Anil Thakraney: Voda must commission study on campaign

30 Mar,2012

By Anil Thakraney


There is a controversy raging in the virtual world over the new Vodafone pug campaign. The one where the doggie plays cupid between two kids who look to be in their early teens. The problem is this: Some people find them too young to be flirting, and feel that this sort of a campaign would send the wrong signal toIndia’s kids.


I did allude to this when I reviewed the campaign some weeks back, and I recall wondering if the two are indeed a bit too young to be glad-eyeing each other. But I left it at that and passed no value judgments. And that’s because I am not really sure of the propriety (or the impropriety) of the situation. While it is true that young ones in urban India often start dating early in their lives (and this used to be the case even when I went to school, so it’s nothing new), I am not entirely sure what happens in small towns and villages.


However, some ad experts seem to think that the campaign is indeed a terrible influence on young minds, and veteran ad man Alyque Padamsee’s comments have gone viral in the social media. He seems to think that ads like these can lead to social problems like eve-teasing and sexual harassment when the lads grow up!


Quite obviously this is an over the top reaction. My own view is that kids would most probably view this as harmless fun, and not as a license to either misbehave with members of the opposite sex or to get into bed at the age of 12. And I also believe that kids usually get influenced by adult behaviour, as it’s the grown ups who tend to be their role models.


Still, it might be a good idea if Vodafone commissioned a study amongst the young teens, in urban and ruralIndia, to understand the influence of this campaign on young minds. And if it’s a harmless one, then great! And if it is found to be pernicious, they could pull the campaign. Either way the marketer will be appreciated for taking a pro-active step.


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However, they must act quickly. Before, egged on by comments of worthies like Alyque, some dudes with too much free time on hand file in bitter PILs. And cause the early death of a campaign which to my mind seems to be quite cute, and doesn’t really threaten the moral fabric of the great Indian society.


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PS: Wonderful use of emotion. The happywallah emotion. Keep a hanky ready, it’s sure to leave a little moisture in the eyes. Especially if you are a parent.


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2 responses to “Anil Thakraney: Voda must commission study on campaign”

  1. Norman says:

    Come on Anil. It is just puppy love. Surely kids brought up to respect one another will never take it in the negative spirit.Guess Alyque has an axe to grind with his competitor. Shabhana Azmi and he should not get involved in this innocent act. We should trust our kids to behave themselves in a civil manner.
    In this case each and ever adv. movie book etc will have to be thoroughly looked into before passing onto the public. And we will find fault in 90 odd % of material. So why not give the Indian (us) a chance to see what is right and wrong for ourselves. We do not need so called people who have scandals on their shoulders to decide what we have to read/look at and do.
    Surely we are much more mature.

  2. Shilpa Raheja says:

    Thought provoking post . I must confess my one and only reaction when I saw the Vodafone ad was ” sweet”! And it was left at that! I always find the pug used in ther ads mighty cute! But ya what u suggest seems like a good idea! Maybe they shud carry out something like that!

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