‘If you have nothing to say, sing it‘ said the legendary David Ogilvy. As with many of his ‘commandments’ there have been several exceptions to the rule. Some of the most successful ads, especially in a musically oriented country like India have been jingle based. However, there is some truth in what Ogilvy said – some times brands tend to take the lazy route – string together a few visuals and slap on a hummable jingle and you’ve got an ad.
The new Airtel ad ‘Har friend zaroori hota hai‘ is at one level a jingle based ad. Going by the reactions on Twitter & YouTube, most seem to like the jingle. While it is primarily aimed at the youth , the insight cuts across all ages and has an universal appeal. All of us have a circle of friends, segregated into ‘groups’ of our own. I think the idea comes alive thanks to clever use of social media which invites participation, with prizes like smartphones and a trip to Las Vegas thrown in.
Social Networks like Facebook and Google + (the YouTube video has a link inviting you to start a Google Plus Hangout with friends) provide a great platform for such activities. However, such activities aimed at promoting the brand in the service category (especially Telecom) is a double edged sword. This tweet by @chin80 sums it up well.