Given the popular mood among urban Indians today, Lowe's new campaign for Idea Cellular couldn't have come at a better time. It captures the what-if scenario of an India where citizens of the country can participate in the government's machinery for decisions that directly affect their lives.
The spot opens on a politician's office where she is surrounded by her party people and advisors. A wealthy businessman who is sitting in her office wants to build a mall in what is farmland at the moment. He is a generous donator to the party's funds and so her party people are trying to convince her to sign the papers which will allow the farmland to make way for a new mall. She looks to her advisor played by Abhishek Bachchan for a second opinion. He is uncomfortable with the idea and suggests that they ask the common man for his point of view. Through a mass SMS, they ask people to vote on whether they would like a mall on the farmland. People, who get the SMS, are at first flummoxed to see an SMS from the minister, then actively take part in the decision making process by sending in their vote. The majority of the people vote against the idea of a mall on the farmland. The minister rejects the proposal.
People are shown rejoicing over the decision. A voiceover says, "Aap janta ki sunenge, to janta aapki sunegi. Warna bahut maaregi.' (If you listen to the people, the people will listen to you. Otherwise, you will suffer the consequence.) Abhishek Bachchan comes in the last frame saying, "Is ko kehte hain democracy. What an idea, sirji!'
"After the previous campaign which was based on education, the question we asked ourselves was what's the next big idea that we can look at projecting. Giving people an idea about how to do things better, get their voice heard seemed the natural extension of the campaign. Every politician asks for a vote. Today, SMS has become a great tool. Why can't it be used as a response tool, to hear what people have to say, to hear the voice of the people? That's how the campaign was born," explains R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas.
Pradeep Srivastav, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular says the timing of the commercial was a coincidence. "The intent of the campaign was not to link the unfortunate events that have occurred in the city. Essentially Idea as a brand is celebrating ideas, creating trigger points of ideas which have the power to change the society and the way we live, something which is inherent in mobile telephony because it is definitely changing the way we live. In the past, we have celebrated celebrated an idea/ trigger point of how we would have been much better off if our society was not so divided by caste."
The campaign will use TV, print, online, mobile, on-ground activation.