No ‘mazaa’ in these Tata Sky ads

06 Jun,2018


By Sanjeev Kotnala


Every creative team dreams to create a unique communication style deeply associated with a brand. Something so unique, it becomes the default signature style of the brand. It redefines brand tonality and the brand-consumer connect.

However, creating a unique style of expression, tonality, storytelling or a strong association with a person or character is a dual-edged sword. Few brands, which succeeded in this area, are consistently sensitive to their responsibility. Instead of getting cramped, these brands have learnt to exploit the constraints such associations impose on the brand.

Tata Sky latest campaign #HarSceneKaMazaaLo leverages India’s favourite brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan playing a character resembling his role in the recent film; 102 Not out.

Playing the role of a Bengali movie critic who holds nothing back, he interacts with easily recognisable scenes and character from Indian cinema across screen formats. The campaign features famous Sindoor ki kimat , Khamosh, Babu Moshay, KKK Kiran and Singham dialogues and acts.  It lacks the humour quotient and underutilises the inherent potential of the concept and the actor. It even alienates few of the potential subscribers*.

Not sure what holds Tata Sky back. The brand in its earlier work has demonstrated how well it celebrates unrestrained creative expressions.   Watch the acting classes advertisement series. Watch the main DVC centred on Ramleela or the DVC that shows AB practising facial expressions. They are entertaining works resonating with the audience.

I may find few subscribers to the view that the brilliance of Amitabh Bachchan is limiting the scope of creativity for Tata Sky. Here is another work, the Rs 199 Dhamaka pack and suddenly the doubts start raising their head.

There is no point comparing current communication with the era when Aamir Khan was the brand ambassador. Tata Sky creative expression and execution far better leveraged the talent of Aamir’s talent. He portrayed multiple roles like salesman, saloon guy, Sardar or Milkman and thus was more endearing to a  substantial subset of consumers.

I think Tata Sky needs to rethink its brand ambassador strategy. At least for this series of communication, the brand needs to interact with its audience playfully but in a younger and vibrant avatar.

Meanwhile, brand Flipkart has extended the hugely successful format of Adult Kid. It is a unique expression style strongly associated with the brand. They have been treating the subject and the characters with sensitivity and newness preventing staleness to develop. You can watch every TVC many times over and not feel bored.

Here watch Flipkart Fashion or Big Billion Day where kids and adult both roles are played by kids.

In the recent ‘tested furniture’ advertisements, Sofa or Trampoline or Table or Tabla, Flipkart remains as lovable and endearing as always. Maybe the brand can consider creating this unique style into a TV Serial.


Many brands have experimented to create a unique expression style and tonality of the brand. Two of them need special mention. Vodafone with the character Zoozoo , Voltas All Star AC with Murthy and AIRTEL with the Airtel Girl.

If you now wish to have a signature style of expression and tonality, take the route at your own risk.


*Based on my interaction with TV viewers across segment


Sanjeev Kotnala is a senior marketing and business strategy consultant. He writes every Wednesday on MxMIndia. The views here are personal



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