By Malay Desai
From: Indonesia, by JWT Singapore
A group of male callers bombarded a popular radio station during a request hour and began gushing over a woman called Kareena they had fallen in love with. The RJ kept accepting requests and dedicating songs but was perplexed after several calls, all from guys gushing over a Kareena. Toward the end of the slot, a lady called in and introduced herself as Kareena, before going on to say she’s recently tried Lux with new fragrances, and is loving the attention.
Why we Like
Agency-walas with frustrated creative teams and suicidal client servicers, here’s something that would give you a break and yet not manage to p*ss off the client. Not an offsite to Bali, rather a campaign idea that doesn’t involve reworked scripts or giant budgets. Once in a while, just a good ol’ prank does the trick.
We as a people haven’t really been experimental (or sporting?) about pranking as a sub-culture, relegating it only to gag shows such as MTV Bakra. While we LOL on YouTube clips of bold pranks of the West (check the ‘No Pants subway ride’), we don’t see anyone sparing the inclination to create similar eccentricities here.
To ensure virality, Unilever Singapore’s agency targeted the most popular radio station’s high-listenership slot to carry out the prank. The idea’s simple really, in fact much less meaner than what our RJs sometimes do on air (heard Red FM’s ‘Shendi’?). It was just about messing around with a medium.. and eventually throw in the brand with surprise.
A series of men calling in for Kareena (wonder if there’s a Bollywood connection!) got the RJ – and the listeners – thinking and the sole lady caller revealed the prank well, even mentioning the brand’s tagline! The RJ, apparently a cocky, chatty character, was for once tongue-tied (maybe he was in the loop) and the audience must’ve sure been smiling. Besides, social media went abuzz during this untoward show too. All these gains for a production that only involved a group of fake callers and candid cameras for the video later.
What’s even surprising is that the brand here was Lux, which we don’t really associate with mischief, at least in India. Doesn’t its image here badly need a makeover from its decades-old ‘soap of the stars’ approach?
Taking off from above, we haven’t seen many prank-based campaigns here, the only ones that come to mind are Frooti’s ‘rolling mangoes on the street’ and Bingo’s fabulous platform announcements. We’re more interested in flash mobs it seems, overlooking the fact that pranks never go out of fashion!