Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vodafone:New pug n new promise

Like all companies aspiring towards globalisation, Vodafone India, too, has touched global shores – quite literally. In an ad for Vodafone’s customer care service, Vodafone India has used the picturesque Cape Town in South Africa as the setting, while even its brand embodiment – the pug – has been imported from Cape Town.According to Harit Nagpal, chief marketing officer, Vodafone India, this ad is the first instance of a customer care service being advertised in the telecom category in India. Why now? “Actually, we were waiting for a huge infrastructure to fall into place post the rebranding of Hutch into Vodafone,” says Nagpal. With Vodafone stores and mini-stores, mobile vans, self-service kiosks and thousands of customer service personnel in place, the timing is right, Nagpal asserts.
The Vodafone pug resurfaces after seven months (it was last leveraged in the Hutch-Vodafone transition ads in September 2007). The gap is smaller this time, as the pug is usually resurrected once in a year. As is known, the pug is used in the case of thematic brand communication, and generally not for individual products and services. Then why make an exception in an explicitly service based ad?Nagpal explains, “Customer care is the face of our brand, so in a sense, this aspect of Vodafone encompasses the entire brand.” Therefore, the pug.Rajiv Rao, group creative director, Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai, says the brief was simple: letting customers know that Vodafone is always ready and ‘happy to help’. “The ad is a metaphorical story of the brand and our customer,” he says. According to Nagpal, “This ad aims to urge customers to come to us.” This is because Vodafone launches new services from time to time, and in different subscriber cycles, and subscribers need to be made aware of these. “They need to know which services are useful to them, and a helping hand – our customer care – can do that,” he explains.
"We hope the services will be as good as the ads"

::::Rejected Ads::::

Adjudication of Advertising Standards Canada:
Complaint:The complainants alleged that the advertisement degraded and demeaned women.
Decision:Prior to exhibiting the advertisement, the advertiser submitted and received approval to exhibit the advertisement under the CRTC Code for Broadcast of Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages, (which applies to print advertising, as well as broadcast in British Columbia). Approval under CRTC’s Broadcast Code, however, does not constitute or guarantee conformity with the provisions of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards that were applied in the case of this adjudication. Aspects of women’s and men’s sexuality have been found in other advertising that did not raise issues under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. However, in this case, it appeared to Council that the female model was digitally modified in this advertisement for one purpose only – to attract the attention of readers by exploiting the female model’s sexuality. Council could find no relevant connection between the altered image and the product being advertised. Council concluded, therefore, that focusing on parts of a woman’s body for no purpose related to the product objectified and demeaned women.Advertiser's Verbatim Statement:“Bacardi Canada Inc. is a member in good standing of Advertising Standards Canada. The company undertook what was felt to be responsible steps to ensure the creative in question was acceptable, by pre-submitting to ASC and securing approval according to the Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages, which applies to print as well as broadcast advertising in British Columbia. We also undertook a full review of the existing and historical creative aired in Canada, to ensure this was consistent and in keeping with what was felt to be accepted areas of creative. While we do not agree with the Council's decision, we respect it and the process that was followed. We have committed to cease exhibiting of the creative in question.”
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