Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Indian Advertising Review - Idea Honey Bunny

By Gaurav Parab

Truth be told, there is something about the freakishly sticking Idea Pumpking Something Dumbthing TVC that makes my brain feel so violated that I want to take it out, make it stand naked inside a shower, and scrub it clean of every ounce of every single word that ends with an ing.

God. Give me strength. These are the same guys who used Jr B to devastating effect on human subjects. What if, in an insane moment of self congratulatory celebrations, they decide to continue airing this to squeeze every bit of joy out from Kashmir to Kanyakumari?

Worse, what if this becomes a caller tune in the cubicle next to mine. Oh the horror. The mind can only take so much of dumplings.

It is grudging admiration time. Truth be told, the advertisement achieves all objectives of the seller. The  commercial manages  the sort of stickiness that Vodafone did with Zoo Zoo and Docomo did with that radioactive mind numbing jingle. It is disruptive and distinctive. Even if it does it in a cliched manner - the  pan India Network message comes across clearly. The viewer, when he can find time from biting his own arm off, does immediately recall that it was an IDEA commercial he just survived. So, WHAT ELSE do I want to do ? Good job agency. Clever movie that Pulp Fiction.


Not entirely. There is that little matter about  everyone I know HATING THE AD. ( he he he and thanks to the stickiness they will never forget Idea did this to their minds).

"Papa, I think 2050 was a bad year for advertising"

"Son, you did not survive honey bunny in 2012. So shut your trap up"

Lets slash Idea's consumer base into two for simplicity- Urban and Rural. This might help make sense and make this piece sound scientific and written by a grown up.

Any self respecting city rat ( even the ones who wear Bandanas fashioned out of an American Flag) will be embarassed to use wannabe words like pumpkin and honey bunny. Especially in a sing song voice. And on the other side of the highway, the strapping tall rural jock will throw a Kadoo at you if you tell him that Idea users sing about Pumpkins. A Kaddoo! What could be worse ( Well, a jackfruit - but thats not the point)

And that brings me to the point I wanted to make ( It took a while, but we have arrived). As a user, especially a telecom user, I want to be PROUD of my brand. Even us shy Indians have feelings toward their service providers. ( Blushes). Word of mouth is gold in telecom. Worth much more than cost today.

Here is a fact for you. Every time we Indians travel, the first thing we ask is " Yaar; Yaha Network kiska accha chalta hain"

And the answer I get not only covers the network, it covers the service and the brand loyalty that a user feels. I dont look at  a TVC to find out who has a network, where. I trust the people I ask. And the people have to be proud of their Service Provider to give a positive referral.

Another fact. Idea users swear by the network. It is irritating but it is true. In spite of Jr B, you will run into people who say that Idea does have a good network ( especially in Pune). Idea users in Pune even tell you they have a good network even when you dont ask.

"Hi Beautiful Woman. Dance for me"

"Do you know Idea has a good network in Pune ?"

But again, how far will you stretch the relationship? Why should anyone say I Use Idea and then have to run away  before the crowd points to him and shouts - Hey look another Honey Bunny. Lets lynch him.

Why would I put up with it? And that is the type of question not many companies are asking. How proud are you of your brand's advertising ?

See the thing with Zoo Zoo ( And Voda did stretch it too far) was Voda users felt cool about selecting a brand that pulled of something creative like that. Aircel pulled off a coup with the Save the Tiger bit. Even Idea users liked the distinct social messaging that Idea stood for.

But what about now? Honey Bunny and Pumpkin is so way out there that would I ever use the phrase except when I want to make fun of guys wearing pink pants? I dont know.

To conclude, I would say there is a  part of me that wants to like this campaign for being so cheeky and irrelevant, but then there is the other part which just boils everytime it airs. Like a Pumpkin. You either love it, or you hate it.

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