Amongst the many brands that have used the Indian Premier League (IPL) platform to make noise around their products, one of the more notable names is that of Samsung India Electronics. Samsung’s mobile division is clear that 2010 is about pushing the envelope further across all its sub-segments, and the current focus is on Samsung’s entry level sub-segment, Guru, which, by nature of its price point and features, is targeted at the mass market in India.
In conversation with exchange4media, Asim Warsi, Head – Marketing, Samsung Mobile, explained that given the business priority of the company, the turn of the quarter also meant that Guru would have to assume a different proportion in media and advertising freshness. He asked, “What better than having IPL to take the story forward? In context of the market and the target for this brand, the mainstay media used for the campaign is television. We would support this with print and outdoor.”
For television, a four-part campaign has been designed, the first of which was launched with IPL. Samsung’s agencies Cheil and Starcom Worldwide have worked on the campaign, which stars brand ambassador Aamir Khan and has been directed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. Gulzar has penned the lyrics, while Filmfare Award winner Amit Trivedi has composed the music.
The first film is a 40-seconder that lays the context of the campaign and the character of the brand story. Samsung intends to air this campaign for two weeks and would then follow this with three 20-second films. These would be released within gaps of about a week for each film, and would eventually be at a point where the three films would be airing simultaneously.
The Campaign Objective:
For Warsi, the campaign objective clearly is for Guru to make an emotional connect with the consumer. He explained, “There are phones and more in the market place – the way we have tried to build the brand, and would continue to do so, is to make a connect at a human level. So, it is fine that we are leading in technology and innovation, but it has to be relevant in consumers’ lives. Guru is at the core of that, it represents our popular and mass segment of phone. To connect with the mass belly of India, we wanted Guru to play a certain role – that of a buddy, a bridge, a bonder – and this campaign is about that.”
Guru was launched over two years ago, and the marketing exercise at that time had seen Samsung release a three-part campaign, where each TVC showed the same brand personality of Guru, which was of a well-meaning guy who moved ahead in life with smart and quick thinking, his mobile assisting him the whole way. A different product truth was highlighted in each TVC. This campaign sees an evolution in the brand personality, where Guru is a family guy, who is more rooted, more grounded and there is a plurality around him. At a tonal level, Samsung has changed the brand character to make him a more inclusive guy.
Warsi didn’t divulge on the ad spends on the campaign. He instead said, “It is one of our most important campaigns in 2010, where we are pushing the envelope in each segment, including the entry segment. We are balancing and prioritising each of the segments since there is a large consumer base for each of these devices that we are providing. Guru represents the largest belly of our consumer. There are several phones that we are advertising in this four-part campaign, some of which are existing and some yet to come.”
The freshness in this wave of advertising is removing Guru as a features-only phone, and from a brand viewpoint also making it a smarter choice phone. This is also the first time that Samsung would be leveraging Aamir Khan for a mass segment phone. Khan was signed by Samsung Mobile two years ago when he was seen in the brand campaign ‘Next is What?’ Later, he was seen for the high-end segment, and last year, Samsung took him to the mid-belly by the Metro series. This year, Khan would be seen connecting with a larger segment through the Guru campaign.
The campaign is the journey of a young man, who leaves home to make it big in life and how the phone has been a constant in this journey and keeps him connected with his family and his relationships.
The master film begins with protagonist Aamir Khan receiving a call from his friend Hari, saying, “Raghu teri naukri lag gayi”. Raghu asks his friend to repeat the message and puts the phone on loudspeaker, and the family celebrates. The jingle, penned by Gulzar, begins right then, when while everyone is happy, Raghu’s parents are already missing him. Typical of Guru, there is a woman in Raghu’s life in this film too. The nuances of small town India have been observed in the film.
The village belle is fleetingly seen in the first film, when Raghu informs her that he is leaving, and later gets his younger sister to send across a phone box wrapped for his girlfriend. Next in the film, the whole family accompanies Raghu to see him off at the bus station, and he manages to sneak a good bye to his girlfriend, who could only manage to follow the family loaded three-wheeler at a distance.
The film ends with the father saying, ‘you are going very far from us...’. Raghu interrupts him, saying, “I am not going far, I will stay close to your heart’, and he puts a Samsung Guru in father’s shirt pocket. It ends with the lyrics, ‘Dil toh Jeb Mein Rakha hai’, which connotes the phone in the pocket.
The subsequent 20-seconder films are about Raghu’s interactions with his mother, girlfriend and grandmother, where the phone enables him to be there with his family, albeit connected through his phone. Each of the films highlights some key attributes of the various phones in the Guru series.