By Malay Desai
From: Rediffusion – Y&R
Set in contemporary Kolkata, a campaign for the wireless internet service features two ‘celebrities’ who’ve become so by showcasing their talents online.
One shows blogger Anupam Mukherji, of ‘Fake IPL Player’ fame at various public spots of the city, typing away on his laptop while the other bears the voice-over and story of teenage YouTube sensation Shraddha Sharma, in pursuit of cyber stardom. The scripts of both end with the premise that one perhaps doesn’t need to suffer hardships to rise up, simply sit and be online.
Do we Like
If you’ve been a regular reader of the column next to this one, you’ll know that in our hyperconnected age, bedroom bloggers have made millions, balding uncles have karaoke-d upon a second career and tweeters have shot to glory on the right place-right time factor. By celebrating two recent ‘stars’ coming from this medium, this campaign has positioned the phenomenon well to sell its internet services.
MTS, a subsidiary of the Russian conglomerate Sistema, doesn’t rank among the top telecom providers. Its top competitors Tata and Reliance have taken the ‘speed’ route for their dongles so this one with its offbeat faces is fresh air after the slightly annoying Ranvir and Anushka duels. This campaign’s approach is as conventional as it can get – to hype a medium, pick real faces from it, don’t make them act like brand ambassadors and eventually build credibility. But to have recognised the social web as a parallel world in itself is a brave step we like.
The faces – Anupam Mukherji and Shraddha Sharma so far – are household names in well, many households that have Internet. The former began as an anonymous blogger, penning his tongue-in-cheek thoughts about IPL in 2009, going on to become an obsession with fans, media and players. In his spot, he’s shown ‘at work’ on his laptop – at various outdoor locations in Kolkata, to denote anonymity. We love the script – ‘daud hai’ it says, capturing the current sporting flavour too. The copy in Mukherji’s and Sharma’s ads builds up the hardships en route to superstardom, only to climax with ‘..or maybe not’, referring to accidental, smart talents who take the online route.
School girl Sharma, who’s hit sensational highs strumming from her Dehradun pad, narrates her story to convincing effect, though we wonder what she too is doing in Kolkata. Also, crucial detail dear agency – Mukherji isn’t a Twitter celeb per se, he became so via a blog and ditto for Sharma, who wouldn’t be big on FB had it not been for YouTube. Few minus marks but what the heck, this campaign’s in the distinction for us.