Idea Cellular has jumped onto the public service bandwagon to build its brand. (I recall they even tried some talk offer during the 26/11 anniversary ‘celebrations’.) Nothing wrong with that. In fact, when they stuck to politics, it was a good thing. However, they have now turned the idea into a buzzing factory, and every other month they come out with a new outlandish idea. It seems these guys get together every other day and brainstorm over chilled beer on what social issue to have fun with next. The last one was a total joke call ‘Walk when you talk’. Almost like how Cyrus Broacha was invited to spoof the idea for an award show’s curtain raiser. Well, thank god, no one took that idea to heart (or belly), and those that did are all in hospital, having been run over by speeding lorries.
And even before the ICUs could be cleared, in comes the ‘save paper’ idea. Now, how is that an issue for the common man totally beats me. We don’t publish papers, books, girlie mags and toilet tissues! So how can the aam aadmi connect with this? What must he or she do about this? In fact with the current water shortage in Mumbai, demand for toilet rolls has gone through the roof! And I don’t think they’ve invented an e-bum cleaner yet. But seriously speaking, shouldn’t this be a direct marketing (paperless!) exercise targeted at the tree-chopping publishers and the like? Ah, but then how will they get to make fun, rocking commercials!
The paper TVC involves Abhishek Bachchan playing a tree (quite apt, the actor can be quite wooden sometimes), from where he orders people to read news from their mobile phones while in the loo (sure will, once ‘downloading’ becomes super-fast, hehe!), to board flights using their cells (try selling this idea to airline security!) and so on. So all this is just a juvenile exercise, which achieves nothing but a few laughs.
Ergo, the Idea campaign has turned into a joke assembly line. When what they ought to have done, is to come up with one solid public service campaign a year, which while entertaining, sends out important, relevant messages to the masses. God knows how many social evils this nation is plagued with. And all we get is this juvenile stuff.
So then, what next? Save the world from global warming? Sure, why not? Maybe what the great world leaders could not crack at Copenhagen, Idea can do in India. And perhaps Abhi will play the role of a petrol tank! What an idea na, sirji!!! — Anil Thakraney