Onida's devil ad campaign is my favourite: Harish Bijoor Consults founder

Which is your favourite campaign and why?

My favourite campaign to date is the Onida television campaign with the little devil, which had the tagline, “Neighbour's envy, Owner’s Pride”. Even today, if you are to just say that tagline, you will get a whole generation of folks brighten up to the brand Onida. The campaign was brilliant for many reasons. The first was the fact that the tagline was totally woven into the product offering. Most brands today find it tough to do that, and force-fit imageries. Not Onida. Onida was a sleek-looking television set in that era and neighbours would envy it for sure, just as the owner would wallow in pride. The tagline was a sleek fit for a sleek product.

The tagline also had the lovable little devil brightening up the cast. Add to it the fact that India itself was just about coming out of the closet in those days. The tagline had a double meaning that was not in the face, but one that was subliminal and had cues that everyone could relate to.

On what parameters did you base your decision?

My decision is based on six parameters. The first is brand fit. In this case the fit was perfect. The second is big idea. The tagline was the big idea in itself. It set this brand apart from the rest. Quite like a sore thumb that stands out. The devil was the sore thumb that heightened the imagery to perfection.

Harish Bijoor Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc
Then comes memorability. The brand is still high on recall, thanks to its campaign. You bring the name Onida into any focus group and out comes the imagery of the devil and the slogan. The fourth parameter, according to me, is the relevance. The tagline and the campaign was a total fit for an India that was just about walking into the era of consumerism.

The last two parameters are single-mindedness and “campaignability”. The campaign was focused and single-minded for sure. This was not material for one campaign. The little devil would hold forth for generations.

What do you think was the key idea the campaign was trying to drive home?

A simple one: This is a very nice television set and it stands apart from the rest. If you bring it into your home, it is going to be the talk of the town. Neighbour’s envy and your pride. Go for it!

What are your takeaways from the campaign?

My personal takeaway as a consumer would be the fact that there is a new television in town. It is a mean looker. Take it home and become the first to do it. Become an envy point.

Sometimes because of the emotional element in a campaign, there is greater recall for the story than the product or service advertised. Do you feel the same thing happened to Onida the brand?

This campaign was totally product-centric. It started with the brand name, went deep into the product, and related that one key commandment of envy as a positive. It related very well to a society that others were becoming envious of. Envy is still green... and fresh. In fact, envy as a sentiment is evergreen.

Did this campaign win any awards? Do advertising awards serve any purpose?

Many awards really. But I think awards just do not matter. Awards are out here in the industry for many reasons. One is to self-gratify. Another is to say that I matter. And yet, there is the fact that awards is an industry in itself. People make either money or goodwill out of advertising awards that are dished out ever so often. And both money and goodwill are currencies you can encash in many ways.

The best award a campaign can win is the like of its customers current and potential. Onida did just that, across generations of buyers. The product dies, but the brand lives forever.

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