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  • Writer's pictureSamradni

Vodafone and Idea launch a combined brand identity- Vi!

Updated: Mar 14, 2021




Ogilvy & Mather India

In the past week, whether you were watching a news channel or an entertainment channel.

The one ad, that played on a loop was Vi Vi Vi Vi

So I don’t need to give you guys any introduction, however for those few who haven’t seen this spot, you can watch it below

Telecom Industry India:

India is the world’s second-largest telecommunication market, which includes wireless, wire line, and internet services. *

India is also the second-largest country in terms of internet subscribers. *

Which also makes it, the country with world’s highest data usage per smartphone, averaging 9.8GB per month! *

Now let’s look at the telecom giants and their market share scenario

As per the report of May 2020, Vodafone Idea lost 4.72 million subscribers during the month declining its base to 309.92 million. *

Even Airtel lost 4.75 million users, declining its base to 317.80 million. *

However, Jio continued its adding spree with 3.65 million subscribers added, which led to their base of 392.75 million. *

Given this scenario, the revised brand identity and revised packs are expected to bring about a positive change.

Vodafone and Idea merger in 2018:

On 31st August 2018, we saw one of the biggest mergers in the form of Vodafone and Idea.

The new entity, recently named Vi, comprises of 45.1% stake of Vodafone, whereas Idea holds a 26% stake.

So let’s get into the campaign now

Vi logo – Does it communicate the brand identity well?

Image Source:

When I saw the logo, my first thought was, both the brand colors are combined (red and yellow) and the first initial of both the brands is used (V and I)

I mean, is there anything new or deceptive here?

This is the most basic logo, and I am not trying to say that a logo must be multi-faceted or something like that.

But in my personal opinion, and given the number of efforts invested by brands in just designing the logo, this one is just too simple.

But let’s look at what the logo actually signifies.

The logo ‘Vi’ pronounced as ‘We’ is trying to signify the bond of togetherness and is trying to highlight a greater cause of better connectivity in a combined manner.

The exclamation mark to denote I, isn’t iconic at all, in fact Incredible !ndia introduced it long back.

Of course, the colors are vibrant, and when I think about the on-ground branding, its sure to grab your attention.

But in general, I feel, the brand could have done much more, especially given the design expertise of Vodafone in the past.

Advertising Background:

The campaign was launched to introduce the new merger led, brand identity of Vodafone and Idea.

In the past few months, in fact, Vodafone was receiving a lot of flak for bad network and internet connectivity issues.

This also led to a considerable loss in subscribers

But the need for this came in more so to tackle the giant Jio.

Advertising Objective:

It takes a lot of time to build a brand in your consumers’ mind, and for that you need to put in the required efforts.

But does that mean you keep bombarding the consumers with the same message to the point that it’s irritating?

Maybe or maybe not

And there are mixed opinions in regards to the same, all over the internet

The advertising objective, in this case, was to simply communicate the new brand identity and develop an instant connect with the consumers.

Advertising Execution:

The execution is simple, but still drives the point

The 45-second commercial only mentions ‘Vi’ with a piece of music in the background

But it’s extremely catchy, maybe that’s also because you are listening to it so often but it still creates a great impact.

If we try to analyze the communication history, Vodafone has been able to create some brilliant campaigns including the Pug campaign, ZooZoos, etc.

Idea on the other hand has always been in this space where the communication is a little different, from the honey bunny song to the IIN network campaigns.

So keeping both these things in mind, this communication acts as some sort of a blend.

The whole message that they are trying to communicate is the part of ‘togetherness’ and, they have highlighted this by ensuring that all consumers shown in the video belong to different parts of the country.

It’s also noteworthy to point out that this communication of togetherness was put forth during the times of social distancing.

So maybe the brand expected to develop a connection from that point of view as well

Social Media Flak:

This is another section that I wish to talk about, especially concerning this campaign

Now, the campaign was appreciated by a few, but we saw the commercial getting a lot of flak on Twitter.

One of the major reasons for that was the constant bombardment of the ‘Vi’ across channels.

It’s like the brand literally wanted to hammer the word ‘Vi’ in your brain.

Let’s look at some funny tweets below

Some brands stepped into the game as well

Advertising Learnings:

Here are my top 3 learnings from the ad

1. The difference between Bombardment and high Frequency is of utmost importance

It’s one thing if you want your ad to be played on every channel, just so that consumers are made aware of your brand.

But the minute it moves to bombardment, you might be in trouble, because consumers may get annoyed.

2. Negative publicity can still lead to brand recall

The communication received a lot of flak on social media, but even after that, the brand recall was still pretty strong.

So in a way, I think negativity still works in some way

I have spoken about this in more detail, where I analyzed the Trivago guy ad campaign, here

3. Social Media can be your friend as well as your enemy

Social media provides you with a great platform to learn about new things, and as a consumer today it might be your first stop for all news.

But from a brand’s perspective, Social Media, especially a platform like Twitter, tests a lot of things.

Whether the brand responds well to the negativity is also measured well by the consumers.

In the case of Vi, there were a lot of tweets stating that the consumers expected a better network rather than a name change, this is clearly highlighting the negative image being formed in the mind of the consumer.

Let’s see how the brand changes this perception in the future

Source* - IBEF


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