Vodafone Vs Airtel, the 4G war heats up

While Vodafone has got its iconic pug back to announce their 4G network, Airtel has added a humorous twist to its campaign storyline for better connect with the audiences

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Updated: Mar 28, 2016 8:01 AM
Vodafone Vs Airtel, the 4G war heats up

Airtel and Vodafone are yet again pitted against each other and this time the competition involves their respective 4G networks. The ongoing ICC T20 World Cup has seen ample action from both telecom giants after they unleashed massive campaigns to lure customers.

Though Airtel has the first mover advantage, as it rolled out its media blitzkreig months ahead of its arch rival featuring its well known brand ambassador---Sasha Chettri, however Vodafone seems all set for the challenge with its 4G campaign already grabbing attention with its iconic pug in tow.

Route taken:

Over the last few months, the Airtel 4G campaigns have been trolled, admired and debated, which has also made Chettri one of the most popular brand advocates in recent times. This time around, the brand has used humour, and Chettri is seen making fun of herself.

For example, in one of the ads which showcases her on a vacation in a remote place, expecting the network not to follow her, she gets surprised when she finds out that people are using Airtel 4G connection even in such remote places. The new ad conceptualised by Taproot has introduced humorous twist in the storyline and infused a sense of freshness in the campaign.

In comparison, Vodafone, which recently unveiled its 4G campaign in the month of February this year, has got back its popular pug after four years to announce the launch of their 4G SuperNet and the ad conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather captures and reinforces the dependability of its network services.

Click here to view the ads:



Creative execution:

Commenting on the creative strategy of the Airtel campaign, Agnello Dias, Chief Creative Officer, Taproot Dentsu said, “We have seen a lot of the Airtel 4G girl in recent times. And she’s powerfully built 4G association with Airtel. She is perhaps the most ubiquitous brand face in recent times and has been the face that ushered in a telecom leap in the country. This campaign is a tongue in cheek look at her omnipresence in the past few months. Instead of continuously advocating the brand, this time, we have taken a different spin on her character while driving home a strong network message. We thought it would be interesting to show the Airtel girl trying to take a break away from 4G and the network is now chasing her - thus showing its width and reach.”

Commenting on the latest Vodafone 4G campaign, Kiran Anthony, Group Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather points out, “Vodafone wanted to announce that SuperNet is here and therefore, we decided to do it through a series of short announcement films. The best way to do it was by getting the pug back because it has an instant recall with the brand. These are just the 15 seconder ads with simple announcements on the 4G network.”

Airtel Vs Vodafone: Which ad works better?

Commenting on which of the two ads works better, Arijit Ray, Co-founder & Managing Partner at PaperBoat Brandworks said, “I like the Airtel ad better because it is a nice extension of the earlier 4G campaign. It has the potential for mass connect as it has the basic traditional telecom cues. By using the same protagonist along with a twist in the storyline where it is talking to the youth and by adding humour, the campaign surely works. On the other hand, Vodafone’s 4G ad is inspiring, has a classy look and since they have got back their pug, it is definitely being talked about. It has a very distinctive Vodafone style of execution, but the brand recall is not as high as Airtel, because the product connect is low.”

OR Radhakrishnan

Echoing similar thoughts, OR Radhakrishnan, ECD at Enormous Brands cited, “The Vodafone 4G ad looks like a print and an outdoor film. While the new Airtel 4G ad is okay and carries on the idea with the Airtel 4G girl but creative wise neither of them made me jump out of my seat. Guess it is just the beginning of 4G advertising in India, while Airtel 4G by now has a good brand recall; Vodafone is right now at an introductory phase. I believe with these set of announcements, the network is trying to tell the consumers that we are in the market.”

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