Airtel follows a simple rule when getting a known face to feature in its advertising – the face should justify the script, and not for the value the face would bring by virtue of being known by the masses. So, if it was Saif Ali Khan or Kareena Kapoor being roped in to communicate the value added services; R Madhavan and Vidya Balan; or Shreyas Talpade, there has been a thought process that went into bringing on board the celebrity.
Kareena and Saif came for a story that could be their own story. Also, they advertise VAS products, which are aimed at the urban markets. Airtel’s latest ad features Talpade as a young MP in Parliament. The actor has been roped in for his acting prowess and plays a character which can be identified with the masses.
Elaborating on the campaign, Deepesh Jha, Creative Head on Airtel, Rediffusion Y&R, said, “For all the Airtel campaigns, we want to give out the brand message of network communication enhancing human relationship. Shreyas plays a character that portrays that he will not get lost in the crowd and not forget his roots, meaning that he will remain connected. This is shown through the earlier ‘dhaga’ TVC and now represents the collective hope through the Parliament TVC.”
Explaining further, Jha’s partner, Jaideep Mahajan, Creative Head on Airtel, Rediffusion Y&R, said, “We bring in celebs depending on the demand of the film and the performance of a celeb. Unlike many celeb ads, where the popular face claims of using the product, we try to focus on the story and bring the faces to justify the performance. This has helped people to remember the ads and the product.”
The current campaign revolving around a young guy, who is elected by his village to be their representative at the Parliament, is aimed at both existing and potential telecom consumers to drive home the message of mobility that bridges physical distances and makes one believe that we are never alone. Airtel has taken a leaf out of reality of the increasing trend amongst young people in small towns and rural places to migrate to bigger urban centres in search of better opportunities. The hope they leave with is not just their own, but the hopes of the all near and dear ones. While on the one hand, this collective hope strongly powers the belief in the journey, on the other hand, there is a fear of the bigger responsibility, which can give a moment of weakness. The communication speaks about this ‘collective hope’ – about letting go of one’s loved ones with the reassurance that they will never be alone in their journeys. The film was shot in Pune, Wahi and Mumbai, and directed by Soojit Sircar of Rising Sun Production.
Interestingly, though the current TVC looks like a continuation of the previous one (dhaga) featuring Talpade, where he moves to a big city to find his calling, this was not thought of at the inception. As Jha points out, “We leave each film in such a way that the protagonist and the message can be carried forward. And this is what happens with the current film. The timing of the film is also apt as it comes at a time when after the General Elections it came to light that there are many young people in Parliament and there is a hope in people of a better future for India.”