Zoozoos: Zuming along

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 06, 2013
The recently released 'Zumi Zumi' film by Vodafone gives consumers a catchy tune to hum along with, and the Zoozoos, their very own anthem.

Taking the dialogue-less Zoozoo concept forward is a musical titled 'Zumi Zumi' and if buzz is to be believed, the film is gaining considerable traction, particularly in households with children! Of course, it is targeted at an entirely different set of people - smartphone users.

The new Vodafone TVC

Rajiv Rao

Anuradha Aggarwal

Rajiv Rao, national creative director, Ogilvy India tells afaqs! that the TG (target group) comprises all those who can access internet on their phone. "It is for people who have smartphones but are scared to use the internet on their phones. Many people can, but don't subscribe to the internet on their phones. The campaign is meant to push people to subscribe to and use internet on their smartphones," he says.

The Zumi film punctuates Vodafone's internet-based campaign that has been on air these past few weeks, largely during the IPL. The films that preceded the Zumi film were made using animation (the little Zoozoos in the films) as well as actual physical sets and people in Zoozoo costumes (the big Zoozoos in the films). The Zumi film, on the other hand, is entirely digital, including the catchy albeit gibberish sounds that serve as the Zoozoos' lyrics.

According to Ogilvy's Rao, the Zumi 'song' is like the Zoozoos' very own celebratory anthem. The film conveys the product benefits of Vodafone internet (ability to share photos, play songs and see videos) through subtitles.

Anuradha Aggarwal, senior vice-president, brand and consumer insights, Vodafone India, tells afaqs! that the Zoozoo anthem was coined to establish the brand's campaign promise, namely, 'Internet is fun on Vodafone'. The brief to the agency was to bring this promise alive with an appropriate film. The objective of this campaign, Aggarwal says, is to establish this promise and "use it as a lever to make the non-internet user try out the specially launched trial packs for 2G and 3G."

The agency, thus, created an 'internet army' of Zoozoos to execute this brief. Through the campaign, nine 'missions' in the Zoozoo world are accomplished. These missions were used as metaphors for actual offerings in the internet genre, for example music, email, job search, cricket scores, photo-related uses and finding a partner. The Zumi film shows the Zoozoos celebrating mission accomplished.

The key insight that Vodafone drew on for this campaign, Aggarwal shares, is that though awareness about the internet is high among the Indian youth from what she calls "lower towns", in the SEC B, C segment, the quality of that awareness is not that good. "Hence there is a need to excite them with the possibilities of the internet and give them a low cost means to try internet to complete the adoption loop," she says.

Apart from TV (including the IPL playoffs) the tune is being promoted extensively on radio and digital.

Who's grooving?

Emmanuel Upputuru

Vivek Rao

In the words of Emmanuel Upputuru, founder and chief innovation officer, ITSA, "I call ads like these, feature films. Maybe this one I can call an 'item number'."

He feels the film is nicely executed, clearly lists out all the product benefits through subtitles and tries to cash in on music styles such as Gangnam and Harlem.

Does the film take the Zoozoo idea to the next level or has the idea already tipped over to the 'over-done' side? "The attempt, looks like, is to milk the highly successful Zoozoos. Let me just say, this is not the most inspiring spot from the Vodafone stable," Upputuru responds.

For Vivek Rao, executive creative director, Havas Worldwide, Mumbai, the Zumi Zumi track works like a charm. "The Zoozoos are back to doing what they do best - entertain. And you're left with no doubt about what the message is at the end of it - everything entertaining can be done with Vodafone internet," he says.

About Zoozoos as a concept, he adds, "While people may suggest they are past their expiration date, I suspect most of those folks would be from the advertising industry! I've seen a lot of people smile along with these films throughout the IPL and to me, that's what matters."

He argues in favour of the Zoozoos, saying we've seen various brands use iconic characters over the years, like the Onida Devil, Charlie Chaplin for Cherry Blossom and Fido Dido for 7Up. "It's really a question of how long the brand believes the characters can work for it. After all, if it's not broken, why fix it?" Rao says, wishing the Zoozoos a long life ahead.

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