December 2014 has been a great month for Idea Cellular, the third largest domestic carrier by subscriber base. The Aditya Birla Group telco added maximum number of subscribers in December, followed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, the ET reports. Idea has added 2.58 million new subscribers as compared to 1.79 million by Airtel and 1.49 million by Vodafone.
December also saw the carrier launch a campaign for the “Idea Internet Network (IIN”) claiming to be the greatest place to learn for today’s youth that fight against all odds. In a country, where getting into any of the IITs is what every science student and their parents measure as ‘success’, Idea’s IIN manages to turn the tables.
In a TVC conceptualised by Lowe Lintas and produced by Crazy Few Films, we see an enthusiastic young boy not letting an IIT rejection kill his urge for further learning. The boy’s father strongly believes his son is only good for the family baking business. Left with no choice, he joins his father in the bakery, though his heart lies in gaining knowledge.
They say – where there’s a will, there’s a way, so the boy joins Idea’s IIN. Which means he continues to seek knowledge by using his data-enabled mobile phone while working at the bakery. One day he surprises his dad with his invention – a talking drone to deliver stuff to the bakery. He credits IIN when asked how he learnt to make a drone. World recognition follows soon after, while the ad film focuses on IIN as the ‘greatest place to learn’.
Slammed on Twitter
The IIN may be present in over 3.5 lakh villages as claimed in the ad visual, but there are seem to be no takers for the ad campaign. The TVC has received a lot of flak for the concept.
Twitterverse has been slamming Idea’s IIN with altogether new definitions for the term. The tweets below reflect the overall negative sentiments received by the ad:
It was cancer first and then came AIDS. But no one can beat IIN
— Ra_Bies (@Ra_Bies) January 11, 2015
It seems that Modi has learnt English from IIN college
— The Bad Doctor (@doctoratlarge) January 11, 2015
I am graduate from IIN #FiveWordsToRuinADate”
— Champ-u-terology (@BolshoyBooze) January 14, 2015
Has Umesh Yadav learnt his bowling from IIN , Idea Internet Network?
— $ir $ri $ri Magal (@jhunjhunwala) January 9, 2015
Believing AAP will provide develop Delhi is like believing you can get Nobel Prize studying in IIN (Idea Internet Network). #DelhiWithModi
— Rohit KV (@RohitBJP) January 10, 2015
Nobody will outrage if ISIS or Taliban explodes IIN
— Sunil (@akshaykanitkar) January 10, 2015
After losing this Delhi elections Kejriwal will take admission in IIN (Idea of Indian Naxals )
— ROFLin Gandhi (@RahulDumbGandhi) January 10, 2015
Breaking: After Mukesh’s ad now theatres will show an ad about the people died after watching !dea’s IIN ad.
— Captain Chikoo (@TweetErrant) January 11, 2015
IIN has opened a branch in Haryana as per the latest TVC. BJP government is working.
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) January 14, 2015
When Rahul Gandhi enters Lok Sabha, Every one is Like IIN, IIN !! . PS ~ IIN = Isko Idharse Nikalo !!
— Babu Bhaiya (@Shahrcasm) January 7, 2015
Media: Where did you learn this bullshit bowling from? Indian Bowlers: IIN.
— Indian Thingy (@IndianThingy) January 7, 2015
BREAKING: Kejriwal appointed Dean of IIN – Indian Institute of Nautanki
— Champ-u-terology (@BolshoyBooze) January 7, 2015
IIN: Indian Institute of Nakli-degree.
— Captain Chikoo (@TweetErrant) January 7, 2015
From ‘No ullu banaoing’ to ‘IIN’
Things are looking up in the country. India is all set to have the largest youth population in the world by 2020. PM Modi’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ program has big plans for overhauling the sagging infrastructure issues in the country.
A recent report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International states that India is going to add 40 million mobile internet users in the next six months. The number of mobile internet users in India, pegged at 173 million in December 2014, is expected to reach 213 million by June 2015.
Given the rising demand for internet packs, Idea has always been at the forefront with its ad campaigns highlighting the benefits of an internet-enabled mobile phone. Its ‘no ullu banaoing’ won the ‘Marketing campaign of the year’ at ET Telecom Awards 2014. The minute-long ad featured people from all walks of life using their internet enabled mobile phone for instant access to information and exposing liars and rumour mongers.
However, IIN is on a different league. Per a press release on the campaign, Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular, said that IIN aims to ‘empower’ users, especially the youth, of using internet to their advantage. “The campaign drives home the point that no matter how difficult or trying the situations get, the youth of today can sail through them with the help of technology – courtesy the Idea Internet Network.”
He added that like all Idea ads, this one again picks up a societal problem and offers a simple but effective solution using the power of mobile telephony. “Education is the foremost important prerequisite for shaping tomorrow’s India. Limitations such as capacity in colleges, hyper competition, lack of funds etc. are creating undue pressure on the youth preventing them from attaining their ultimate ambition in life,” it stated.
Undoubtedly, the internet is a great place to learn but the branding of internet to the extent of making it equivalent to a university is incredulously funny. The telco might want to reconsider its campaign or face the risk of eternal trolling.