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Humour in a handset: Spice Mobile projects the funny side of life

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 04, 2011
In its new campaign, the handset manufacturer shows off a new feature - an in-built big screen projector, which allows one to watch movies and documents on a large screen. Interestingly, the company has named the device Popkorn, going with the positioning of the handset as a fun gadget.

Watching movies has always been about the giant 70 mm screen in a theatre, with a large bucket of popcorn. However, Spice Mobile has brought the giant screen closer through its new feature, the projector, with the launch of its new handset. Interestingly, the handset manufacturer has named the new device Popkorn, going with the positioning of the handset as a fun gadget to watch movies.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy's Delhi team, the television commercial, titled Popkorn Projector, showcases the projector feature of the handset under various humorous circumstances. The television commercial ends with the voiceover, 'Ab sara sansar movie hai'.

For Spice Mobile, the technology was not discovered through any specific consumer insight. Rather, it was born in the laboratory of the company, where its engineers try to get innovative features on the handsets through trial and error.

For the creative agency, the idea of a projector in a phone was exciting enough - it worked towards ensuring that the commercial successfully showcased the feature.

Naveen Paul, vice-president, marketing, Spice Mobile, says, "Our engineers discovered a way of incorporating the projector feature in the lab. With the handset ready, we knew we had an interesting product in hand - all we needed was some communication that was as interesting."

Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Ogilvy Delhi, says, "We figured that people would be so intrigued by the projector in the phone that they would want to play with it and project pictures on various interesting surfaces. After that, the film practically wrote itself."

The new handset is available for Rs 6,699.

Funny Side Up?

While industry professionals have called the commercial interesting and funny, when it comes to execution, certain points needed more attention, say experts.

Narayan Devanathan, chief strategy officer, Euro RSCG, calls the ad a delicious 'masala Popkorn'.

He says, "In a cluttered category, amidst an even more cluttered world, most mobile brands and their ads either take themselves too seriously, or express themselves too absurdly. Once in a while, though, a product comes along and a piece of communication that harks back to the good old days of advertising -- it's entertaining, it's informative, and it's memorable. That's what the Spice Popkorn commercial does. Lastly, like a lot of great advertising, this one doesn't really need explanation of strategy to decode and enjoy."

According to Juju Basu, vice-president and senior creative director, Contract Advertising, the product is a great innovation from Spice. He adds, "The ad does its job as a demo. There are some interesting images of zebras running on walls and projections on movie watchers, though some others dilute their impact. It could have been a good idea to concentrate on one of the images and create something beautiful or surprising - that would be more memorable. And, I didn't really get the goat in the opening."

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