In May 2009, India-based leading telecom operator, Idea Cellular's (Idea) advertisement (ad) endorsed by the Indian film star Abhishek Bachchan (Bachchan) won the 'Best celebrity endorsement award' at NDTV Tech Life Awards. On receiving the award, Bachchan said," The IDEA campaign carries a socially relevant message in today's commercial environment and the brilliant concept of encouraging two-way communication between the government and people has connected with millions across India."3
Idea had chosen Bachchan as its brand ambassador in October 2007. Advertising agency Lowe Lintas (Lowe), which had been designing ad campaigns for Idea since the late 1990s, developed new campaigns after Bachchan was signed up. These campaigns, based on social issues that could be solved using mobile telephony, were acclaimed for their creativity. Idea's ads had focused on its network coverage and promotional packages before Bachchan was appointeccd as its brand ambassador. The company used its brand name 'Idea' in its ad slogans like 'An Idea can change your life,' 'A good Idea,' and 'What an Idea!'
According to advertising experts, Idea enjoyed very little brand recall in the initial years after its inception. It had gained on that front by using its brand name in creative and meaningful slogans that concluded in its ads making perfect sense.| Analysts felt that using Bachchan, one of the leading movie actors in India who is extremely popular among youngsters, was one of the reasons for the significant improvement in Idea's brand recall.
Analysts also attributed the success of Idea in improving its brand recall and subscriber base to the creative work done by Lowe. Idea's ads were in contrast to that of its competitors like Bharati Airtel and Vodafone which focused on their value added services (VAS) and products.
However, some experts felt that while Idea's ad campaigns were creative and improved its brand recall, there was...