This is a fictional article that appeared in my head a few days ago.
Following the nationwide launch of telecommunication company Aircel with a poor creative (TVC) buffered by massive media budgets, irate consumers have decided to stage a dharna outside Aircel's head office in every city.
"I cannot stand that annoying ringtone-music that keeps playing from the Aircel commercial. And it seems to be playing on every channel at all times. It's everywhere, even in restaurants and on the radio," said one of the protestors outside the Aircel office in Bangalore. He has resorted to wearing ear plugs so that he cannot hear the ringtone-music even by mistake. We had to show him our badges and then conduct the interview by writing down our questions to which he would respond by writing down his answers. He also mentioned he was now being approached by some headphones companies to promote their headphones and earphones, but he declined to say which companies those were.
Another protestor outside the Delhi Aircel office had an issue with the cricketers used in the commercial. "My 5 year old son had no problems in identifying Indian cricketers before this ad came out," he said proudly. "But now that they have used look-alikes who bear a striking resemblance to the original cricketers, he cannot say for sure who Harbhajan, Gambir, Sachin and Yuvraj are. Heck, even I have trouble now. Due to this, my son has started losing interest in cricket and we fear that he may not desire the career in cricket we desire for him. I want to sue Aircel for all the endorsements he would have gotten as an Indian cricketer, but now will not. I want to sue Aircel for my retirement." His cry was taken up by other young parents around him.
When contacted for his reaction, India captain Dhoni seemed non-plussed. "Aircel?" he queried, his puzzlement clearly evident. "I thought I had been signed up for Airtel. The brand manager I spoke to had a lisp. So, everytime he said 'Aircel', I thought he was saying 'Airtel'. Oh dang! I hate the Aircel ringtone-music. I took an Airtel number after I signed the contract. My ringtone and callertune are both the famous Airtel music composed by A.R. Rahman. I'm a big fan of his. Sigh! I guess I'll have to put my phone on 'Silent' all the time now."
When prodded about the resemblance of the actors to the cricketers, he replied, "When I was shooting the commercial, I thought I was shooting with the cricketers. You see, I have myopic vision and I need to wear spectacles, but I can't as I am in talks with some eyewear brands to become their ambassador. Till that is finalised, I can't buy myself glasses. When I saw the Aircel ad on TV, I was amazed that they had found somebody who looked just like me. I immediately called my manager to ask if this will reduce my commercial worthiness, but he assured me that people will always only want the real thing. So I relaxed, took my bike and went and had a glass of fresh cow's milk with Lalooji."
It is this reporter's opinion that companies that have massive media budgets must first ensure that they have a good creative to be blasted out onto the unsuspecting consumers. Vodafone is another company that is getting dangerously close to the line of sanity for the consumers. Aircel has already jumped over the line with their entry.