Launched on YouTube, the recent campaign of Vodafone marks the return of the BlackBerry Boys, this time to talk about the BlackBerry Messenger Service (BBM) available on its prepaid service for just Rs 5 per day.
Conceptualised by Ogilvy India, the television commercial shows five men in suits, talking about how they are no longer the 'BlackBerry Boys' because the youth uses BBM service for various purposes, right from sharing pictures to music and many more, which takes them beyond the world of chatting. The TVC is shot in a manner that gives the impression of a 'boy-band' music video and is backed by the song, 'They are the BlackBerry Boys'.
"While in the first TVC, the men in suits looked surprised as they were joined by a host of new people, this time they are sad, as their world has been overtaken by youngsters," adds Aggarwal.
Rajiv Rao, national creative director, Ogilvy, explains, "The TVC highlights the BlackBerry Messenger and how it is available at a cheaper rate on prepaid services now. An extension of the old television campaign, this time the self-claimed 'BlackBerry Boys' are forced to give up their title to the youth and hence are not happy. It emphasises how they have lost their limelight and using BBM is no longer a big deal."
While the longer version of the TVC, which is about two minutes in duration, is available on YouTube, the shorter version is being aired on various television channels. The five characters are also being promoted on the brand's Facebook page and Twitter handle.
Getting it right?
For advertising professionals, the ad is an extension of the original 'BlackBerry Boys' TVC. In their opinion, while the TVC establishes the proposition clearly, it fails to create a differentiation between the old and the new one.
Narayan Devanathan, senior vice-president and national planning head, Dentsu Marcom India, remarks, "When Vodafone did the original BlackBerry Boys ad, what it showed was a nascent trend caught in its initial stages, and helped explode via its offer. The difference between the earlier BlackBerry ad and the current one is that it has an offer (Rs 5 per day), but the ad portrays the business class BlackBerry Boys handing over the baton to regular youth, a fact that is already established and in the past. It's not that the Rs 5 per day offer will lead to this transfer of status from the business class to regular youth, it has already happened. To that extent, this ad merely reflects (or, at best, celebrates) this fact."
"Like the earlier ad for the Facebook phone from Vodafone, this ad, too, seems a little self-indulgent. It does not push a nascent trend upward, nor does it empower a new set of people with something meant for a niche group earlier. Is the ad nice? Sure. Does it do something extraordinary for the brand? Not sure," adds Devanathan.