afaqs!

To ask or not to ask

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 31, 2011
Dish TV's new spoof on Tata Sky's 'Poochne mein kya jata hai? campaign delivers a communication that says 'Itna milega ki poochne ka mauka nahi milega', and concludes with 'Kahin bhi pooch lo'.

Tata Sky may have crafted an entire campaign inducing consumers to ask questions, but Zee's Dish TV seems to be the one answering them. Riding on the much-noticed 'Poochne mein kya jata hai' campaign campaign of Tata Sky, Dish TV elucidates that one gets so much that there is no requirement to ask for more.

Earlier, Tata Sky had come up with a high-decibel campaign in which the two protagonists Sonu and Cookie gain because they go forth and ask questions. Designed by Ogilvy India, the campaign used the casual phrase 'Poochne mein kya jata hai', as an analogy to ask about various offers. Three TVCs highlighted various offers provided by the DTH player, ending with the line, 'Pooch dala toh life jingalala'.

In the new Dish TV commercial, the questions asked by the protagonist are answered even before he completes the questions. The message is, 'Itna milega ki poochne ka mauka nahi milega'. The TVC ends with 'Kahin bhi pooch lo'. The ad is created by McCann Erickson, and is supported by print and social media advertising.

While the Tata Sky ads speak about subscription packages (a value pack under Rs 200, and a discount for a second Tata Sky connection), the Dish TV ad speaks about a package offering 222 channels for Rs 275.

On being asked whether it was a deliberate attempt to make an ad as a spoof of the Tata Sky TVC, Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV, tells afaqs!, "We have a bouquet of channels to offer and we wanted to convey this message to our consumers." He feels that the Dish TV commercial, which was launched in October, is not really a spoof, but purely a coincidence. "Why would we do such a thing?" he questions.

Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy India, who has worked on the Tata Sky campaign, believes that the campaign has clearly hurt Dish TV, which is why it has resorted to attacking it with a spoof. "But, I feel the attack should have been a little more intelligent than this as spoofs work if done with wit," he adds.

Avasthi also feels that Dish TV's campaign lacks finesse, and has gone by unnoticed. "I have not heard many speak about the Dish TV campaign," he says.

It may be recalled that in 2008, something similar had happened on the DTH front, when the teaser campaign created for the launch of Airtel digital TV was used by its competitor Big TV, for a series of revealers.

Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer, Tata Sky, feels that it is a competitor's way of acknowledging the Tata Sky campaign. "We, in fact, wish to thank them for the acknowledgement. Our campaign has worked pretty well from the consumer, as well as the dealership point of view."

Mehra reveals that Tata Sky's 'Pooch dala toh life jingalala' campaign has helped establish that Tata Sky is a premium, but not an expensive brand. "Earlier, the premium image was getting confused with being expensive. The TVC has helped break that barrier," he says.

Mehra also mentions how it was easier for the consumers to understand the value for money proposition of Tata Sky through its 'Pooch dala' communication.

Without mentioning any brand name, Kapoor of Dish TV, says that 'a certain brand' lacked enquiry and wanted people to enquire about it. "There is low enquiry about the brand, hence, it coaxes people to go and ask about it. Life is clearly not so jingalala there," he adds.

The respective communications by the DTH players have really left an open-ended question for the consumer -- whether to ask or not to ask.

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