Do these ads make you want to use Google Maps?

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital
Published : November 18, 2016
'Jab traffic ka haal badalta hai, toh sadke rang badalti hai' goes the brand, referencing the red-blue lines that indicate traffic levels on the map.

For the people who own cars and drive it on a daily basis, what is the first thing that comes to your mind the moment you start the ignition? It is either the traffic problems on the road and the parking issues that you have to deal with after reaching your destination. But how many of these drivers up use Google Maps to navigate their journey smartly?

Google Maps, a mobile app that helps you with satellite imagery, street maps, street view, real-time traffic conditions and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle or public transportation has come up with two TV commercials #LookBeforeYouLeave, with Google Maps that addresses the issues of how traffic can be an issue for the people owning cars and how the app can help them solve this issue by showing an alternative and faster route to reach their destination easily.

The ads have been conceptualised by Lowe Lintas and are currently on the digital platform and soon be aired on TV. An outdoor campaign is also in the works.

The first ad titled 'The Cricket Match: #LookBeforeYouLeave, with Google Maps', shows how traffic in a cricket crazy nation such as ours can get out of hand. The crowd outside an electronic store, airing the live match, can cause trouble to a person driving in his car through that street. But thanks to Google Maps, the rider can easily see which roads have been impacted due to traffic and the app helps him with an alternative and faster route to reach his destination.

In the second ad 'The Indian Wedding: #LookBeforeYouLeave, with Google Maps', once again a desi insight has been depicted. Just as a man is about to get into his car, he sees that the street ahead is blocked by a 'baraat' (wedding procession). He quickly access Google Maps and takes the faster route that is suggested by the app.

Arun Iyer

We asked Arun Iyer, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, if there was a particular plan of portraying desi insights of how a cricket loving nation and a 'baraat' can create traffic on the streets. "Not really," he says, "The thought was that in India, the roads are unpredictable. And the changing colours on the map from blue to red is a play on this very fact." The hindi line in the ad says, 'jab traffic ka haal badalta hai, toh sadke rang badalti hain'. "That line has a literal and cultural meaning," he shares. The thought was to encourage people to check Google Maps before they leave/drive so that they can plan their trip knowing which route would be their best bet.

Talking about the challenges, Iyer says, "We wanted to come out with the relevance of what difference the app can make in our lives."

The ads specifically shows the car owners who are checking the app for traffic and a better route. So we asked Iyer if this ad was specifically for those who own cars and not the ones who take a cab?

He says, "No, there is no emphasis to that. It is that anybody who gets impacted by traffic can use Google Maps. In these ads shows people who are driving their own cars but the app is for anybody who gets impacted by traffic." "So even if you take a cab, it doesn't stop you from giving the cab driver a heads up and suggesting the next best route," says Iyer. "I think people are intelligent enough to interpret it that they can use it in multiple phases," he continues.

Rajiv Dingra

We asked our digital expert Rajiv Dingra, founder and chief executive officer, WATConsult, a digital arm of Dentsu Aegis Network, if Google Maps was targeting the audience by showing the desi insights in the ad.

Dingra says, "Clearly, Google across the world follows a localised ad policy. Especially in India since the Google Search: Reunion ad it has been ensuring that it builds ads based on local insights."

Adding about the execution, Dingra says, "I think the execution is on point and effective. It may not be creatively path breaking but it does the job of driving the message through. The copy is very sharp as it communicates the colour coded features of Google Maps in showing traffic versus free roads. Also the hashtag #LookBeforeYouLeave, with Google Maps is perfect as a call-to-action for the product. Also showing a kali pili cab would have been a nice iteration."

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