A new partnership

Written by Banasree Purkayastha | Updated: Aug 12 2014, 07:26am hrs
Campaign: The Smartphone Network

Brand: Airtel

Company : Bharti Airtel

Agency: Taproot India

The Campaign

The film opens with a lady sitting in her office talking to her team. She firmly tells them that a particular assignment has to be completed by the end of the day, over-ruling all protests from her team members. She is then seen leaving office in her chauffeur-driven car. On the way, she calls up her husband and asks him what he would like for dinner. On reaching home, she quickly makes a dish meal and calls her husband to come home soon, trying to convince him with a video of the sumptuous dish that is laid out on the table. The twist in the tale is now revealed as we see her husbandthe same man who is part of the team working late picking up her call.

Our Take

Its not everyday that you see an ad getting people all worked up. Social media has been abuzz with viewers debating the positives and negatives of this ad, calling it sexist, modern, retrograde, realistic and so on. Airtel has had the reputation of coming out with brand campaigns that get people talking (pun intended). On that score, this ad is certainly no different.

But coming back to the subject of the ad, one does wonder what the brouhaha is all about. Here, instead of the husband as the lord and master, we have a wife whos the boss. And the husband is cool about it. Many a time, we read about men quitting their jobs to join their wives successful business units. So how do you think the power equation plays out there And the dynamics at home As for the wife coming back home and cooking, well, cooking is supposed to be a stressbuster! On a more serious note, it does not require a complete overhaul to herald a revolution, tiny changes are enough to

do the trick.

What is actually pertinent but gets lost in the din is Airtels subtle reworking of its target group. If Airtel was seen as a youth brand after its hugely popular Har ek friend zaroori hai campaign, with this ad it is going after a new set of customers. This time, Airtel is talking to the older, well-heeled audience instead of the youth the target group that uses the smartphone without keeping a constant eye on the bills. As part of the campaign, the brand plans to follow up this ad with a set of short commercials emphasizing the strengths of the Airtel data network across parameters such as faster video streaming, longer battery life, etc. The new campaign also introduces a fresh design element as part of Airtels brand identity which has been created by Wolf Ollins, a leading global brand design and consultancy firm.