The curious case of M/s Idea Cellular and Mr.Abhishek Bachchan...

Off late when you have been watching the television before and during the elections, you would have been bombarded with the commercial of a familiar face. Some of you might also had the mis-fortune of watching that familiar face in action on cinema screens, after paying for it.

Well, one cannot can make a wise decision all the time and therefore you should not fret too much over that mistake of yours.

Ok, now I shall break the suspense and reveal that person in an orderly manner.

A brand uses a figure or a person or an entity in its advertisement, because it is easier for the customer to relate with what the brand stands for. Like the way Maybelline uses Alia Bhatt.
Of course, beauty and brains do not go hand-in-hand.

Sometimes, brand uses an entity because it is much easier to communicate to the customers, what they stand for. Like the Vodafone ZooZoo. They are like Indian politicians, they can stand for anything and everything. You just need to tell them, where and what for to stand for.

The curious case I am refering here is the fact of  M/s Idea Cellular still using Mr.Abhishek Bachchan in their TVC. I am sure that the lads up there would not like to call Mr. Abhishek Bachchan as their brand ambassador, there are doing very well for that matter.

I have spent many a sleepless nights, wondering, Why-O-Why dear lord?

I tried to work hard on the plausible theories as I lay sleepless on the bed.

Ok, now look at the caption of the current TVC - “No Ulloo banaoying...” . This translated in understandable English means, “Do not con us...”. There got to be some connection between the caption being used and the choice of the protagonist?

All this while ,Mr. Abhishek Bachchan has been telling us that he can act. Movie after movie, after movies. Some of you might even go to theatres paying through your nose to watch him in action, like in DHOOM 3.

No rational man or woman could make a decision of watching any movie, even remotely associated with Mr. Abhishek Bachchan.


Unless, he has been conned.

Now you see the connection...

At top of his voice, Mr. Abhishek Bachchan is trying to convince us from this TVC of M/s Idea Cellular that he is not conning us. He surely can act. “No Ulloo Bananoing...”

So is there an arrangement between, M/s Idea Cellular and Mr.Abhishek Bachchan? I mean that's why Idea Cellular has been so generous towards Mr.Abhishek Bachchan.

Of course there is...

Look at the financials of M/s Idea Cellular (My father is a dear shareholder in the company), they have been doing adoringly well, since they started the new campaign and it is reflected in their financials.

Of course, Mr.Abhishek Bachchan is paying handsomely to M/s Idea Cellular for featuring him in their TVCs, so that he can convince the world that he is not conning them, that he is an actor.

Now as a very analytical person, I was  bemused by the fact that, if Mr.Abhishek Bachchan is paying M/s Idea Cellular for featuring him in their campaign, why he has not been able to pull-off something similar from other brands (except, where his dear wife is also featuring in the commercial, in which case it is the wife calling the shots, rather than the brand) ?

The way we do it in my world, is to get the hands dirty, in order to learn. After all, there is no bigger virtue in the world than learning, something new, something better and something bigger all the time.

And I had to learn this conundrum...

I got hold of an Idea Cellular's pre-paid connection from somewhere and decided to give it a spin. There are tons of things which you can learn about the service, even without in the actual sense using it (In this case, making or receiving a call), if you look carefully.

The thing which I learnt after their constant barrage of automated calls, WAP push messages, SMS and through those messages with which the mobile operator connects with the customers, like the charges for the last call. (I do not have the name for that yet, as I am not connected to internet, as I am writing this blog); that they are still living in the old days. While most of the brands have come to age, probably they are still stuck, at least a decade behind.

Kind of, Mobile 1.0, if you really like the analogy of Web 1.0

The way they think is that ,in mid of 2014, the only way to hook customer to use their data services is by pushing WAP messages. Unless, you send 10 SMS in a day to your customer,regarding new offers, there is no way, he/she is going to learn your offerings. Daily reminder, of services expiring and to re-subscribe, from the moment you sign on a new service. Then there are automated calls, in the mornings, where the most important thing you can attend to is to pick an automated call from your mobile operator. And if all this are not enough then the offers and promotions are pushed to you, via those sutle messages, the ones which I talked earlier. It is like, they believe that unless their customer hears from them, in one way or other, once every hour, their customer would not believe that their operator's services are working. It is like your girlfriend, constantly reminding you, that she is there, she is there.

So everytime, your phone beeps, it is screaming IDEA, IDEA, IDEA !!!

Like Mr.Abhishek Bachchan is telling us “No Ulloo Banaoing”, all thoughout the day.

See, one more connection...

Trust me, though you did not learn this for the first time, on this blog, but God is surely in the details.

So when the compatriots have switched to fresh faces like Mr. Ranbir Kapoor and ZooZoo, the reason M/s Idea Cellular is stuck with Mr.Abhishek Bachchan is because they are still stuck in the old school.

The old school, where the “Bachchan” is a super hot property.

And when you have to spend thousand of crores everytime, when you need new spectrum or license, what could be a better option of a TVC face, than a “Bachchan”, who pays you for featuring him in your TVC.

Can you ask for anything more than that?

So now today, I can sleep peacefully, after working so many nights on this big conundrum.


            a) This blog has 1037 words.

            b) As I am finishing this off, I receive one more promotional SMS from M/s Idea Cellular. The 3rd since morning and it is still 1153 hrs of 24th June 2014.
            The thing is when you save crores (in fact earn crores) on big budget TVCs, sometimes you  can indulge in carpet bombing your customers with promotional SMS.

            c) This was written without any malais or bias towards M/s Idea Cellular. As I have             mentioned, my father is a dear shareholder in the company. Also, I have tremendous respect  for what the senior management team has achieved, as someone who has spent better part of  his career in telecom industry.

            d) I used a pre-paid connection of Maharashtra and Goa telecom circle of M/s Idea             Cellular. The experience may or may not differ, from telecom circle to telecom circle.

            e) And here goes in vain, any hopes of mine of gaining any rightful employment with M/s Idea Cellular.
            f) I have sold Idea Pre-paid connections in-directly in my career, and they have been the  best pay-master in terms of schemes and incentives in my earlier company.


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