By Malay Desai
Launched during the recent India-Pakistan game, telecom firm MTS’s new film is for its plug-in WiFi product. Like its first film this month last year, it is set in the maternity during a mother’s delivery. Here, the baby, before appearing, goes back in a virtual setting to ‘God’ and complains that the family he’s being sent to doesn't have adequate internet. God reasons with him saying they don't have laptops or computers, to which he replies they have three smartphones, and as they might not afford data charges, he’d rather be born in a richer family. At this point, God plugs the new product and its advantages and the baby, convinced, goes back to the delivery scene.
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I’d have blamed the bloomingseason of adorable babies, puppies and rabbits in Indian advertising, but MTS heredoesn't qualify, for it is only presenting a sequel (or technically, a prequel) to its superhit viral of February 2014, ‘internet baby.’It had rather creepily communicated that today’s generation knows everything and showed a babytumbling out of his mom, logging on to social networks and walking out. This one’s better – featuring a real-life baby and a product in focus to start off with.
MTS, a subsidiary of the Russian conglomerate Sistemaisn’t exactly stressing out its competitors, Reliance, Vodafone & Co. – in fact Tata’s Docomolaunched this variant way back - but unlikethem, it has had a fresh feel to its ads. The 30 million eyeball worth first film had universal appeal, and its makers have retained the setting for a funnier premise – baby going back to God and complaining about no WiFi in its future home!
Does the filming do justice to this intriguing idea? Yes, by keeping it simple (and inexpensive, for the last baby’s animation might have cost a bomb), the makers don't wander into generic territory, have a sharp focus on the product’s advantages and score most brownie points in the baby-God conversation.
The script’s hilarious too, evoking the now famous ‘Bambani’ from the Freecharge TVC, and with lines such as ‘smartphone duaaon se chalte hain?’, it brings out the laughs on multiple viewings. The message is vastly different than the brand’s earlier promise of blazing fast internet (another top film in 2012 featuring Fake IPL Player); it’s about WiFi being a necessity now.
So does the 5GB data for 499 sounds cool enough to ditch a router? Will its speeds be as good – and if yes, wait, what about net neutrality? If you’re prodded to ponder this, the film’s done its job. I suspect it will, unlike internet baby 2014 which turned out to be a nice forward with little brand recall.
In fact, beware MTS, there’s good news and bad news - I’ve already received this film over Whatsapp.
(To watch this film,feed this link in your browser - bit.ly/Feb23ViewTube)
Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe
Regional lingos take over Twitter
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And Twitter takes over the World Cup
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SnapChat is getting big. Very, very big.
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