06 January, 2006

Hutch Goes Pink

Like vada pav and Midday, dance bars and bhai-log, it's a Mumbai thing. And last month it made a quiet exit. Orange, a cell phone service provider brand from Europe that became an integral part of the organism called Mumbai, changed its name to Hutch and now dons a shade of PINK, only women can name. Hutch being the name used by the Orange's parent company in India when it laid out its mobile network across India. But Mumbai had Orange, until now.

It is not often that a mobile phone company can attain a status that Orange enjoyed. Especially since its service cannot be termed any different from the many cell phone operators in India today. The difference with Orange was its brand value. Value created by its advertising and communication.

In Indian advertising, Orange has carved a special position for itself. It built a wonderful character around itself by diverging from the existing trends in Indian advertising. While other brands in India addressed the least common denominator among consumers and talked stupid, Orange spoke to the same audience by appealing to their common sense. And nothing can be as fresh and intelligent as a dose of common sense. For instance, they avoided the use of ' * ' and 'conditions apply' in their hoardings and ads. A very simple way to endear yourself with a consumer which advertisers overlook.

This simple approach allowed Orange to not only become the largest cell phone operator in Mumbai, it also won a lot of awards at 'Abby's', the advertising awards presented by the local Ad Club. And this was even before the 'Dog' commercial that launched Hutch across different markets in India became popular.


And yet again they have used the cute Little PUG to very good use. As always the Hutch ads are refreshingly FRESH. I little have no idea why the change from ORANGE TO PINK.

Who are the people behind this brand? In India, Orange's distinct identity was visualised in the minds of Rajiv Rao and Mahesh V, who work with Piyush Pandey at O&M India. The team currently works from O&M, Bangalore and Bangaloreans will remember them for the colourful 'navarasa' launch campaign for Arundathi Nag's RangaShankara.

Question: Will they recreate the
Orange magic with the new Hutch identity?

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