Ubaid Zargar

Idea's new campaign rekindles 'What An Idea' tagline

Idea has launched a new campaign under its vintage theme of 'What an Idea'. The campaign aims to highlight the prevalence of unemployment and underemployment in Indian society. Here is an overview.

Telecom brand Idea has unveiled its latest campaign titled 'Not working? Try NETworking'. Carrying the brand's trademark tagline 'What an Idea', the campaign comprises three TVCs.

Conceptualised and crafted by BBDO India, the campaign addresses issues of unemployment and underemployment. The brand has unveiled the three TVCs, aiming to highlight the impact social media can have in enabling people to find work.

Depicting a photographer's dry spell at work, the storyline takes the camera-equipped character to a saree shop where he pitches the shopkeeper with an idea of taking his business to digital avenues. The ad film then transitions into a montage of how the effort benefits both the parties, with both the shop and the owner going viral across social media. The campaign will see presence on Television, Radio and Digital media.

Historically, Idea has often delved into matters of national concern. From education to language barriers, the 'What an Idea' tagline has shouldered many such causes - all the while positioning the brand's services as enablers in societal change. For instance, here are a couple of vintage ad films by Idea.

While the chain of 'What an Idea' campaigns has had a significant impact on brand identity, the 'idea' somehow dwindled over time. The ads surfaced in 2008-09, with Abhishek Bachchan as the face of the campaigns. Since then, the brand has had many campaigns beyond this series. But the tagline has now reappeared.

With Vodafone and Idea having merged for more than a year now, we wondered how this new campaign would fit into the collective identity of the brands. We got in touch with the brand to get some insights on the campaign and its execution. Speaking about the communication and its coherence with the Vodafone-Idea identity, Kavita Nair, chief digital transformation and brand officer, Vodafone Idea, says, “Vodafone Idea has maintained that it continues to follow the dual brand strategy and both the brands – Idea and Vodafone co-exist.”

Commenting on how the idea for the campaign was conceived, Nair says, “Taking the 'What an Idea' theme ahead, the ‘NOT working? Try NETworking!’ campaign showcases the myriad opportunities that internet, through Idea 4G network, throws open to people from different age groups and socio-economic backgrounds, across India.”

She adds, “The campaign was conceived basis real life insights into unemployment and underemployment amongst educated, qualified youth. There also co-exists in parallel, a huge demand-supply gap for the skilled workforce with several graduates not able to find commensurate jobs. Taking a leaf from these topical insights, the campaign portrays the internet as a fabulous medium to network and connect with people.”

Expert review:

Ramakrishna Desiraju (Ramki) chief executive officer, Cartwheel

Idea's new campaign rekindles 'What An Idea' tagline

This is a classic Idea ad - using a generic category benefit, but with its signature spin on it. And like many of its predecessors, this catchphrase is memorable too. The storyline grows on you. The characters are relatable, and so is their predicament. The saree seller modelling his own garments is a gimmick that can very credibly go viral. So full points there too.

Idea has always used generic benefits in their advertising. It's a tried and trusted strategy for them. No reason for them to abandon that. There will always be new problems that mobile internet can solve, and Idea need never run out of, well, ideas.

Santosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer, Taproot Dentsu

Idea's new campaign rekindles 'What An Idea' tagline

I like the story which is woven around the phone, impacting lives of both the characters. And that’s the reality of how phones are impacting many traditional businesses in today’s world. But many brands have claimed or demonstrated the power of networking/social media before, that too in more interesting and engaging ways. So, to me the premise is not fresh. It’s a nice piece of film without an ownership and role of brand.

Akanksha Patankar Mirji, marketing communication storyteller and trainer

Idea's new campaign rekindles 'What An Idea' tagline

In the modern day and age, it is necessary for brands to utilise storytelling in the best way possible. What it essentially means is - A good story combines relevance, characters, context and deep themes. The ad is relevant given the current usage of internet across the nation. The characters are the two gentlemen. If you notice, there is an age gap between them too. It is contextual, considering unemployment as a concern across the nation. Deep Themes - it covers multiple themes right from unemployment to more open mindedness, et cetera.