Airtel HFZ Hangout: extending a good idea

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When I saw the extension of the ‘Har friend zaroori hot a hai‘ theme campaign into short films, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Slicing the many types of friends [who were anyway portrayed through vignettes in the montage of the theme film] into little stories brought alive the insight even more. The ‘kanjoos friend‘ TVC was a killer among that lot.

The thought has been taken further in a series of ads on YouTube. But it’s just another channel over there. I really liked the fact a lot of effort has gone behind ensuring that the channel looks different, encourages interaction and has incentives. One is asked to ‘unlock’ the videos by watching them and then tagging friends. There are goodies like a Nokia Lumia 800 and trip to Ibiza on offer.

What makes these videos work is the unexpectedness of the ‘character type’ that is revealed. Much like the ‘Kanjoos’ ad on TV but a bit more edgier. I thought the ‘Subtitle friend’ and ‘Tubelight’ were quite LOL.

See all the videos here.

Agency: Taproot; CreditsCopywriters: Chintan Ruparel and Kaushik Iyer; Director: Piyush Raghani; Production House: Old School Films; Music: Amartya Rahut

What I also liked was the attention to detail: each video is not lazily titled [like Airtel HFZ video] – it follows the pattern found in most viral videos. The title is inviting, intriguing: for example the ‘subtitle’ one is titled: ‘Open challenge – comprehend in one go’. The ‘bhukkad’ one is titled: ‘Tummy video – best video ever’. Consumers use such words when searching for tags on YouTube and chances of these videos showing up in results are high.

One observation though. Given the nature of the business where consumer complaints are likely to be high [network problem, billing issues] maybe they should have turned off the comments options on these videos. The comments section has consumers complaining about the brand’s service.

Airtel please Concentrate on improving the quality of service not on Ads….day by day the Broadband service and mobile service is going to dog.

Consumers see this as forum to vent their frustration – never mind if the section is meant for comments on the video. Nothing new in this – people comment about India & Pakistan in totally unrelated videos. So, maybe this was to be expected.

Overall, nice extension of a campaign idea and a refreshing use of YouTube as a marketing channel. What say?

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  1. I really like what they've done with this campaign. I imagine I've missed some of it now I'm back in the UK but this youtube piece feels right. I'm glad they've done something different to the normal video repository that most channels don't get beyond. I think the facebook hook up is nice – tagging your friends as friend types is a lot more fun than just posting a link to a video and I imagine it makes people more likely to share. It'll be interesting to see some stats on how many people have done that. If it works, I'm sure there's a case study to look forward to.

  2. bhatnaturally Reply

    Thanks for dropping by & the comment. Yes, this is nice extension of the TV campaign and offers lots of interesting possibilities in terms of 'character types'. They did a similar 'tag your friend' exercise on their own web property – not sure if the numbers were barn burning. This 'fish where the fish are' approach may produce higher numbers.

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