Does your advertising suffer from T.A.K.B?

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Bangalore witnessed a set of teaser ads of late. Irfan Khan, of Hutch & Bollywood fame asked viewers if they suffered from K.I.L.B. Coupled with him being in a doctor’s lab coat, it set of some curiosity. Is it for some do-good product? A cure? Given that Irfan Khan’s ad for Hutch was popular, some thought it was for Vodafone. Turns out that it is for Aegon-Religare Insurance and K.I.L.B stands for Kum Insurance Lene ki Bimari (loosely translated – suffering from an ailment of low insurance). Wonder what they did in non-Hindi speaking states?


Some see teaser ads as a waste. While teaser ads (done well) serve a purpose, the follow up or the reveal is as important. Teaser ads by nature create curiosity and expectation. But if the expectation is not met – usually because the link between the teaser and the theme ads is tenuous – it jeopardizes the whole campaign. It is quite like a great promo for a movie which turns out to be a dud. In the case of KILB it succeeded in the first part. When the penny drops will the idea be seen as gimmicky for this category? There is a risk there. As somebody asked on Twitter , ‘Kis Idiot ne line banaya?’.

When do you need a teaser? If the category is boring, unsexy, mundane you can create some excitement (Insurance, Marie biscuit); when you need to revive the brand (Frooti); when you have some really big news coming up (or so the Brand Manager thinks). ‘There’s something in the air’ said the teaer banners before the launch of Macbook Air.

Digen Verma for Frooti, Kajol for Parel Digestive Marie and the recent DNA campaign in Bangalore have all gone the tease route. They have had varying levels of success. The most successful to my mind has been the Balbir Pasha campaign for AIDS awareness .

The tenets of a good teaser: (a) buzz and noticeability (b) optimal time period – neither too short nor too prolonged and (c) a reveal to match the hype. The reveal usually depends on the strong link between the teaser idea and the reveal. It should not be a let down and create a response like, ‘Hell, all this tamasha for this?!’. Even if there is an element of fun or lightheartedness in the teaser (like in KILB) when the penny drops it should not make the viewer see the brand in poor light. That’s where Balbir Pasha scored and perhaps Parle Digestive Marie failed. Since teasers do not reveal the brand, if they don’t help the cause of the brand launch manifold, clients tend to see it as waste of money. The client then sees it as indulgence from the agency – Teaser Advertising Karne ki Bimari .

Given that Aegon-Religare is a late entrant in a cluttered category it is understandable that they are looking to create some differentiation. The attempt is to create dissonance among those who have taken insurance about the adequacy of their insurance investments. Has it planted the seed of doubt in my mind? It has. Could they have done this without the help of a teaser? The jury is out.

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