Why the Airtel #OpenNetwork ads are more counterproductive than annoying.

If you’ve watched TV or even youtube for that matter, there’s a good chance you had the misfortune of watching this ad.

No, wait don’t watch it. The only thing worth watching on that link is the comments of disgruntled viewers and Airtel consumers. Probably the comments are the reason why the video got half the views that it did.

What is this ad?
List of individuals of different age groups, stereotypically annoying  youths asking for transparency in this ‘relationship’. Over-slapstick sardar for racial stereotype. Young mother with baby for emotion, lady with dog because not everyone likes babies, old couple for variety and a hippie-looking boy for good measure… All complaining about how their Airtel network sucks. Continue reading

Is marketing up to the mark?

If you know me even a little, you’ll know that I’m an ad-writer. Mainly because I rant about it all the time. And as copywriters often do, I too write the occasional ‘howler’ that’s well written, but as the client says, “…it’s too intelligent for our target audience”. And in my short career of almost two years, I have heard this from every client and almost every account executive, not to mention my creative director and boss, “Tone it down a bit, they might not understand.”

Yes I agree simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, but I don’t see why we can’t look any other way. Now I refuse to believe that. I happen to agree with a few of Leo Burnett’s philosophies. One of them being, ‘if you write considering your customer is stupid, you’ll make stupid ads’. So what if they won’t understand a reference or a pun at the first go? It’s human tendency to find out more about something they don’t completely know, especially if someone they know knows about it.

I believe what doesn’t go over their head, goes beneath them. The modern day consumer is tired of being talked down to. But he can’t go and complain to a hoarding he sees on the highway. All he can do is hate the product for attempting to spoon-feed him.

So he will. Continue reading