Airtel Nigeria is one of Nigerian’s major Telecommunication Companies. Airtel Nigeria recently launched a “Data is life” campaign to reposition its flagship data value offering package, SmartSpeedo. Adverts launching this campaign shows evident change in the typical Airtel direction and advertising story, clearly Noah’s Ark (Airtel’s new Ad consultant) is taking the task to a whole new level.
This new story telling style has sparked conversation lately especially in the online space since the online release of their two minutes “Life without Data” video. But before I get into this interesting clip, I would also like to state how not-so-impressive the radio advert launching this campaign has been compared with the Video Ads.
Now on the “Life without Data” video clip, the advert showed a story of a man who might have been in a possible shipwreck and washed up into a lonely island. The man in the story tries to get help to passing ships but to no avail. With Nigerian’s songstress, Asa’s track “Situation” as the Ad soundtrack and featuring Nigerian Actor/Musician, Gabriel Afolayan (Brother to the top Movie Producer, Kunle Afolayan) as the lead actor, bought the Ad some major cool points.
In fact the acting, delivery, the general production and cinematography of the Ad would score some good movie points but in my opinion the Ad was generally a distraction for the product at hand, I bet you didn’t know or at least remember the Ad was for the Airtel SmartSpeedo package.
In as much as adverts should not be show and tell exhibitions, I think there should be a tangible connection of Ads back to products. In this two minutes long Ad, the product advertised was barely shown or hinted, up until the last seconds of the ad. Okay, nice, suspense perhaps. At the 1:34 second mark, a red Airtel identity appears, highlighting a copy “You’re lost without Data that works”, oh, so that’s why the actor was lost? Oh okay.
At the very climax of the Ad, two prominent products were highlighted a Samsung galaxy phone and iPhone; One which was used to take the lead actor's photograph and the iPhone used for a group selfie. No phone nor internet service was highlighted as a way out of the lost man's problems, no data related service, no story related to speedy data. In my opinion the Ad was a Samsung Galaxy Ad.
Also, If really the actor was lost due to no poor data, I didn’t think his greatest need would be to take a photo with a crowd of strangers. The story really took a kick off the product advertised and really, the copy here “You’re lost without Data that works”, barely helped.
Clean shaved armpit? Hmmm....
Also, a new online Ad has been put out by Airtel and I can see the same problem, though not as bad as in the previous Ad but also evident distraction. I’ll give Airtel the same cool points just like in previous ad. Great story, showing two passengers traveling home to the east (perhaps for the Christmas holiday) as one starts a conversing with the other; very typically Nigeria, very relatable, good acting, maybe over-dramatized but we that’s what Nollywood teaches, so it’s cool. Great cinematography, Oh, and great soundtrack too.
I would say the one product here that was marketed perfectly was facebook and again, a camera phone. Why do I say this, please how does “Don’t miss out on life’s precious moment” as a copy highlight the product here (Airtel SmartSpeedo)? One would think this was a picture frame Ad, or a new camera phone. Yes, fast internet was highlighted in speed in which mobile site responded, but one can easily forget Airtel Data service as the star of the Ad and pass the crown to facebook. The both times in the Ad our emotion strings were tugged, the credit went to facebook (Grandfather seeing grandkids for the first time) and the camera phone (Happy family moment captured by the camera)
But I’ll give Ad Consultant the deserved applause, exciting Nigerians maybe tough but when you know the right buttons to push, It actually maybe easy and Noah’s Ark has done this and sparked conversation (again) with this new Ad, a plus for the Ad agency, possible plus for Airtel but not-so-plus for the product at hand, being the Airtel SmartSpeedo.