Devina Joshi

Tata Indicom True Paid sticks to the basics

The latest series of ads seems to have worked well for the mobile phone company as it claims to have achieved a 50 per cent growth in volume sales

Sourav Ganguly and Irfan Pathan made a breathless effort to sing the features of a Tata Indicom phone in a single TVC, but the effort was futile as it failed to add to the company’s sales figures.

While the ‘Breathless’ commercial had many features, none of them could really register with the viewer. That’s when the company realised that its communication needed to focus on a single product feature in each ad, rather than crowd everything into one. And thus came the first TVC, ‘Insaan Phone Leta Hai Baat Karne Ke Liye’, which conveyed the message that phones are meant primarily for talking.

The first commercial featuring film stars Ajay Devgan and Kajol had the duo in a lower middle class avatar, approaching a shopkeeper to buy a mobile phone with the most talk time. Through an interesting series of events, the shopkeeper tries to dupe them with other alluring options, but Kajol manages to catch him in his act and ensure that they get an honest deal.

As Abdul Khan, vice-president, marketing, Tata Indicom, says, “The idea behind the first Kajol-Ajay Devgan campaign was to reach out to the low-end consumer, be it a painter, a vegetable vendor or a plumber. And for this segment of consumers, the basic use of a mobile phone is just talking. All other value-added features are pointless for them.”

Prasoon Joshi, regional creative director, South and South East Asia, McCann-Erickson, says, “Generally, there is a perception among consumers that pre-paid mobile services are expensive. We just wanted to dispel this notion because Tata Indicom True Paid offers maximum talk time. This is how we came up with the tagline, ‘Insaan Phone Leta Hai Baat Karne Ke Liye’.”

Similarly, in the second TVC, the communication was focused on the ‘0123’ prepaid tariff plan, where the couple educates the masses about the plan by singing it through a classic Kishore Kumar melody. As per this plan, to make calls from one Tata Indicom phone to another (intra-circle), the cost is nil. To call from a Tata Indicom to any other cellular service, the cost is Re 1. From a Tata Indicom phone to any landline, or to make an STD call, the cost of the call is Rs 2 and Rs 3, respectively. Hence, the ‘0123’ plan.

The third commercial in the series had Kajol as a newsroom anchor, speaking to her ‘correspondent’ on the field, Ajay Devgan, about a breaking news story. The news is that Tata Indicom True Paid has launched the ‘Non Stop Mobile’ scheme .As per the scheme, even if a Tata Indicom True Paid user does not charge his cell phone for two years, he will still get incoming calls free. The fourth and latest ‘Chaman-Raman’ commercial is an extension of the same scheme.

Khan explains, “The strategy behind the Kajol-Ajay Devgan commercials is to bring the brand alive by converting product features into a benefit. So, each of the commercials tells an entertaining brand story. The insight for the first commercial was that at the time of purchasing a mobile phone, the husband and the wife have specific roles to play. So, we thought, why not leverage on a real-life husband and wife team? We zeroed in on this popular Bollywood couple, as the story had to be enacted in an entertaining and fun manner.”

Joshi says Kajol and Ajay Devgan are a perfect fit with the brand. He remarks, “I must admit that before they came into the picture, the communication was not able to cut ice with the consumers. What we needed was newness and mass appeal in order to connect with the viewers.”

“Besides, the duo stand for the same values and nuances as the brand: family values, wanting to be in constant touch with loved ones and a sense of togetherness,” adds Joshi.

But the fourth and latest commercial in this series twists the positioning a bit. Although it is consistent with its predecessors in terms of having the same comic undertones and using the two celebs, this time, the positioning has been altered to ‘Insaan Phone Leta Hai Tarakki Karne Ke Liye (A Mobile Phone is Bought to Succeed in Life)’.

The latest TVC opens on a split screen, showing Ajay Devgan in a double role as two neighbouring vegetable vendors, Chaman and Raman. The two are shown making a modest beginning together in their careers. While Chaman is portrayed as a loser with an ordinary mobile phone, Raman owns a Tata Indicom True Paid phone (with the ‘Non-Stop Mobile’ service offering) gifted by his wife, played by Kajol.

Through a series of shots (including some animated frames), Raman and Kajol are shown upgrading their lifestyle and climbing up the ladder of success by effectively servicing their clientele over their Tata Indicom phone, whereas Chaman’s pre-paid validity goes on expiring just when he needs to make important calls, which results in him missing out on several opportunities.

In classic ‘filmi’ fashion, two years later, Chaman sees Raman and his wife in their bungalow, celebrating their success with their Japanese clients. Interestingly, a jingle, sung by Prasoon Joshi himself, plays throughout the commercial, which goes, ‘Do Saal Tak Chal Chala Chal (It Goes on Non-stop for Two Years)’.

Feeling sorry for his old friend, Raman gifts the dejected Chaman a Tata Indicom True Paid phone. Kajol cites the reason for this: ‘Kyunki Insaan Phone Leta Hai Tarakki Karne Ke Liye’.

What brought about this change in positioning? “It’s not a change really,” clarifies Joshi. “It has just been tweaked a bit. It is a new way of popularising the facility that for two years, incoming calls are free, without having to recharge one’s mobile.”

Talking about the latest advert vis-à-vis its predecessors, Joshi says, “This one is more experimental than the others. For instance, we have experimented with animation for the first time. In addition, the narrative is almost like watching a full-fledged Bollywood ‘masala’ flick. The advert has a beginning and the story develops to a point where it reaches a dramatic conclusion, just like it is in feature films.”

“Also, the humour in the commercial is almost bizarre. Look at the way the Japanese clients are shown dancing. Or see the way the character of Chaman is portrayed as a loser, the way he keeps on blinking and chewing on carrots. It was a deliberate attempt on our part to go over the top in the treatment of the film. This is because we wanted to infuse freshness into the campaign,” Joshi adds.

Khan of Tata Indicom feels that it is the entertainment and the story in each commercial that will set the brand apart from the rest. Agrees Joshi, “This advert takes the brand one step further, as it further consolidates what the brand stands for. It re-asserts the thought that what is the point of having a phone if one can’t use it when one most needs to? That is where Tata Indicom True Paid steps in, as it is easy, economical and an enjoyable talking experience.”

The first TVC of this campaign seems to have worked well for the company. As Harish Bhat, president, marketing, Tata Teleservices, says, “After the ‘0123’ advert, we experienced a 30 per cent increase in new acquisitions of subscribers. Our overall aim with the Kajol-Ajay Devgan campaign was to achieve a growth of 50 per cent in terms of sales volume. We can now say that we have achieved more than 50 per cent already.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

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