afaqs!

Get Idea 3G, Control Population Explosion

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 27, 2011
Based on the insight that lack of appropriate entertainment is the reason behind recreational sex and consequent population explosion, Idea Cellular positions its 3G offering as a distraction from procreation.

Furthering its interest in social issues, Idea Cellular's latest TVC positions its 3G offering as something that can plausibly mitigate the country's predicament of overpopulation.

The idea behind such a stance is the belief that one of the reasons for India's exponentially increasing population is the lack of entertainment, other than recreational sex. The objective of the campaign is to create awareness about this problem, and to convey that Idea 3G is entertaining enough to check the same. The TVC portrays Idea 3G as an exciting substitute for sex.

Titled 'The Idea 3G Population Control Campaign', the ad features brand ambassador Abhishek Bachchan who is seen promoting product offerings including 3G-based mobile applications like mobile TV, gaming, video conferencing, and social networking on superfast internet.

Following the words '3G pe Busy', 'No Aabaadi, No Barbaadi' that are highlighted in a soundtrack, the ad leaves viewers with the catchphrase 'No Baby, Only 3G'. The new ad is yet another addition to the long-running series of Idea campaigns that characteristically end with the tag line -- 'What an Idea, Sirji'.

The mood of the ad is lighter than any of Idea's previous ads in this series. Yet, it attempts to establish a connect with the masses by featuring people from various parts of the country, reacting similarly once their only source of entertainment -- the television -- is shut down due to a power-cut.

Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas, the brand's creative agency, says, "We've always used humour as a tactic in order to avoid being preachy. In this ad, however, the reason behind the problem of over-population is funny -- lack of other forms of amusement!" He adds that this time around, the film is an out-and-out musical, unlike the earlier ads in which the plots bore a more elaborate set-up of the social problem in question.

The creative team insists that this ad humorously showcases a "fantasy solution" to a very real problem. In the past too, Idea's ads have typically been about solving large problems through simple imaginative mobile solutions that might not be possible, but only plausible, in the real world.

Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular, says, "Our brand campaigns have always celebrated ideas that have the power to change society and the way we live. This time, the idea is 3G and it has a strong entertainment appeal. It has been designed to resonate with the larger audience, on a critical subject looming in the country."

Previous social themes that the brand has chosen to highlight in its communication include education, caste, democracy, saving paper, and language barriers in India, amongst others.

The ad film has been produced by Chrome Pictures and directed by Amit Sharma.

A 360 degree communication programme to promote the campaign and drive awareness, is in the offing.

Phony telephony or good use of humour?

Nitin Pradhan, executive creative director, Leo Burnett, thinks this ad is a good addition to the 'What an Idea, Sirji' series; incidentally, it's his favourite film. "This is one of Idea Cellular's better ads; I like it more than the 'Walk-and-Talk' ad." According to Pradhan, the humour value of the ad is good, and it fits the format of the series well.

He adds that if one were to get into the nitty-gritty of the idea behind the ad, then one would surely discover imperfections. "Those who suffer from power failure may not be able to afford 3G," he points out. He is, however, quick to add that the film is executed such that one doesn't question these finer aspects. "The ad is to be digested as a light-hearted story," says Pradhan.

Elvis Sequeira, national creative director, Cheil Worldwide, Southwest Asia, finds the ad hilarious. "I love it," he quips, "I think that as far as the 'What an Idea' series goes, this one sparkles brightest! It's dripping with sarcasm and is bold and controversial. Connecting with what we all assume to be the cause of India's population -- a lack of better things to 'do', and therefore offering 3G as a solution, needs guts. I think it's a brilliant idea."

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