If you have a television in your house that works just fine, I’m sure you must have come across Telenor’s new ad Jo Mein Chahoon which focuses on the boring, clock-in-clock-out rut that most people are stuck in, all the while gently highlighting the feeling of being ‘lonely in a crowd’ using the good old slow-motion technique.
With 7,443 shares and 1,500 comments on the video till date, the ad seems to be attracting fairly decent engagement.
Here’s the ad in case you have missed it:
Without further ado I’m going to list the ad’s yays and nays.
Crisp, thought-provoking copy/narration: The narrator has done a brilliant job of expressing the conundrum that our modern life is, by highlighting the alienation some of us feel when the mundanity of life takes over. The copy fits the shots like a glove and for someone like me, who doesn’t like everything spelled out in an ad, I appreciated how the brand assumed the audience has enough grey matter to read between the lines and understand the philosophy of the ad.
The brand isn’t trying too hard: Imagine watching a toothpaste ad with a gigantic tube flashing in your face and someone at the back yelling “Hey it’s a toothpaste! Please buy it! So minty and fabulous! Will fix teeth, heart, marriage, car and life!” While this might be a gross exaggeration, you and I both know there are still brands that do that. The good thing about Telenor’s ad is that it doesn’t.
Telenor 4G can help you embrace your dreams and aspirations and find a way out. If that’s what the brand was going for, I believe they have done a pretty decent job. If not, then oops!
The beauty of subtlety: While ‘go big or go home’ is great for those motivational speeches you give to yourself outside a conference room, it sadly doesn’t quite sit well in advertising. Content may be king but insight and cultural relevance are gold. The ad makes good use of the art of subtlety in expressions, shots and double-meaning copy (for example, yeh sitara gardish se niklayga while highlighting the plight of a lost fisherman) to create big impact. My personal favourite though, has to be the last frame that shows the aspirations of different people (music, education and singing) glowing on top of their heads.
From functional to aspirational: The recent wave of telecom advertisements has shown a strong aspirational shift with only undertones of functional. Zong, for example, has been trying to make ‘A New Dream’ message stick with the audience, but haven’t come up with anything worth writing home about. Ufone, on the other hand, also moved away from the humorous terrains to more emotional/aspiration pastures with Rabya Faysal (a mother, wife and successful entrepreneur) and their Jashn-e-Azadi: 70 years of Pakistan ad. While Zong seem to be struggling with making a name in the emotional realm, Ufone and Telenor have managed to make the transition rather smoothly.
In ‘#JoMeinChahoon’, Telenor seem to be claiming that in a fast-paced world, where most people have adopted a blasé attitude, Telenor 4G can help you embrace your dreams and aspirations and find a way out. If that’s what the brand was going for, I believe they have done a pretty decent job. If not, then oops!
Digital game strong: Telenor is driving the #JoMeinChahoon message home with a strong digital campaign. With films like ‘Haww Haye’ and ‘Mard Honay Keh Liay Mard Ban’na bhi Parta Hay’, Telenor has succeeded in stirring a digital firestorm. The two films have managed to get 5,000 and 3,000 plus shares respectively. The overall digital campaign is tightly-knit and provides razor-sharp social critique.
Good things come in old packages: Even though the copy and the shots of the ad film managed to stop me from changing the channel, in my opinion the whole slow motion to normal-paced technique did push it, okay no, nudge it slightly towards the ‘cliché category’.
Verdict: So while I may not be as blisteringly honest and accomplished as Simon Cowell, I will steal his infamous one-liner and say: It’s a yes from me!