Rashmi Menon

MTS: Busy connection

MTS's latest campaign promoting its 'Always Talk' plan was Rediffusion-Y&R's last campaign for the brand.

Connectivity notwithstanding, mobile phones can also test one's patience when the called phone is busy. MTS' new campaign shows this insight in a new light to promote its 'Always Talk' plan for its prepaid voice customers. The campaign also introduces actor Imran Khan as the brand's ambassador.

MTS: Busy connection
MTS: Busy connection
MTS: Busy connection
MTS: Busy connection
This is MTS' first big television campaign for this year. The brand's last big campaign was for its data product MBlaze, which was launched in October, 2012.

Conceptualised by Rediffusion-Y&R, the current campaign comprises five films titled 'Wedding', 'Pumpkin', 'Politician', 'Kidnap' and 'Hostel'. All of them portray different situations that emphasise the effects of having MTS's 'Always Talk' plan in a humorous way. In 'Kidnap', Khan tries to reach his family as the kidnappers point a gun at him. Despite trying several times, the called number shows busy. Khan then says that this is expected when you are on the brand's new plan.

Interestingly, the music is catchy and captures the frustration of Khan while trying to reach the other person. It is composed by Dhruv Ghanekar, founder of Blue Frog. The production house is Old School Films.

Amitesh Rao, director, brand and media, MTS India, says that the 'Always Talk' plan is for heavy users of voice, who rely on their phone for personal or professional reasons, including traders, small businessmen, college goers or people for whom their phone is an extension of their personality.

"The idea behind the campaign is that the users of 'Always Talk' plan get to maximise their talk time on the phone so much that it will be hard for other people to get through to them," Rao explains. As for choosing Imran Khan as the brand's ambassador, Rao says that the actor cuts through young and mass audience, which is also the target group that MTS aims to leverage.

While agreeing that there is very little differentiation between brands when it comes to voice plans, Rao says that MTS provides a fantastic offer with the plan that comprises unlimited MTS to MTS calls along with up to 1000 minutes free local calls to other networks.

Sam Ahmed, chief creative officer and vice-chairman, Rediffusion-Y&R, says, "MTS was launching a simple, hassle-free 'Always Talk' plan that was being priced aggressively in the market. Hence, we knew that our creative execution had to be as simple and memorable. We chose a unique approach of humour combined with a twist in the end. In the ad, everyone that Imran Khan tries to call is busy on another call, and in the end, Khan is frustrated with the situation. So, for the first time, we see a brand ambassador being upset with the brand he is endorsing. This twist is used as a vehicle to convey the idea that MTS consumers can keep on talking on an MTS network. The client was brave enough to trust us on this idea and I think it has turned out beautifully."

The music was crafted to take the humour in the ad up by a few notches, making the tune catchy and memorable, Ahmed adds.

The six week campaign has television as the lead medium, with strong focus on regional television channels. The commercials will be aired on Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Bengali channels. Besides TV, the campaign will also be supported by digital, radio, road shows and outdoor, for visibility and frequency build up. The brand may come up with a print campaign depending on the reach in select markets.

MTS: Busy connection
MTS provides services across nine circles in India, which includes Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.

Voicing it

Sham Ramachandran, executive creative director, Grey India, believes that the campaign is quite entertaining, despite being a hackneyed plot. "While the message 'Always Talk' does come through but perhaps when you watch it a second time," he says. For Ramachandran, 'Politician' nailed the campaign for it reflected reality and 'Hostel' was the weakest of the lot.

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