The fundamental concept of advertising is that you tell the whole world about your product/service in such an enticing way that the public’s brains feel that they want it, they need it, they must have it.
A good advertisement should be able to sell stuff you don’t need at all
A really good advertisement should be able to sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo or sand to a Bedouin or a condom to the Gudduda.
A truly memorable and fantastic ad does that and leaves a pleasant impression on your mind.
Vodafone and Fevicol consistently hit the mark when it comes to this.
And then there is Airtel, who somehow manages to completely miss the mark every single time year after year after year.
Seriously, tell me do you remember one single good Airtel ad?
Their latest offerings have a girl who goes up to random strangers and challenges them to upload their pics or download Honey Singh videos.
As usual, I have issues.
- If I am bowling with my friends, or backpacking on a boat or lounging on a sunbed at the beach, I don’t want you to disturb me. I don’t care if your net is faster than me; my life is not controlled by envy (lust, sloth and gluttony are different matters altogether). You have a very fast net? Excellent, go play candy crush on that or stream porn and stop bothering me
- Even if I was a social hipster as opposed to an anti-social grumpy old bitter pessimistic hopeless man, if you came up to me and said do you want free lifetime mobile bills, the first thing I would say is “Are you from a Nigerian Royal family?” I know that’s harsh on the good people from Nigeria, but everyday I get at least a dozen mails from rich Nigerians hell bent on giving me loads and loads of dollars. In life, the only free things you get are abuses, scorn, criticisms and condemnations. Nothing good ever comes free. There is a always a catch. Like Shylock, somebody somewhere will ALWAYS take a pound of flesh
- Even if I was an optimist and a happy go lucky ray of fucking sunshine and accepted your challenge, and your net turned out to be faster than mine, I don’t want that rubbed on my face. What’s with that weird victory dance? I can accept victory dances from my opponents in actual sporting competitions (may not like them or enjoy them and may feel like grenading, but I accept them) but in a marketing scenario, I won’t accept that. You are trying to sell me your product. I didn’t come to you, you came to me, you are the supplicant (pls buy my product/services). You don’t get to dance and humiliate me.
- Airtel is promoting that they are the best when it comes to downloading Honey Singh videos. That’s giving the impression that its the go to network for Yo Yo Honey Singh fans. Apart from the fact that we are living on the same planet, I do not want anything common between me and a Honey Singh fan. So no Airtel for me.
- If you are promising 4G, you better give me 4G. Else, I will sue you for misrepresentation. One lad just sued EMAMI for their Fair and Handsome product. The laddie had diligently used that cream for 4 weeks, at the end of which he had the absolute same complexion as before. Emami tried all kinds of excuses, the Consumer Court fined them 10 lakhs INR. So Airtel, are you absolutely sure you are giving 4G? I hope you haven’t rebranded your 2G as 3G and are now selling the old 3G as 4G.
So many problems, so many potential lawsuits.
Therefore, I urge the grand poobahs of Airtel – ban your ads, spend that money on improving your infrastructure. That will get you more new customers than these idiotic arrogant ads ever will.