With the season of heavy-duty cricket just a couple of days away now, the advertising for anything that will improve the viewing of the game can only escalate. A new Airtel Digital TV HD TVC is currently on air, and speaking of the timing of the campaign, Sugato Banerji, chief marketing officer, airtel digital TV, Bharti airtel, said, "The first thing is that with every event- whether it's the Football World Cup, the IPL, the '82 Asian Games or the Commonwealth - the TV technology changes, people tend to change their TV and upgrade or it becomes the reason to possess a TV in the first place. With the World Cup taking place in India this time, and with India expected to reach the later stages of the game the way it's playing, we expect the purchase of high definition televisions to burgeon. ESPN will broadcast the matches in high definition and sales of HD TVs are expected to be 6-7 million out of 14 million this year. If that is the case, we needed to be ready with a high-definition product if we have ambitions to tap this opportunity. Our economy sports pack offers Indian cricket right up to September. We have a tie-up with Sony televisions. Therefore, now a campaign for the efficacy of the HD product."
Unlike other campaigns on air though, this commercial recreates a scene from the movie 'Kurbaan' and sets it in a living room, to show how realistic the viewing experience is.
Watch the TVC (story continues below)
Banerji explained, "We are an entertainment product and Bollywood and cricket are the bigger drivers in the category. We have Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan as celebrity endorsers for the past 2.5 years now, and that gives recognition to the brand. At the moment, we're competing not just with DTH, but also with televisions and everybody else and we don't have a celebrity cricket player; also the ICC has stipulations against ambush marketing. So we think we're on a stronger wicket by not having a cricket-themed campaign then."
Priti Kapur, executive creative director at JWT, the agency that created the TVC, added, "We were quite lucky to have Kareena because we had a clever little idea that high definition brings pictures to life - we dropped the TV altogether and it's like the movie is playing live in your living room. We went through lots and lots of footage for something that was dramatic and then we had to completely recreate the sequence from 'Kurbaan'."
Executive creative director: Priti Kapur
Vice president and creative director: Kishaloy Basu
Executive business director: Maneesh Rangra
Associate vice president: Samrat Basu
Production house: MAD Entertainment Ltd.
Director: Shaad Ali