Who is cuter than Vodafone's 'Pug' and 'Zoozoos'?

By Anirban Roy Choudhury , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 17, 2017
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Take a quick look at the brand's IPL campaign, that showcases its data-strong network, to find out.

Zumis (Zoozoo army) is not all that Vodafone has unleashed this IPL. Mid over breaks during the high intensity Indian Premier League, now feature an elderly couple in their 60s enjoying their second Honeymoon in Goa. Bala and Asha do not have the physical support of their children but that of Vodafone. Its data services bridge the gap and that is what this campaign (Make The Most of Now) is all about - a couple and their journey in Goa.

So far two videos have been released. In the first one, their grand-daughter helps them to locate the chauffer whom she has already reserved and is supposed to pick them up from the railway station. The communication has a blend of humour throughout and sustains the awe factor.

The second video shows them doing what most youth in today's day do in Goa. Bala rides the bike with Asha as the pillion and they are out to visit the 'Dil Chahta Hai Fort'. On their way, they ask people for directions only to get more confused. Eventually, Asha turns on GPS services and Google maps help them reach the fort.

The campaign executed by Ogilvy and Mather will have six such videos (two are released and the remaining four will be during the course of IPL), which will tell the story of Asha and Bala and their second Honeymoon experiences.

Siddharth Banerjee

The urge to be unique and stand out from the rest is what got Vodafone to this campaign, says Siddharth Banerjee, executive vice-president, marketing, Vodafone, "Our communication strategy at Vodafone is to be fresh & differentiated - be it our Pug and Zoozoo stories, or the heart-warming people stories. Hence, in a cricket season where viewers will watch countless ads with similar faces & similar propositions, our new campaign (Make The Most Of Now) featuring the cute old couple, Bala & Asha, will stand out powerfully and reinforce the messaging on the Data Strong Network in unique ways built on popular use cases."

Vodafone has a social media command center established in its office, where the brand tracks real time social media actions, comments and influencer's reactions. The initial analytics are 'encouraging', says Banerjee. "Interestingly, early reads of the campaign have been very encouraging with consumers across all age bands loving the couple," he adds.

Indian Premier League is a lengthy as well as an intriguing event where 60 matches are played in period of 47 days. Many brands dish out hefty amounts to create a campaign and garner eyeballs during the tournament. Fatigue can be an issue, feels Banerjee, "The challenge is always to stand out in a relevant way in a dynamic environment. For this period especially, it is possible for consumers to see the same ads multiple number of times, possibly leading to fatigue. Over time, Vodafone has developed a unique way of storytelling based on multiplicity of creatives, bonded together by a central idea, so that consumers see fresh ideas in delightful ways. 2016 was about Vodafone Supernet. This year, in 2017, consumers will see the adventures of our couple - Bala & Asha, making the most of now as the cricket season progresses," he opines.

Rajiv Rao

Three videos are already shot, "We need to shoot 3 more ads in the campaign. The key thing here is the cast. They need to hold people's attention for 2 months without boring them. Since the stories are simple and the chemistry between the couple is disarming, we hope people are looking forward to see more of them," says Rajiv Rao, creative director, Ogilvy and Mather.

The "most difficult" part of the six film campaign to be shot in Goa, was to get the right cast, says Rao. "After going through numerous screen tests across several cities, we were finally lucky to find a real life couple. The fact that they have never been to Goa made the whole deal a lot sweeter," he adds.

Nilesh Vaidya

The quintessential 'aji-azooba' have become a popular communication tool in ad land ... is it over used. "Doesn't matter ..." says Nilesh Vaidya, director, Workship Communications "... how many times the endearing device of an elderly couple has been used in advertising. What matters is how you use them and this one was not surprising at all. Nicely produced films, but that's the only thing I'll remember about them."

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