Friday, September 01, 2006

Airtel

A single ad can change your destiny. Don’t take our word for it... ask Airtel!

While Reliance may be catching up in the race for number of subscribers, Airtel is clearly far ahead, so far as strong positioning and poignant advertising communication is concerned.

But then Airtel has a legacy of churning out rock-solid advertisements since the very beginning. And April 2006 saw the mother of them all making a debut on your telly tube: The blockbuster ad evoking strong emotions from momentous occasions! The visuals transcend from Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement to Winston Churchill showing the victory sign after the allied forces defeated the fascist one; from Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal by umpire Shephard to Martin Luther King delivering his famous ‘I have a dream speech’, and so on... The typed graphics are equally moving – ‘two words can bring down a regime’, ‘two can win a world war’. The ad ends with ‘That’s the power of human expression – Express Yourself.’

“Airtel has long been a clear leader in the telecom business, and has behaved as a leader should,” beams K. S. Chakravarthy, National Creative Director of Rediffusion DY&R, who along with his team created the ad. The commercial evoked a million goosebumps, tugging at heartstrings with the overwhelming images of emotions it showcased. Dubbed the ‘Madras Mozart’, maestro A. R. Rahman composed the distinctive music for Airtel, which is by now a household jingle.

No file footage, mind you!

And if you thought that the creative brains relied only on file footage to produce this masterpiece, you’re dead wrong! “Except for four shots (Sachin, Churchill, Martin Luther King and Lata Mangeshkar), the film painstakingly recreates historic moments that changed the course of history,” says Chakravarthy. Visualise the recreated images of Gandhi’s Salt March, the tranquility of the monastery, the formation of the peace sign with numerous candles, and you realize the painstaking craftsmanship that has gone into this one.

The TVC is years of sweat and blood reaching fruition for Chakravarthy and his team, many of whom were also responsible for the original Express Yourself commercials from Airtel.

Chakravarthy elaborates on the tornado of tangles he had to face while shooting this ad: “The really difficult part was not the actual shoot, which in any case was spread over many days and locations, with stills being shot simultaneously. The tricky part was getting permissions and clear ances from the celebrities,” he explains. Airtel’s Express Yourself plank has really served it well in the past too, and this campaign has managed to elevate its positioning way above other competitors. More power to Mittal!

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