Iconic Ads: Air Deccan – Simplifly

Air Deccan wanted to take an emotional route to advertising. They wanted to capture the vision that any Indian can fly.

In 2003, Air Deccan wanted to take an emotional route to advertise after going the rational route earlier.

Capt Gopinath wanted Orchard (agency) to capture the vision of the company that any Indian can fly.  The only precondition which Capt had been “The ad should not be flippant. It should be shot like a Shyam Benegal film.” 

It took just two weeks to write the script and it was approved without changes. 

The commercial was shot in Pollachi, Tamilnadu. The old man in the commercial was played national film award winner from Kerala, Murali. Produced by Thinkpot Productions, Bangalore, directed by Manoj Pillai and cinematography, was by PS Vinod. Thomas Xavier came up with the idea of capturing all the emotions a person goes through before his first flight. 

Initially, Murali was outraged that he was even called as he did not usually do commercials. But once he read the script he agreed.

At 150 seconds — the Air Deccan campaign was said to be “the longest TV commercial ever to be telecast in the history of Indian advertising.”. It beat the Raymond ad by 30 seconds to gain the top spot. And an entry into the Limca Book of Records 

The strategy used for telecasting and promoting the film was unique.

It was not screened on mass channels. Select time slots in niche channels such as MTV, AXN, NGC etc were used.

Since budgets were limited, appointment viewing strategy was used, It was also probably the first time a TVC had been promoted like a film. Hoardings and posters at airports announced the telecast timings.

Trailers were promoted digitally for about 10 days before it went on air. Air Deccan distributed leaflets to 7,000 passengers every day. There was even a contest online, where tickets were being given away as prizes.

The idea was not to create a long commercial but to create an impactful ad. The story demanded 2.5 minutes. 

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