Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tata Sky -- Channel Thali Meal

When you think of Tata Sky Aamir Khan its brand ambassador is always top of mind. Aamir Khan has been associated with the brand since its inception; he was featured in about a dozen Tata Sky TV commercials and each one of these had an interesting story to tell. We have seen him as half-man & half-woman, a salesman, an old sardar, a milkman, a Bengali babu stereo type, as Gul Panang’s husband, as a ventriloquist, as himself, and there were more.

The celebrity was used quite obviously to draw attention to the brand; Tata Sky’s nearest competitor Dish TV also had a major celebrity to endorse its product. Each of the Tata Sky ads had a different message but to my mind it was always the celebrity’s persona which dominated; the messages did reach us but after
being bounced off the celebrity so I always got the feeling that some of the viewers’ attention that should have been focused on the message got deflected. Off course I do not deny that I did not enjoy the ads, Aamir Khan definitely acted well.

Aamir Khan does not feature in the TV commercial which is currently on TV channels but that does not make the commercial less effective, actually in my personal view, in terms of effective delivery of the ad message, it is far more effective than any of the Tata Sky ads featuring Aamir Khan. The current ad shows a young man in a restaurant nonchalantly ordering all types of thali meals served there -- South-Indian thali, Punjabi thali, Rajasthani thali and Gujarati thali. He then selects only those items which interest him from each thali and confidently orders the waiter to take away the rest. Incidentally this actor also acted in an earlier ad where Aamir Khan plays the role of a milkman. The script and execution of this ‘thali’ commercial enables the message to reach the viewers directly and effectively without a celebrity distracting your attention. Using the various items in the thalis to symbolize TV channels was an intelligent idea which most Indians, who have at sometime in their lives eaten thali meals, will definitely relate to. The ultimate objective of this commercial is to make the customer feel important and pampered with choice --- Tata Sky is actually empowering its customers, this is very well conveyed. The two actors acted very well; the actor who plays the role of the diner is like a ‘one of us’ kind of character with whom we can relate to and his acting is so very natural and spontaneous.

When you have a good creative based on the right kind of consumer insights, a good script, good execution and talented actors, why would you need to spend a fortune on over-exposed celebrities?


  1. Love this advert. I agree with you - even without a superstar, the message gets conveyed perfectly.

    Oh, and I'm craving a south-indian thaali meal!

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