Vodafone Internet is Fun: trouble with teasers

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Product launches from Apple follow a pattern: Mac rumor sites, tech blogs and forums will first speculate on what the upcoming product will be all about. Then someone will post a link-bait article along with hazy pictures of the purportedly new product. Fans, anti-Apple brigade and trolls will all join in the fun. And then the product will be launched followed by a mix of criticism and rave reviews. While Apple never goes out to ‘tease’ an audience of what is coming, the ‘teasers’ are played out by the web audience. Also, with Apple the expectations are very high (at least among Apple fans). So if the final product does not meet the expectations of some, there is much hue and cry. I guess that’s the curse of ‘teasers’. In advertising too, teasers are common place. They are meant to whip up curiosity about an upcoming launch or a new campaign idea. Usually agencies turn to teasers when there is ‘new news’.

In Vodafone’s case too, the teasers (‘Fun Begins Soon’) revealed during IPL5 set up expectations. The reveal is about their mobile internet services whose features (free apps, Music, Wallpapers and Games) are pitched as ‘Internet is Fun‘.

According to the PR blurb:

‘Consumers get easier access to the internet and experience it in a simple and fun manner, on their Vodafone mobile phones. In short – The Internet is fun on Vodafone.

This also meant creating services, products and offerings that substantiate our proposition, which you will see unveiled over the IPL. We will be staring the campaign with an execution on the Opera Mini browser available on Vodafone that facilitates faster internet browsing.’

The ad evoked a mixed response from ad agency folks. I too felt a little underwhelmed after the curiosity the teasers evoked. Also, the claim ‘Internet is fun’ is based on a set of features which are pretty much common. The series of ads, reminiscent of Telematch from Doordarshan days may eventually become popular and appeal to a certain mindset. But part of the outrage (at least on Twitter) arises from the curiosity generated by the teasers. What do you make of the ads?

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