Attention-grabbing advertising need not always be clutter-breaking: Lessons from Vodafone’s IPL campaign

The essence of good advertising lies in the simplicity with which it communicates its message. Of course, in the context of modern day Television advertising, the buzzword is ‘clutter-breaking’.

Vodafone has clearly emerged as a marketer who have, time after time, defied conventional wisdom in advertising. They have pushed the limits time yet again. Their recent ‘Fun Begins Now’ campaign during the IPL only goes to show the originality that has now come characterize their marketing communication.

If you look at the ad in the context of a commercial break between overs in an IPL match – it just blends in and blends out. For instance, a casual observer might not even realize the onset of a commercial break at the end of the over. Likewise, a viewer distracted from the television during a commercial break will immediately get hooked on assuming that the ‘break’ is over and the ‘match’ has started. This is what I mean when I say that the advertising ‘blends in and blends out.’
Just to illustrate my point take a look at the 3 ads releases so far – evidently, this appears to be some sort of a ‘teaser’ campaign.
Different formats of attractive stadia scenes (and sometimes funny ones – like the guy coming out of the stadium washroom, sumo wrestlers in the background, etc)  almost look like a continuity of the match to a casual couch potato. It is only a few seconds into the visual that the words FUN BEGINS NOW flash onto the screen followed by the red background housing the logo.
In the first edition of the IPL, Vodafone created news with their clutter-breaking ‘Zoo-Zoo’ campaign. In its fifth edition, they have yet again made news – this time in a very non-cluttering way, if I may put it that way.
Brand: Vodafone
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather India

6 thoughts on “Attention-grabbing advertising need not always be clutter-breaking: Lessons from Vodafone’s IPL campaign

  1. Interesting observation, Harlu! Maybe that’s the case for the first two/three times one sees the ad, and after that it’s some amount of curiosity. And as of now, it’s just “What the hell is the ad about?”. I hope they come out with that soon enough.

  2. it is clutter-breaking w.r.t the other advertisements. It doesn’t need to be clutter-breaking w.r.t the program. So, I wouldn’t agree that it is not clutter-breaking. Also, after a certain number of exposures it will go off.

  3. I dont agree with Amit on “It blends in with the match”..hows it possible visually? the voda ads are obviously from yester years..they hv tried to show low quality video of that time..moreover, their slow pace will make viewers tune out..

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