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Vodafone set to take Zoozoos overseas
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The lovable Zoozoos, created by India's largest advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, is all set to be exported abroad, courtesy Vodafone. The telecom company will be taking the iconic characters to allied markets in what is being seen as a clear thumbs-up to the creative concept that has taken the local advertising industry by storm since the campaign's launch earlier this year.

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, South Asia, says it's (taking Vodafone worldwide) a definite possibility and a lot of progress has been made on this front in the past one week. "I am keeping my fingers crossed," he says.

Into its second leg at the moment, the campaign with the egg-headed characters first surfaced during the second season of the Indian Premier League in April this year. Instead of the traditional repeat ads, Vodafone decided to launch a new film everyday during the league as it wanted to showcase its value added services. The characters, enacted by Marathi theatre actors, became endearing as they represented innocent people living in a simple world, says Pandey.

The campaign was conceived by Rajiv Rao, National Creative Director, O&M, and the film was directed by Nirvana Films.

Vodafone has been quick to cash in on the fever by launching exclusive Zoozoo merchandise in October this year. This was the first for an advertising concept in the country.

The second leg, called Power to You, is a continuation of the first, except that the ads now dwell on certain product attributes, in a Zoozoo way, of course. So, if Vodafone wishes to communicate that it has an exhaustive play-list to select from, in case a subscriber wishes to download a ringtone, then the Zoozoo adaptation of it would be as follows: A young Zoozoo girl is seen rushing from the end of a bench to the other desperately trying to catch up with the music being played out by her suitors who wish to woo her somehow. The manner in which she makes her entry, sits next to one of them, when he plays his music from his stereo, then rushes to the other who tries to woo her with his collection, is comical.

This is not the first time that an advertising concept has been taken overseas, though. The hugely popular Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola campaign, featuring Aamir Khan, was also taken abroad by the company. Launched in 2002, the campaign saw the versatile actor essaying six roles - the street-smart charlie from Mumbai, the Hyderabadi, the Punjabi farmer, the Nepali, the Bihari and the Bengali babumoshai.

Through 2002 and 2003, the campaign resonated the message - Thanda-Matlab Coca-Cola - loud and clear, instinctively cutting ice with people and ensuring that it bagged all the key awards during that period.

The multinational was so impressed with the campaign, which was created by Mccann-Erickson that it was felicitated with the company's most prestigious marketing award, the Don Keogh Marketing Mastery Award, in 2003. The campaign was adapted to markets such as China and South East Asia eventually.
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