Iconic Ads: Airtel – Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai

The theme was Friendship and its relevance. Friends are very important especially for youth, who share more secrets with friends.

In 2011-12, Airtel had launched 3G countrywide. There were around 200 million Indians, aged between 15 and 25 years. The youth were the easy adapters of technology. At that time, they were drivers of data consumption through social media, messaging, video calls etc.

Taproot was given the task of communicating an idea that retained the core of the Airtel brand, focused on youth but worked across all ages.

Every year Airtel had a major campaign with a certain philosophy, emotions & relationships which then reflected on the brand. Airtel (and the other brands) was not trying to eat into the competition’s market share but to build the category & consumption.

There was also a concern. The earlier communication sounded a little old-fashioned. Airtel was clear that they were not trying to become younger as a brand but wanted the tone to be young.

After multiple sessions with the Airtel team and research among the youth, the creative idea was arrived at in a brainstorming session.

The theme was Friendship and its relevance. Friends are very important and more so for youth. Youth share more secrets with friends rather than family. Research also said that most people have different types of friends. And quite a few enjoy their varied lot.

Taproot started discussing a 3 am friend, one who you could turn to if you were in trouble. From that, it moved onto how the dynamics of friendship have changed. Youth today, thanks to technology, have a massive number of friends. This would have been impossible in pre-tech times when physical interaction was the main way to make friends.

There can be different friends – the jokes forwarding friend, the crusader, the leftist, the rightist, and so on. Each of them had a role to play.

Based on this Agnello Dias wrote the line ‘Friendship Main Har Ek friend Zaroori Hota Hai. He found it too long, so he condensed it to Har Ek friend Zaroori Hota Hai.

Agnello had written the rough lyrics both in Hindi and English, which he gave to Amitabh Bhattacharya, who refined and embellished it.

Ram Madhvani, who made the film shared the John Lennon song ‘Give peace a chance.’ This song had a strong acoustic feel, which would be for the jingle (this song was used for the strategy presentation too).

Ram Sampath created the music without using any real instrument. He used benches, tables, notebooks, dustbins, etc. (all found in a classroom) as percussion instruments.

Agnello also used his experience at school when he had told his Class 10 classmates, in the assembly hall, that the Principal was coming. Initially, they were scared but later realized it was a prank. This episode became the end of the film.

The campaign was so successful that the election commissioner called Agnello and told him to adopt the same jingle for increasing voting. Hence the jingle = Har Ek Vote Zaroori Hota Hai.

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