Vodafone – creativity gone awry

Posted on July 3rd, 2008 in advertising , business , India , wonder why - 10 comments


Just click those ads and tell me what you understood. Humor me, go ahead, I am waiting.

Ok, stop scratching, you might loose more hair than the common sense brand managers at vodafone lost.

Apparently these adds convey that Vodafone has solved the unsolvable conundrum of “talk-time” or “validity” by introducing a lifetime valid pre-paid card that also gives unlimited talk time. Wow, certainly a good move given the difficult choice pre-paid cell phone customer has to make by selecting one of “more talk time, less validity”, “less talk time more validity” and “mediocre talk time and mediocre validity”.

But Vodafone choose the most cryptic way to communicate this message across. They created visuals that have very little text and complicated meanings that I am sure not many pre-paid customers can comprehend. Anyone looking at zebra and thinking “is it white lines on dark skin” or “dark lines on white skin” and then immediately correlating that with “talk-time” or “validity” all while controlling the temptation to skip that page (containing the ad) in the magazine / news paper has my kudos.

what do you think? Should brands challenge people intellectually or just indulge in simple and easy to understand messages?

Also see earlier rants on Vodafone and Hutch: vodafone pug, Hutch Hindi ads

PS: Images are from AgencyFaqs

Written by Chandoo
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10 Responses to “Vodafone – creativity gone awry”

  1. phet says:

    I am waiting too

  2. Mike says:

    What came first, the chicken or the egg?
    How does a zebra get its stripes?
    Is the glass half empty or half full?

    These are rhetorical questions that have no true answers, and you would need unlimited talk time to devote to answering them. If you could.

  3. Chandoo says:

    @Phet and Mike .. welcome to Pointy Haired Dilbert...

    @mike.. you are right... they combined the rhetorical questions with one of their own : what is more important - talktime or validity... and in the end managed to confuse everyone looking at the ads.. 🙂

  4. tyson says:

    Mike...the second one is probably "Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes." Considering how a zebra get's it's stripes is entirely uncontroversial.

  5. Mike says:

    I believe the original was

    the zebra asked, "Am I a white horse with black stripes, or a black horse with white stripes?" St. Peter said, "That is a question that only God can answer."

  6. kidakaka says:

    Well, the ad certainly did not make any point. Maybe they want to connect to a very niche market 😛

  7. Sean says:

    They are arresting and beautiful images, they make you stop, and think, and remember them. An ad doesn't have to be direct to be effective.

  8. M&A waiting in a recessionary market says:

    Dude lost interest in the venture eh?? Suddenly happy & content in life with idly sambar or mac D chicken 🙂 Apparently no news from you ???

  9. Abhishek says:

    I claim to be no genius, but actually as soon as I saw chicken and egg, I understood it!
    I have always liked vodafone/hutch ads.

  10. Scott says:

    Mike is right, I like them and these would be cheap ads to print! Good business strat!

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