Friday, November 11, 2011

Airtel – We all need friends

I have been toying with the idea of writing about the Airtel – “Har ek friend zaroori hota hai” campaign but for some reason or the other was not able to do so, I have decided to do it now; better late than never. The fact that friends are important in one’s life is usually taken for granted although it is a very important aspect of life; you realize its true value only when you are lonely. Everyone needs friends regardless of age, not only does one needs friends one also needs friends of different kinds and abilities, that’s what makes life meaningful, purposeful and interesting. Airtel’s current ad campaign is based on this simple insight; I do not think one needs to do elaborate market research to arrive at the conclusion that everyone needs friends. Something as common as this has been very effectively used in the ad campaign, all the
ads in this campaign have been executed very well -- they can really charge you up.

When I first saw the ad I had mixed feelings. As an advertising & communications professional I knew that this was a great campaign but as an individual I found the first commercial (that was the only one I saw then) rather noisy and not up to my liking. I felt that I was not a part of the target audience and that it would appeal to youngsters to whom the campaign is targeted. I asked a few people and found that youngsters do like the commercial. However as the campaign progressed I found that I was beginning to like it, in fact I love it now both as an individual and as a professional. The moral of the story being that an ad campaign does not necessarily have the same desired effect on everyone right at the beginning; it takes time for it to grow on others who may be described as the non-core audience. It is therefore important to run the campaign for the right amount of time, and then only the advertiser will be able to get the best out of the campaign.

Everyone needs friends of different kinds, even the middle-aged and the old; so how about the advertiser giving this campaign a phase II in which mature working people or even retired people can be featured. Or friendship across age groups can be shown, because Har kisam ke dost zaroori hote hain!

I invite readers to comment on this, I would love to know their reactions.

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