It may still be a long way to go to reach the iconic status of that ad line – “You have come a long way, baby!!!” of Virginia Slims cigarette but this line – “What an Idea, Sirji??” is for sure within India atleast getting there as one of the most memorable ad lines of our times. And for the campaign itself the silver lining was the use of SMS poll among people by the Aam Admi Party (Now don’t ask me what’s this :) :) ) to check if they should form the Government in Delhi or not. And not surprisingly Idea cellular re-ran their old TVC with a changed voice over – “Dilli mein Sarkar banana chahiye???” Smart stuff.
In part 3 of this series –“Ideas Mela” – What an Idea, Sirji?? ,(you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here and here) I talk about few more campaigns which have used media differently and smartly to take their messages across to their target audience.
At the airports these days (Mumbai for sure) it is difficult to miss the branding presence of a new travel portal called Musafir.com with Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. Instead of plain vanilla panels and standees,.. Musafir has deployed quite a few Mobile charging terminals with their branding ofcourse in vantage points at the airport – a great way to connect with aspirational travelling public.
On the 26th Dec, 2013, the Times of India newspaper became “Engines of India” thanks to the Half Flap innovation. The ad for Honda City engines I think hit the bull’s eye with just that one release.
Talking of Times of India and innovation, the other good idea which comes to my mind is of Oral B Toothpaste. On the 6th of Jan, 2014, they reproduced the 1st page of yesteryear TOI paper of 6th Jan 1963 with a half page ad for Oral B toothpaste which said – “You wouldn’t want yesterday’s newspaper. Why would you want yesterday’s toothpaste???” taking a dig at their longstanding archrival Colgate!
Oflate, I have noticed that PVR Cinemas have become showcase for interesting creativity. In my last post I remember sharing an instance. They have interesting ways of plugging promos of upcoming movies in the movie hall. For example, as part of their package of commercials before the movie, they show clips on maintaining theatre etiquette,… (no cell phones, no smoking,..) I remember when I went to watch a movie in January the film Gunday was about to be released. The pre-show clips were featuring the Gunday stars – Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. This doubles up as social messaging as well as promos for the new movies.
But in terms of social messaging, this one by the Mumbai Municipal authorities I think tops the chart. In order to deter people from boarding and alighting from running trains, the authorities used artists dressed up as “Yamaraja” to communicate the perils of such stupid acts to commuters in Railway stations. I am not sure, how many days they did this. But the sheer PR mileage you extract of such ideas is enough to keep this on top of the mind for few days.
Advertising in Cabs or Cabvertising is fusty stuff these days. We see this very commonly for many brands. But what Ambi Pur, a car freshener product did was interesting and is worth mentioning. Apart from using the car freshener in the cabs, which creates an interest among people, they also went one step ahead of selling the product if customer is interested at the end of the ride in the cab itself. Brands these days are using the sort of time available during a car ride to sample their products as well as even sell like Ambi Pur did.
The recent Loksabha elections indicated that political advertising has come of age in India. With the use of different media and platforms, brands – parties in this case in particular the BJP took political advertising to a completely different level. Sample this. On the day the BJP manifesto was released, I tweeted a message with #BJPManifesto and lo I get a direct message from Narendra Modi’s handle with a link to the party manifesto!!! Also among various other media which the party used, I read about the party distributing large “branded” umbrellas to road side vendors,.. to beat the summer heat at Varanasi where Narendra Modi was contesting. That the umbrella is a metaphor for protection was not lost on people I would surmise.
Can you imagine a FMCG company running a radio station? Well that’s what Hindustan Unilever does in India. The country’s largest consumer goods maker has come up with a free radio-on-demand service to reach out to villagers in remote areas. And it seems its lone channel — Kan Khajura Tesan, or ‘centipede station’ — is already the largest radio station in Bihar in terms of subscribers. This is how it works. Any mobile phone user in Bihar can give a missed call to a specific number to immediately get a return call that will play Kan Khajura Tesan for 15 minutes. Besides a series of entertainment programmes, the channel of course plays advertisements of HUL brands. Apart from reaching the message across of its products, the company also gets to know who is listening which is the missing link in mass media advertising. Kan Khajura Tesan – I think this takes the cake for “What an Idea, Sirji??”
P.S : Talking of Ideas and their impact – One Spelling mistake in the title of the book made it an instant hit helping to sell millions of copies in just few days and the mistaken title was “An idea can change your wife” :) :) – What a mistake, Sirji???