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Airtel launches new campaign to connect with the Bengali milieu

26-September-2005
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Airtel launches new campaign to connect with the Bengali milieu

Following in the footsteps of major national brands like Asian Paints and Coca Cola, Airtel has launched a high decibel new campaign in Bengali, ‘Amar Airtel, Amar Bangla’, in the lead up to the upcoming festive season.

Aimed at the quintessential Bengali populace across the state, the new TVC is set to a warm ‘non-commercial’ jingle composed by Debojyoti Misra, music director of recent Bengali blockbusters such as ‘Chokher Bali’ and ‘Raincoat’.

Conceptualised by Airtel’s agency Rediffusion Kolkata and directed by Shyamal Sengupta, former Dean of Satyajit Ray Film Institute, rather than an ad film producer, the distinctiveness of the campaign lies in its candid portrayal of the Bengali milieu and its abiding cultural symbols.

Apart from the usual images of Durga Puja and the Howrah Bridge, the TVC also features a view of the Kanchenjonga mountain from Darjeeling, Rabindra Jayanti celebrations, and even the mandatory network story is rendered through local symbolism, what with a festive ‘alpana’ (Bengali equivalent of rangoli) morphing into a map dotted with towers.

“Having completed nearly four years of operation here, Airtel is enmeshed with the people of the state. We wish to connect our customers with a service that is a leader nationwide and is committed to provide them the best much like the various recognisable best of class attributes highlighted in the campaign such as Tagore’s music, Ray’s ‘Pather Panchali’ or even the sacred river Ganga,” explained N V Subba Rao, Chief Operating Officer, Mobilty, Bharti Tele-Ventures, Kolkata.

Ruma Dasgupta, Creative Director, Redffusion Kolkata, said, “Bengal, especially Kolkata, has its own idiosyncracies as a market. The consumer here has a more layered psyche, and in order to connect with him, you need communication that is custom designed. We have, in fact, been thinking of doing local empathy generating communication for Airtel for some time now and the attempt in this campaign has been to do so more in the genre of a mainstream or a tele film, and not just by way of a typical commercial.”

“It’s a collage of shots that seeks to capture how mobile telephony today permeates our entire culture and at the same time gives a modern face to traditional icons. This is probably best epitomised in the shot of a ‘baul’ (minstrel with a stringed instrument) singing into a mobile handset,” elaborated director Shyamal Sengupta.

Although it’s too early to say how this TV-Radio-Outdoor campaign will affect the fortunes of Airtel in the Bengali festive season, it is certainly tugging at the heart strings of the teeming Bengali consumers.

It is also, no doubt, a refreshing change from the fare that the consumer is used to at this time of the year from cellphone service providers, which has been either been special schemes or inane lines with tenuous Puja connect.

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