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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the return of zoozoos to IPL .... adding advertisements to promote ...

IPL extravaganza is all set to begin tomorrow ~ 16th April at Abu Dhabi….then Sharjah…. On May 2, it lands in India, at Ranchi – hosting CSK KKR match…. all but 5 of the 20 matches in UAE would be played at 8 pm IST – those 5 will be at 4 pm IST… the hosts may be different, but the matches for sure would be played to suit Indian timing … specifically, the TV peak hours….targetting the Indian audience…

Remember the tagline ‘wherever you go….’  the pug that appeared in the advertising campaign of Vodafone alongwith the child actor Jayaram. The dog followed the boy in unlikely locations, prompting the tagline, "Wherever you go, our network follows."  ~ the ad blitz hit  the TV,  billboards, newspapers and bus shelters becoming instant success….

The film ‘Kanthaswamy's’  plot revolved around Kanthaswamy (Vikram), an Income Tax officer in the CBI, and his friends, granting the wishes of the needy who write letters to  Lord Muruga temple by disguising himself as ananthropomorphic rooster. Incidentally, this is a famous temple situate at Thiruporur, around 20 kms away from our present location at Karapakkam.  Anthropomorphism, or personification, is attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being. Anthropomorphism has ancient roots as a literary device in storytelling, and also in art.

At a different plane, people have less time to entertain themselves and often finer things in life are not appreciated.  Many are not able to appreciate nature. In the bustling city life inside concrete jungle, there is nothing as nature at all. The chirping birds, squirrels are not found as their habitat is lost.  Some find solace in having pets. Some would quip that humanity is slowing losing their tolerance and first should love fellow human beings before patronising pets.

Pet is often smaller animals kept for companionship and enjoyment.  These are domesticated animals, which would obey commands and do things that would please its master [is that what is wanted everywhere !] – man’s interaction with animals is boundless. There are some peculiar pets as well.  In some countries, hamsters are quite popular.  Hamsters are rodents fo the family of crictinae. They live in burrows in day light.  They have been successfully bred and domesticated as small house pets.   The list of pets owned by people would sometimes take you by surprise.  In that Sci-fi of my favourite Sujatha, ‘En Eniya Iyanthira ’ – it was a scientific robot dog. The plot was subtly woven around a dictator who has the continent under his tight grip and 3 rebels organising a coup.  One of the main characters was Jeeno – a robot dog.  Then there is the Zhu zhu pets which actually are not live animals.  These also known as Go go hamsters are plush robotic hamster toys created in 2009 which instantly became a craze over the Western world.  The inventor is credited to tbe Russ Hornsby of Cepia Llc. Pronounced as zoo zoo, these battery operated hamsters run on wheel around the tracks set up.  They are cloned like real hamsters.  They look real enough and scamper around cutely on the modular tracks which again are to be bought but don’t mess around. 

There is another zoozoo (this time zoozooz and not zhu zhu) that are all set to come back to the small screen , with Vodafone planning on reviving the advertising campaign for a fifth edition. According to a press note, the icon will come back for its fifth edition for the latest IPL season and will be contextualised around well-known TV shows. (somehow I never liked them when they were introduced in IPL version 2!!!)

That time it was perhaps a conscious decision of Vodafone to breakaway from the success of Hutch’s ‘Pug campaign’.  ZooZoos are advertisement characters of  Vodafone. ZooZoos are white creatures with ballooned bodies and egg heads who are used to promote various value added services of Vodafone. Although these characters look animated, they are actually humans in Zoozoo costumes. The ads were created by Ogilvy & Mather, the agency handling Vodafone advertisements. According to Rajiv Rao, National Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather, they "wanted to make real people look as animated as possible". Going by newspaper reports, the  Zoozoos are small-bodied, thin women covered in layers of white fabric. Each facial expression is made of rubber and pasted on the actors to cut down on the time and cost for shoot.  

Economic times reports that the first two advertisements that will be released on Wednesday will feature a Zoozoo coming back for performances in a competitive dance show until the three judges give him a perfect 10. The message: Get the number you want. The second is a quiz show in which the contestant uses 'Phone a friend' but runs out of credit to avail an instant small recharge. The entire campaign that will run till the finale of the IPL cricket tournament on June 1, will promote a number of other such services.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Apr 2014.

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