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January 15, 2014

Iconic and Innovative advertising campaign - An IDEA can change your Life!

Indian Telecom industry is one of the most vibrant, dynamic and market driven sectors on the world. Thus it is not surprising that Indian Telecom especially Indian Mobile handset sector and telecom operators have contributed some of the most iconic and path breaking advertising campaigns that the world has witnessed. Indian Telecom industry has given birth to the now world  famous pug campaign of Hutch – Vodafone (where ever you go out network follows) and Vodafone Zoo Zoos.

Equally path breaking and iconic are the advertisements done for Idea cellular –by Lintas Lowe. An IDEA can change your Life. The series of advertisements mostly done by Abhishek Bacchan have become famous and attained cult image status.

We will be examining 15 of the IDEA cellular advertisements in detail. We will examine the issue/s  tackled by each advertisement
 IDEA – Sarpanch: The first of the advertisements and the one that spawned the entire series. The advertisement is about a village that is riddled with casteism and warring factions who are at each other’s castes. The Sarpanch rules that no longer would anybody be called by their caste. Rather they would be known only by their mobile numbers. This ensures equality in the village. Would people like to be known by their mobile numbers? I don’t think so – people love their names and their individuality. But a great creative!
 IDEA telephone exchange – (Mother and son): This advertisements starts off with a mother and her son having differences of opinion. The lady’s husband cleverly exchanges their similar looking phones for a day. At the end of the day both mother and her son realize that the other point of view and become compassionate.
 IDEA telephone exchange – (husband and wife): This advertisement starts off with husband and wife having differences of opinion. Their son cleverly exchanges their similar looking phones for a day. At the end of the day both husband and wife realize that the other person’s job is not easy and become compassionate.
 IDEA Language barrier:  so how do people from different languages communicate with each other? The advertisement opens with a set of friends who are posted in various parts of India. And adding salt to the wound is that they do not know the local language. The problem is solved by helping each other, for e.g. a Bengali in Kerala helps a Keralite posted Kolkata and gets help from the Malayali friend to get over a problem that she faces in Kerala. And this brilliant idea is given by a deaf and dumb attender in a local dabba. A great concept. Communication has no language barriers.
 IDEAEducation for all: Tackles the issue of educating the poorest of the poor in India. Even though the solutions are too pat and cinematic they touch a cord and are definitely worth a viewing.  
 IDEA – Public service advertisement: Talks about driving and being safe. The advertisement urges people not to talk on mobile while driving. Relevant even today.  It comes as a wakeup call to the generation of mobile phone users who are engrossed in their music, radio, texting or talking. All these are very deadly and could cause serious consequences.    
 IDEA – Raksha Bandan: A smart alerky advertisement. It shows how a young girl gets rid of her stalkers by cleverly using the Indian festival of Raksha Bandan to her advantage
 IDEA - over population: IDEA came out with thought provoking way of reducing population in India. The solution IDEA 3 G.  
 IDEA – Save paper: One of the advertisements that touched on the vital issue of deforestation and losing forest cover. Idea shows innovative methods of reducing usage of paper and thus saving paper and trees.  
 IDEA – Holi:  A clever advertisement that promotes Holi as a national festival. The actual  motivation is to make non Holi playing Indians to play Holi and make more voice calls, send SMSes and MMSes and  yield more business for IDEA.
 IDEA – Diwali:  A clever advertisement that promotes Diwali as a national festival. The actual motivation is to make non Hindus embrace Diwali and make more voice calls, send SMSes and MMSes and yield more business for IDEA.
 IDEA – Number portability: A clever advertisement that drives in forcefully the concept of number portability. 
 IDEA – walk while you talk:  The series of advertisements that were very close to the advertisement agency and to IDEA. Walk while you talk. IDEA wanted to promote the idea of health consciousness. That is if you walk while you talk it would burn calories and make the users healthier and thin. But wise sense prevailed and IDEA has since dropped this tack of promoting its mobile services. Walking and talking is very dangerous as walkers who talk tend to concentrate on talking and might not be very alert to the surroundings. They could become very easy prey to thieves, stalkers and might even injure themselves. 
 IDEA – Valentine day: A heart touching advertisement of an old man who brings a rose to his (heartless) wife on Valentine ’s Day. Romance has no age – right IDEA!
IDEA – Talk for India: The advertisement that created a huge controversy. This advertisement was released on the first anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The advertisement urges Indians to talk about an hour about the attacks on the 26/11. It touched the heart strings of the Indians. The advertisement says that on the fateful attack day entire India fell silent. But on the 1st anniversary, the advertisement urges all India to talk about the attack for an hour. IDEA promised that the income thus generated would be donated to the Indian Police force for its better safety gear.  Way to go IDEA. 

All in all a great series that very cleverly tell us that there are many ways to promote and make people buy our product or services. The longevity of the series (since discontinued) is a testimony of the creativity of the team at Lintas-Lowe.

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