Choice = Togetherness?

Tata Sky after its 1500 pricing advertisement has come up with a bubbly upbeat spot comparing two families. One stays together, does everything together and is very happy, while the other is not happy and not together. The head of the latter family peeps through a keyhole presumably on the door of the former, and finds the secret to their togetherness – Tata Sky. We are then treated to a series of shots showing the benefits of Tata Sky and that these benefits would keep our family together.

But wait a second… the features all point to one thing – the choice and variety Tata Sky offers – the games, the “mandir darshans”, the special sportscasts. Off the top of my head, if my TV offers all these, and members of my family have interest in these things, would they sit together to watch TV? Does the TV show each of these items to its respective fans+recipients? Or do we have to flip channels to switch to either of the content streams? The latter is no doubt the case, and in that case, I don’t think you’ll get a family which would sit together to watch TV, not atleast because of the variety that’s on tap.

Case in point – did families watch TV together when there was more variety on television or when there was less? Did different members of the family start getting different TV sets for their bedrooms when there were more channels or when there were fewer?

Does the Tata Sky ad then seem to hint at the right “benefit” arising from its variety?

The Tata Sky at 1500 Melodrama

Two friends chatting in a party, and their wives just disappear one by one. Sounds like a scene from a suspense thriller, right? Well, this story has got suspense, drama, humour and a very clear message for all of us. Surely it’s a superhit movie!

That’s how the new Tata Sky advertisement goes. While Dish TV is still using a celebrity to sell category benefits, Tata Sky has moved on to assuming that it is a well-known brand in an on-the-way-to-be-established category (correct on both counts), and instead focused on that P (out of the traditional four we know) which is probably the only reason the category isn’t taking off like it should, given the benefits it is providing – price.

More of a tactic than a strategy surely. Instead of bundling a six-month maxi-subscription in an installation package which costs around three to four thousand rupees, Tata Sky has stripped down its offering to offer just the installation at an attractive price of Rs. 1499, plus whatever. Key point is, the advert attracts you quite well.

So what works?

  • Humour – the plight of the two husbands whose wives (and their respective Geeta Bhabhi and Seeta Bhabhi) have just vanished into thin air is hilarious.
  • Surprise
    • Let’s face it. Who would ever have dreamt that the oft-repeated filmy line of “tumhari kasamm” would indeed end up in its implied consequence, even in make belief?
    • “What? It’s not 1500? So why is the company placing this ad on air?”
  • Direct communication – to the point. The advert aims at making the audience aware that Tata Sky is now offering its base system at Rs. 1499 only, and it does just that – with aplomb.
  • The brand somewhere comes out to be painfully honest in here: “So what if the difference is just 1 rupee? It’s a lie alright.”

What might not work?

  • Price wars. Have never been good. We have no evidence they will be good in the future.
  • 1499 is the price of only the hardware. Software costs an extra 1000 rupees. And monthly charges are not included in this pricing. Consumers would not actually take nicely to this point. The lowered “entry barrier” might not really translate well into sales if we see that once the customer reaches the point of purchase, she feels cheated that a package of 2499+monthly charges has been sold to her as 1499 only.

What do you think?