friends I never thought I would see again. Tomorrow I know something better is coming. And I am keen to know what is next," he says.

The television campaign is being supported by print promotion, on-ground activation, BTL and in-store activities. There is also some amount of digital. However, on the digital front, Warsi says, Samsung Mobile's messaging campaign is an ongoing online effort.

First Published : November 01, 2010
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