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The adorable couple — Asha and Bala — are back, as Vodafone once again reminds its customers to celebrate life to the fullest

Shruti Venkatesh

Its network may be spotty, but Vodafone has always managed to connect with its customers by bringing interesting and funny characters to its ad campaigns with ZooZoos, adorable pugs or a lovable elderly pair Asha and Bala. Remember that uber-cool couple celebrating their second honeymoon? What makes them endearing is an adventurous streak and the ease with which they adopt technology.

“The previous two campaigns with Asha and Bala resonated strongly across the country, especially with the youth. They could identify their grandparents in this lovable couple and see how simple technology can change people’s lives,” says Kavita Nair, chief digital transformation and brand officer, Vodafone Idea.

Naturally, Vodafone and Ogilvy returned with ‘season three’ of Asha and Bala’s chronicles. This time, the campaign celebrates the spirit of life and encourages everyone to live their dreams – no matter how old they are. Story-telling is clearly their focus, with an intent to connect.

Nair says today’s consumer is not interested in hearing your sales pitch, but is looking for the story that the brand narrates. “Through the #LiveMore campaign, we wanted to capture the spirit of new India. We follow Asha and Bala on their newest adventure, as entrepreneurs,” says Kiran Antony, CCO, Ogilvy India (South and Team Vodafone).

In this campaign, it is shown that the couple is courageous enough to set up a Café – Asha’s Kitchen – and make it a success with the help of Vodafone 4G. For instance, one commercial shows Asha struggling to understand what a customer is asking for. Bala and Vodafone come to the rescue. He asks the customer if he is Chinese, and activates the translator on his smartphone. Thus, understanding that the customer was Thai and asking for vengaya sambhar, a South Indian dish. In another ad, Asha is busy setting up the table with an array of dishes, to take pictures and upload them on social media. Feeling left out, Bala quickly searches online for a way to make the layout prettier. The effortless adoption of the characters by the reel and real-life couple VP Dhanajayan and Shanta Dhanajayan, make these ads a sleeper hit.

Throughout the series of ads, what comes through is Ogilvy’s knack for brilliant story-telling through relatable, slice-of-life instances. For Vodafone, it is yet another memorable campaign. And for the audiences, a delightful journey with Asha and Bala. 

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