What an Idea, without Sirji

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SummaryIdea’s latest campaign delivers the most basic yet critical message of communal harmony in the simplest and sweetest of forms, neither preachy nor overbearing, but laced with a slice-of-life kind of humour.

Campaign: Idea Festive Campaigns

Brand: Idea

Company: Idea Cellular

Agency: Lowe Lintas

The Campaign

The first TV commercial shows a Muslim man standing outside a shop and looking at prices of various watches. He is disappointed as they are all beyond what he can afford. The shopkeeper then shows him a card declaring a 50% Diwali discount, and also wishes him ‘Happy Diwali’. The man rushes in, purchases the watch and hugs the shopkeeper. He then sends a picture of it from his phone to his wife with a ‘Happy Diwali’ message. The ad ends with a voice-over, “Dharam jo bhi ho, har tyauhar manaana acha idea hai.” (Whatever be the religion, it’s a good idea to enjoy every festival).

The second ad starts with a Hindu couple at their house. The wife asks her husband to take a day off from work to which the husband agrees instantly, much to the wife’s surprise. He further declares that the two will go out for lunch. As they reach the restaurant and the wife prepares to get off the car, she gets an “Eid Mubaarak” message from Idea. She then goes and calls her husband’s bluff of taking an off on a holiday. Dumbfounded, he hugs his wife and wishes her “Eid Mubaarak”. The ad ends with a voice-over, “Dharam jo bhi ho, har tyauhar manaana acha idea hai.”

Our Take

Wait a minute. Where’s Abhishek Bachchan in these ads? Wasn’t ‘Sirji’ a quintessential ingredient for Idea to even ‘get an idea’? Keeping with the festive spirit of the campaign, maybe he’s a part of the 50% Diwali discount, the hero of the first spot. Junior Bachchan was as much embossed in the telecom operator’s brand identity as its logo and the melodic signature tune, which has to be among the most recognisable, and likeable I may add, among Indian brands. He clicked for Idea, and Idea clicked for him with both the brand and the brand ambassador marking their own distinctly enviable territory in Indian advertising. However, this campaign, retaining the core of Idea’s beyond telecom advertising which has mostly been laced with a larger message for society,

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