Simple solutions to simple problems

Written by Malabika Sarkar | Malabika Sarkar | Updated: Aug 25 2009, 07:06am hrs
Its difficult to resist the easy option. While champions of technological advancement suggest that it makes way for higher output, others argue that laziness becomes the repercussion of mans own craft. Let the two sides argue, Idea Cellular is professing a simple way to get around the issue. It has launched a new ad campaign that highlights a simple and effective solution of staying fit and healthy while using technologyin this case the mobile phone. Walk. Yes, the simplest form of physical exercise, walk. Keep walking as you talk on your mobile phone and see the difference. Because we do seem to spend a lot of time talking on the mobile phone these days.

The ad opens with the shot of brand ambassador, Abhishek Bachchan, being accosted by a television journalist who wants to know if technology is indeed making mankind lazy. Dr Bachchan is zapped: Technology does make things easier and makes hard labour more and more ineffective, isnt it It takes him a while to come up with an idea. He says, of course not, if you know how to use technology cleverly. True, we have less manual labour, but that hasnt limited our physical potential at all. So why dont we take a walk while talking on the phone.

In the next sequence, we have Dr Bachchan sitting in his chamber swatting flies because he has no patientspeople are simply becoming fitter.

Guess how They have taken his advice seriously and are actually walking while talking on their mobile phones.

Theres a reason why the campaign seems to have caught on. One, it is a simple idea. Two, it is commonplace to find people lamenting that pressures at workbe it in office or at homeleaves then with little time to indulge in a fitness regime. This seems to take that problem head on. We feel that if the time people spend on talking on the phone is used for walking as well, it can have a positive effect on the health of people, says Pradeep Shrivastava, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular. The brand communication brief to the agency was to come up with a champion idea, which has the power to change the society by offering a simple and effective solution to problems.

Following last years campaign on rural education and e mpowerment of the ordinary citizen through the cell phone, the Walk when you Talk campaign was launched in the last week of June 2009 on Hindi general entertainment channels. It went on-air on regional channels after a week. It will go on air for eight to 10 weeks. Created by Lowe, the campaign was shot at many locations including Whistling Woods Studio, a commercial complex, a mall, office premises, highway, and a small village located 200 km from Mumbai.

The company has planned a 360 degree campaign including television, print, outdoor and the digital media. Is has also initiated a range of on-ground activities around the theme, Walk & Talk, to mobilise people across different walks of life, age-groups and societies and get them to walk for fitness. Idea Cellular executives insist every campaign from Idea reinforces the core philosophy of the brand: An idea can change your life. Our effort has been, and continues to be, to make Idea Cellular a champion brand. Thus, all our campaigns are aimed at demonstrating the power of an idea by looking at mobile telephony and what it can do, in a way thats fresh, imaginative and elevating, says Shrivastava.

As part of the campaign, Idea Cellular has launched a website, WalkWhen- YouTalk., through which the company encourages mobile phone users to walk while they talk on their mobile phones.

It is only logical that the campaign would travel outdoors. One of the outdoor executions can be seen at bus shelters and gantries across cities. This displays a series of LED figures of people standing in a queue. The figures seem to be holding their mobilephones to their ears. A sequential lighting system has been used, where two people are lit up at the same time. The lights keep moving down the line in such a way that it seems the two people are walking across the display panel. There are many other OOH concept-based innovations that have been executed across big cities and smaller towns.

Idea Cellular, part of Aditya Birla Group, has over 48 million subscribers in 17 service areas across India. The company is looking to grow at a fast pace to become a pan-India operator by the end of FY 2010. With the rapid roll out of its network across the country, it was essential for the brand to connect with both rural and urban customers.

Hence the innovative health campaign that is likely to appeal both segments.

Whether technology allows for dependency, productivity or vicious cycles, the ball is in the court of the user now.