management by matrices

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Lessons in Positioning - Nokia n-Series Vs Reliance Infocomm

My favourite ad on television these days is the Nokia n-series ad. I cannot think of any other ad that communicates to it's target segment as precisely (like a hot knife through butter, if I may use a Sidhuism) as this one. The film opens to the shot of a guy removing rings pierced on his face, and moves on to a guy with long hair, who gets a haircut (and I presume a new Nokia n-series phone), then we move on to a guy who trades in his old tattered jeans for a new one, and similar such life situations where people make that transition from being young and rebellious, to older more mature selves. The fantastic jingle begins with 'Zindagi ki nayi mod pe, aa gaye aaj hum' - which roughly translates to -Today, we have come to a new turn in our lives. The positioning is crystal clear - the n-Series is not your first phone, it's your second phone, the one you buy when you move up in life, the one you buy when you have had enough of living your rebellious college bum life, and move on to greater things (like employment, your first car etc).The whole ad just focusses on positioning and customer segmentation (by stage of life) - no rubbish about the phone's features or the prices. Sweet.

Check out the clip below

On the other hand, we have the new and youthful 'Reliance Infocomm', which has absolutely gone berserk with colours. Their new ad celebrates 2.5 million customers (and growing). However, the positioning goes haywire. The ad features these young twenty-somethings humming the new Reliance signature tune, while facts about the company appear to their right (in colours that I can only call vulgar). The average Reliance customer is NOT trying to make a statement about his cool quotient through his brand choice. It is more likely that he is a cost conscious person who wants a basic connection.
What seems to have happened is that Anil Ambani has decided that all his brands will be 'youthful', in stark contrast to brother Mukesh's staid brands. So, suddenly Reliance Infocomm (which had, and continues to have no brand attributes associated with it except cheap) finds itself in a desperate situation trying to be young and hep, instead of being itself - a lesson that is as important for a brand as it is for us mortals.


  1. syko


    holy crap-a-moly batman!

    i was gonna post on the N Series ad too! :D love that ad.

    i think they got Shankar Mahadevan to sing it. bloddy catchy song.

    1:02 AM
  2. NFS_Carbon


    i know its too late...but the link you gave is for the international commercial...not the indian one..
    (not blaming you)

    but i really miss the shankar mahadevans jingle...

    11:06 PM
  3. Anonymous


    Can you get that video somewhere... i've tried a hell lot to get it, but couldnt!


    11:01 AM
  4. gravatar

    Vijay, Check the youtube video in the post. Didn't find any other versions of that ad though.

    11:06 AM
  5. Anonymous


    Thx Mohit,

    Though I remember the other version better, this one is okay!


    11:29 AM