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Aircel and Dhoni say it’s time to move on: will you?

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The mobile services war heats up again with the entry of Aircel – a joint venture between Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and Apollo Hospital Enterprise Ltd of India, in New Delhi. They have also roped in M S Dhoni as it’s brand ambassador. Delhi already has six mobile operators and Aircel’s new TVC urges consumers to move on.

Dhoni is competent in this TVC (by the way, he looks decidedly bored in the still pictures over at the website) and the attempt to caricature other Indian players like Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth is likely to be amusing to many. And Dhoni seems to be the poster boy of Indian cricket and a big hit among the teeny-boppers, judging by the comments over at YouTube.

Everyone seems to be betting on number portability – though no one is sure when it will happen. Even if it were available today, is the list of features outlined here, likely to get people to switch? It was not apparent to me how the services mentioned here – travel, cricket etc., aren’t already available in other networks. Any comments on the ad?

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11 Comments

    • Hey Rizwan, your ad?! Well, it is like any other problem-solution ad in this category. Dhoni should give you noticeability. Best.

  1. With the features Aircel has launched, most people would be moving on “from” Aircel in just a few months of signing up. At the end when Dhoni says “It’s time to move on…aur bolo,” I thought he was talking about his cricket career 😉

  2. Most of the features are already available on other networks too. So its just a case of parity… ofcourse other networks dont have Dhoni 🙂 will it make the consumer shift ? I have my own doubts.. The indian telecom scenario is another bubble waiting to burst… With so many licenses… so many operators ….. many waiting for licenses and still a lot of unsatisfied customers… its high time companies consolidated and try and address issues like customer churn,falling ARPU’s, transperency in billing etc and ofcourse look at arresting call drop issues….. All these will make me move on 🙂

  3. I dont think Dhoni seemed to be boring in the ad (don’t take me as his fan, I am not!). Infact it was dhoni and the execution that created interest. Regarding the features described, none were NEW to the telecom industry. Infact I think pointing out a single USP of your brand works better rather than a series of advantages (more when more than half of them are common to your competitors :)). Like Soni for Music, Nokia comes out with its series and subsequent advantage of that particular series. What else to say! But Dhoni now appears to be more of a poster boy than a credible brand ambassador. 🙂

  4. I don’t know about much about the service provider apart from the fact that one my friend works in the Mumbai office. But when I watch the TVC, it gives me a drab image of the brand. Something about the script is not catchy. Also, the execution has failed to invoke any interest in the brand considering the fact that it is competing with giants in terms of market share as well as the marketing strategies. Though I would like to point out that Aircel has a done a commendable job in terms of distribution and reach of the brand which is very important with today’s almost negligible difference in the rates and services of the telecom service providers.

  5. I think it had some really bad acting in it. Dhoni was okay, the rest of them are supposed to be better than the stars (I think they were actors??). Does not work for me…. sorry!

  6. In the commercial I like the idea of weaving the features into the story. But the execution is bad. The Cricket locker room has been used in every other commercial these days and now its boring. Dhoni did manage to act but the others were bad. Like you mentioned, the services offered are already available with other network providers. With the cell phone number becoming a part of your identitity nowdays, mobile phone users dont switch providers unless they are offered something substancially different or they are forced to do so for their corporate connection. As far as advertising goes, Vodafone does a wonderful job of creating enjoyable commercials for every new service they offer. If i had to switch, based on my likeability for the aircel commercial, i will say that I will not move on.

  7. I like the execution..but I dont like Dhoni..in dis ad…well..bcz frankly I hate him..dats just me…but ppl r fascinated by him & the features highlited….even though I think Dhoni has’nt done a bad job executing the features…but I still hate him 😛

  8. Thanks for the comments. From what I recall of the press releases, Aircel is focusing on the untapped potential i.e. rural markets. While there may be a separate push for that, I don’t see that being reflected in this film.

  9. i think everyone has spoken about dhoni’s acting, poor presentation of the concept etc etc…but did anyone notice dhoni’s voice. its not only irretating but i feel its a total turnoff.
    aircel is spending so much on outdoer ..i wish they cud get a good ad guy to do the TVC aswell. i think dhoni was going thorugh soem personal crises while shooting for the ad!!! common dhoni…MOVE ON

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