News

My favourite ad campaign of all time: The Hutch boy and his pug from 2003

Featuring a cute pug loyally following its young owner around to communicate the always connected notion of new technology, the Hutch campaign influenced a new generation of Indian creatives – writes Ankita Ghosh of Geometry Asia-Pacific

It’s not easy.

When I first got the request from Mumbrella to write an article about my favourite ad of all time, that’s the first thought that came to my mind. After all, the 17 years that I have spent working in the industry, and another year before that when I started dreaming about it, have been spent chewing on myriad great ads.

The classics and contemporaries, from my country, from all over the world. There certainly have been plenty. To pinpoint one was just never going to be easy.

But I have a trick. When I’m asked such questions – to select my favourite piece of art, book, poem, cinema or anything like that – I close my eyes and try to remember which one comes to me first and what feelings it carries with it. I did the same this time too.

I started working in advertising at a very interesting juncture for India. It was 2001. Piyush Pandey (executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy & Mather South Asia) was already a revered name around the world. In a few years, India would win its first Cannes Lions. And the world would wake up to Indian ads.

Economically too, India was witnessing a post-globalisation sweep. Mobile phones were entering the market, so were the telcos.

And so in 2003, a 60-second ad for Hutch (Hutchison Essar JV) splashed across our television screens and caught the nation’s attention. It featured a cute little boy and his pet pug following him everywhere – to a football field, a lake, to when he’s peeing, even a barber shop.

To a large base of consumers that were just starting to fathom the mobile technology revolution, it conveyed the message it wanted to; in the simplest possible and most moving way. The ad ended with the tagline: ‘Wherever you go, our network follows.’

What could have been better and more endearing than seeing a cute kid and his cute pet pug, always loyal to his master, deliver this message without faltering. The spot was followed by billboards and print ads.

 

It immediately stole millions of hearts. When competitors were trying to talk about the new tech and how it worked, this campaign created by Mahesh V. and Rajiv Rao – senior creative directors at Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai – made the right kind of splash. Not only in the minds of consumers, but to us youngsters who were dreaming about making it big in the world of advertising.

Mind you, India is a big country with 29 different languages spoken. To create an ad campaign that speaks to all and sundry notwithstanding the language and cultural differences is not an easy task at all. Another of those moments where I can say the words, it’s not easy.

Ankita Ghosh is a creative director at Geometry Asia-Pacific and is based in Vietnam

ADVERTISEMENT

Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.

 

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing