Taproot India works magic with Airtel ‘Friend’ ad

While Airtel officials say this campaign was given as a one-off to Taproot India, Airtel’s latest commercial created by the agency is generating quite a buzz across the country by playing on the ‘friendship’ factor. Airtel’s Mohit Beotra and Taproot’s Agnello Dias share what went into making of this much talked about ad...

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: Sep 6, 2011 9:33 AM
Taproot India works magic with Airtel ‘Friend’ ad

It’s not a picture of ‘a friend in need is your friend in need’ that you see here, but a sweeping scenario of a large circle of friends…..all types, but they are your friends, after all!

The new Airtel TVC ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai’ ushers in a new concept for the brand. This incidentally is the first ad campaign created by Taproot India. Mohit Beotra, Head - Brand & Media, Bharti Airtel Ltd, was quick to point out, “The idea of the brand is ‘dil jo chaahe, paas laye’- getting closer to the thing you love.”

What was the brief given to the agency? Mohit specified, “The brief given was to find an insight in the lives of young people (read 18 to 24 years), to connect with them strongly.” And what we have here, “resonates with the young, in fact it’s all about how young you are!” added Mohit, and went on to explain, “We are the leader, and have large footprints. Our product is used by a large number of people – they may be 16year-olds, 40 tear-olds, or even 60year-olds!” So this campaign has an insight that actually cuts across age-barriers. “The magic of this campaign is that the insight is an universal insight – we have a bundle of friends who play different roles, but critical roles, and this is what is causing this campaign to resonate with people across age groups to make the brand promise come through,” he put in a nutshell.

“Agnello Dias, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India, said, "The brief was to stay with the Airtel brand's core larger than life truth, for one, but to say it with an idea that resonated with the youth.”

He elaborated on the idea of friends as he said, “We spoke to young teenagers, who today prefer to have many more categories of friends. Today with technology, internet, mobile etc they have unlimited categories of friends. We arrived at the idea, after many sessions with the Airtel team and after meeting youth consumers in many cities.” He added, “The most important thing was when everybody agreed that it was a good idea! We were clear that using a classroom scene was good … the clapping, the playing on books, etc.”

Sure, friendship has been featured in many ads. As Mohit held forth, “A lot brands have sold their stories on friendship, what is seen here is that we understand friendship!”

This has been creating waves on TV, and Mohit agreed as far as media-mix goes, “TV is certainly the main media. There’s a lot of outdoor, radio and the most significant is the facebook app which is flying off the shelves!” He explained, “On, this app allows you to create a friend type and then tag the friend. More than four and half lakh have visited the site and around 57, 000 have used the app and have tagged their friends!”

Looking back from the launch, he said, “It’s been just over two weeks and we’ve hit a chord, which is resonating.” And, with the festival season coming up, he said, without revealing much, “We are planning a series of things, including our Formula 1 work, which falls three days after Diwali.”

However, “the earlier agency JWT remains our main advertising agency,” insisted Mohit.
“This campaign was done by Taproot as we felt that they would do full justice. As a client we had to act in the best interest of our brand,” said Mohit. And the next campaign? “Too early to comment,” he signed off.

Client: Airtel
Agency: Taproot
Agency team: Agnello Dias, Santosh Padhi, Taproot creative team
Production house: Equinox Films
Director: Ram Madhvani
Music: Ram Sampath, Amitabh Bhattacharya (Omgrown Music)
Media agency: Madison

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