In a bid to promote its latest offering – the ‘Always Talk’ plan – telecom network company MTS has rolled out a new nation-wide campaign through a series of TVCs featuring actor Imran Khan. Incidentally, this is Rediffusion Y&R’s last campaign for the brand, as MTS has appointed Creativeland Asia as its new creative partner.
In the campaign, Khan plays a variety of roles, including a politician, a bridegroom, a kidnapped hostage, and a young lover. In each case, Khan’s character attempts to call someone over the phone during an emergency, only to get a busy tone. It is presumed that the person on the other line is busy talking on an MTS network. The film ends with a shot of Khan, frustrated after repeated attempts at trying to reach the other person, saying this is what happens when people get an MTS talk plan – they keep on talking.
Commenting on the new offering, Amitesh Rao, Director for Brand and Media, MTS said, “With the ‘Always Talk’ plan, our proposition is to enable MTS customers to enjoy voice calls without having to worry about the cost. The plan provides free unlimited voice calls to MTS numbers and up to 1,000 minutes of free voice calls to any other network. The intent of the ‘Always Talk’ plan is to allow customers to leverage their connected time to the maximum extent possible.”
The plan claims to offer ‘Best Value Promise’, with the talk time being 30-40 per cent cheaper than other offerings in the market.
An ‘upset’ brand ambassador
Elaborating on the film, Sam Ahmed, Chief Creative Officer and Vice-Chairman, Rediffusion Y&R said, “MTS was launching a simple, hassle-free ‘Always Talk’ plan that was being priced aggressively in the market. So, we knew that our creative execution had to be as simple and memorable. We chose the approach of humour, combined with a twist in the end.”
He added, “In the ad, everyone that Imran Khan tries to call is busy on another call, and in the end, Khan is frustrated with the situation. So, for the first time we see a brand ambassador being upset with the brand he is endorsing. The idea being that MTS consumers can keep on talking on an MTS network. The client was brave enough to trust us on this idea and I think it has turned out beautifully. The music, composed by Dhruv Ghanekar, was also crafted to take the humour in the ad up a few notches by making the tune catchy and memorable.”
The campaign will run for six weeks across television, with a strong focus on regional channels. The commercials will be aired in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, and Bengali channels. The ‘Always Talk’ plan will be introduced in all the nine circles where MTS operates – Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.
The launch of ‘Always Talk’ initiative is supported by an integrated communication campaign, including a series of TVCs featuring Imran Khan. The campaign will also include print and radio advertising, backed by road shows across all the circles.
Expert take: Simple idea, good execution
Speaking on the ads, Raghu Bhat, Founder Director, Scarecrow Communications said, “Quite like the films. Imran Khan looks the part and pulls off his roles with élan. Particularly like the way he has taken the effort to make each dialogue in sync with the character. The soundtrack is very catchy and kudos to Dhruv for it. The idea is simple and does the job of communicating the unlimited talk time. The lighting and execution is good too, and overall, a thumbs up.”
Our take: The insight is not very fresh
MTS has played well on the insight that people get impatient if the other person’s phone is busy on another call. The idea of showing consumers always busy on a call is simple and relatable. The tune is catchy and can help establish recall in the minds of consumers. Using actor Imran Khan in a humorous way helps take the ad a few notches higher. However, the insight is not very fresh and has been used by brands earlier.
It is seen for the first time that the brand ambassador is frustrated with the brand that he is endorsing. This is indeed a brave move by MTS and Rediffusion Y&R together, but it remains a big question as to how logical this move will be.
The ‘Politician’, ‘Kidnap’ and the ‘Hostel’ TVCs are very humourous and witty, but the ‘Shaadi’ and Pumpkin’ TVCs are not that catchy. Overall, the campaign has been able to garner eyeballs because the message of ‘Always Talk’ comes out very clear.
Watch the MTS TVCs here...