Abid Hussain Barlaskar

ixigo calls out ‘covid idiots’

And, is it Javed Akhtar’s voice reciting the VO? There is a story there. ixigo has maintained its unique execution here, too.

Mat bano fool, ghar par rehna is cool” - reads the caption of a post of OTA (online travel aggregator) brand ixigo’s latest social media update. The post, a video, defines 'covid idiots', or ‘covidiots’. According to Urban Dictionary, a 'covidiot' is someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health, or safety. The video is a collection of various scenarios where people are seen flaunting the guidelines of social distancing and the national lockdown. The voice-over (VO) is a Hindi poem, which is inspired by the one recited by Farhan Akhtar in the movie 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara'. The ad's copy was written by the brand's in-house team.

Apart from the low production value, the other interesting thing about the execution is the VO. The voice is a mimicry of poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. Just like most of ixigo’s content, where employees pool in talent, this VO, too, was done by one of the brand’s designers.

Aashish Chopra, VP, content marketing, ixigo, tells afaqs! that the term ‘covidiot’ surfaced during the ‘Janta Curfew’. “We researched and found about 30 types and later chose six of them for the video.”

Aashish Chopra
Aashish Chopra

Speaking on the VO, Chopra says that it was announced on the office WhatsApp group. All those in the group were asked on who could execute it. He adds that the video was a result of the lockdown, when ideas had to be executed without venturing outside. “It was like work-from-home on steroids. We are figuring out ideas which are low on production value and high on storytelling, something that does not require shooting,” he says.

The brand has maintained its style of educating consumers in a witty manner. ixigo's previous works include videos around the etiquettes of flying and staying at a hotel. Chopra himself featured in one of the videos. “People share for their reasons, and not the brand’s reasons. Also, it’s the creator’s duty to improvise and find a way around the challenge,” he signs off.