Idea Cellular isn’t in the business of education and the Idea Internet Network is not a university. Idea is a mobile service providing company that makes profit when people subscribe to Idea for a basic phone plan and also when they avail its data plan for accessing the internet.
With India moving swiftly towards a mobile economy – driven by mid segment smartphones and affordable data plans – a new consumer is born daily and she wants to access the internet from her smartphone, she wants to learn from the world wide web and not miss out on the information age.
Every mobile telephony company is competing to get her to join their network. But, Idea cellular has been doing it innovatively. The company is grossly ‘ullu banaoing’ this emerging consumer segment by suggesting that they join IIN (Idea Internet Network), as it is the greatest place to learn.
A series of ads have been doing the rounds since December 2014, where people of various age groups and backgrounds, who haven’t completed their studies, are now fulfilling their dreams by joining IIN.
The first TVC shows a young boy building a talking drone all by learning it from IIN, after facing rejection from IIT. Other ads include a proud eunuch who is learning algebra and other subjects from IIN, following a long spate of being rejected from educational institutions; a tourist guide who learns French from IIN and is now cool with his foreign tourists; a mother who is pursuing her studies after marriage, and so on.
The ads became the butt of jokes on social networks. Numerous memes, tweets began springing on the social web, giving more depth to the definition of IIN. IIN was also nicknamed as “Indian Institute of Nakli-degree”! Google ‘IIN jokes’ and check it out for yourself. Read “Sorry Idea, Twitterverse Do Not Believe ‘IIN’ Is The Greatest Place To Learn“.
But on the other side are naive folks who believed in a university called ‘IIN’ which did not require any qualification, just the will to learn at any age. People searched for ‘How can I join IIN’, “What is IIN and how does it work?’, ‘Which is the best IIN in India?’, ‘What is it like to study at IIN?’ ‘Is IIN the best place to learn? Will it discourage students from going into IITs or NITs any more in the coming days?’’. No Kidding! Read “How Can I Join Idea IIN?” The Story Of One Misleading Ad (After Another) From Idea Cellular”.
Idea has now rolled out a new set of IIN ads. The earlier ones are no longer available on its YouTube channel.
In this TVC, a soldier posted at a remote location learns to pursue his passion for ‘shayari’ via IIN. He is shown accessing Google on his smartphone and learning to write the poetry in Urdu. Later he is heard entertaining his team, while the voiceover says, ‘Zindagi mein jahan bhi chaho, wahan seenkh lo, Idea Internet Network se’.
This young guy is gifted an ancient scooter by his dad for his eighteenth birthday. Not wanting to displease his dad and also not wanting to take it to college, he takes up the task to transform it into a cool bike. Of course, he learns from IIN and surprises his dad with this new bike.
This one tops it all. This minute-long TVC tells the story of two aspiring chefs and how they face all kinds of hardships before establishing a successful hotel business. And, where did they learn the art of cooking from? IIN!
In an interview with Brand Equity, the brand played defensive while the agency, Lowe Lintas said they had no intention to mislead people; it is the viewer’s fault if they misread the TVCs. Idea’s IIN ads are undoubtedly raking in more data subscribers, but have certainly fallen in ethical brand communication.