Shreyas Kulkarni

Anurag Kashyap and Vaani Kapoor focus on Redmi Note 11's display, nothing else

The ad, made by DDB Mudra, continues the tradition of highlighting just one feature of a smartphone than the entire device.

In a smartphone category cluttered with alternatives every Rs 500, even the smallest of features that let a device stand out is promoted with the vigour of a presidential campaign.

Chinese smartphone maker Redmi’s new ad serves one singular purpose - to highlight the AMOLED display of the Redmi Note 11 Series.

Using indifference as a theme, director Anurag Kashyap shoots an ad with a duplicate Vaani Kapoor because why should he cast the real actress in an expensively shot ad when people consume entertainment over smartphones with a poor display? The real Kapoor, sitting next to the director, during his tirade then pitches the Note 11 Series’ AMOLED display.

DDB Mudra made this ad. It was, however, made on a project basis. A couple of months ago, Momo Media made an ad for the same feature of the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G and used the Tide’s iconic ‘Chaunk Gaye’ trope to tout the superior display.

Xiaomi, as per Counterpoint Research, leads the Indian smartphone market with a 23% market share in Q1 2022 followed closely by Samsung at 20%. The gap is not too wide and hence the urge to stand out even using the tiniest of differentiators.

It is something which does not make the lives of agencies any easier. Sooraj Pillai, senior creative director, DDB Mudra spoke to afaqs! about this very challenge.

1. How challenging is it to create a story and pull off an ad when you’ve to highlight just a single part rather than the entirety of a device?

I don’t think it’s a challenge at all. It’s more like a puzzle a creative agency should solve. We are in the business of communication. So whether it’s communicating a single feature or an array of features, the intention is always to create something engaging and entertaining for the audience to enjoy and remember.

2. Because Xiaomi works with multiple partners, how do you make sure the tonality, theme, and feel of the communication remain consistent?

Xiaomi has a large portfolio of products ranging from premium to an economy cadre of phones and electronic goods. Obviously, in such cases, one cannot resort to a single tonality or approach.

We assess the business problem at hand and try and provide an effective narrative which can solve that particular problem. And in that attempt, we don’t mind breaking the guardrails of tone and manner.

3. Should consumers, going forward, expect such communication (focus on one feature of a device or aspect of service) from categories with too many players? Is there any other way from a creative lens?

In this category, the consumers are much aware of the specifics of the product even before they get exposed to the communication. So, it becomes very important to have a sharper take on the product. The purchasing decision is always based on a specific offering the phone has. Therefore, it makes sense to keep the idea sharper and focused on specific features.

Also, the sharpness of the communication is directly proportionate to the sharpness of the milestone set in the beginning. I have always seen this approach working much better than trying to communicate everything in one attempt or having multiple-goal posts.

Have news to share? Write to us