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Big TV promo takes off on Bharti’s DTH teaser ad

Bapun Raz

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Battle lines have been drawn. With newer players hopping onto the direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV bandwagon, advertising is emerging as
the new turf where marketing wars are being fought for grabbing a chunk of the subscriber base. This is similar to what FMCGs, in particular colas, have witnessed in the past.

A teaser ad by a strong new entrant has been completely hijacked by an equally aggressive rival. Over the last few weeks, a 10-second commercial of a plush red sofa was running with a voice-over which announced, ‘See you home...soon’. The ad in question was a pre-launch campaign for Bharti Airtel’s DTH foray. Even as viewers were left guessing as to what the advertisement was trying to sell to consumers, Reliance Communication’s Big TV was quick to spot an opportunity here by releasing its own 10-second commercial.

The setting was similar with a red sofa and a voice-over that said, ‘‘See you home soon’, except that this time the ad was accompanied with a Big TV logo, announcing all features like 32 cinemas and 200+ channels.

Clearly, the Big TV commercial took full advantage of the curiosity level that was created by Bharti Airtel, so much so, that viewers started to think the teaser ad actually belonged to Big TV. Said Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra group, the agency handling the creative for Big TV: ‘‘Marketing is war. Competition presented us with an opening, and we took it and capitalised on it very quickly. It was done in a matter of hours, in fact, overnight.’’ Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary, Bharti Telemedia, had appointed JWT as the national advertising agency for its DTH business.

Bharti Airtel, which launched its DTH service in Delhi on Tuesday, refused to comment. Given that DTH is expected to grow to around Rs 3,000 crore in the next couple of years, the stakes are quite high. All players, including Tata Sky and Dish TV, are planning to roll out aggressive marketing plans to grab customers’ eyeballs.