[Tech ad-ons] Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro: Two right notes, one wrong chord

Letting the Note be the hero…

by: - Last updated on: May 28th, 2019

It has not been long since Xiaomi started advertising its smartphones in India. And in that short period of time, we have had some really clever and interesting campaigns from the company (Naya Note and Kiska Baja, for instance). And the latest ad campaign from the Chinese brand revolves around its new Note series flag bearer, the Redmi Note 7 Pro. It also features one of the most popular celebrities in B-town, Ranveer Singh.

redmi note 7 pro ranveer ad 2

Encouraging you to zoom in…

The campaign called, “Dur se dekha toh” (“when seen from a distance”) so far has two ads in it, both 41 seconds long. The first ad starts with someone’s long wet hair flicking in the sun as the person tries to dry them, while two “gentlemen” look out of their house window from afar, hoping to catch a glimpse of the face of the person, who they assume is a woman (long hair, duh!). Just as they are enjoying this view, Ranveer Singh steps in the middle and takes a photo of the person drying their hair with the Note 7 Pro. He then zooms in to show the two other two guys that the person they thought was a girl actually was another man with long hair. This revelation disappoints the two gents, while Ranveer Singh enjoys their moment of embarrassment. This is followed by a video of the phone, highlighting the brand and the 48-megapixel camera on the device. The ad ends with a line of Redmi Note 7 Pros on the screen along with a few specs and the brand’s logo.

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The second ad is in a school setting. Here Ranveer Singh is the Headmaster in what appears to be a convent. As he is walking down the hallway with his Redmi Note 7 Pro in hand along with his assistant on the side, he suddenly stops by one of the windows and tells his assistant (in hilariously faux anglicized Hindi) that from a distance it looks as if a particular student is studying. He then takes a picture of this pupil on his Redmi Note 7 Pro, zooms in on the book of the student and shows his colleague that he is actually reading comics in the class, which infuriates the lady. This also followed by the same video that featured in the first ad – a line of Redmi Note 7 Pro devices, highlighting the features and megapixels of the camera. And ends the same way as the first ad does.

…but just don’t stalk, please!

Ads and celebrities are a tricky combination. We recently tore a page off the new OnePlus 7 Pro ad for featuring Robert Downey Jr and failing to make the smartphone the lead in the campaign. Now we have another brand using a famous celebrity to sell its smartphones. After seeing the thumbnails of the campaign, we thought it could also meet the same fate as the OnePlus 7 Pro ad but we were pleasantly surprised.

Dur se dekha toh features Ranveer Singh, an actor who is known for is energy and enthusiasm that soaks up all the spotlight there is in a frame. We saw it happen in the Redmi Note 7 promo pre-launch ad, and were fearing a repeat. However, that has not happened this time around. We like how Ranveer Singh is not himself and is playing a character in the ad. And that character is in a supporting role which is hero-ing the smartphone. Him not being a Bollywood star in the ad gives the phone a chance to be the star of the spot. We know how difficult that can be, especially because most celebrity endorsements go the other way around, which makes this campaign exceptional.

The concept of the campaign is to highlight how clear images the 48-megapixel camera on the phone takes. So clear that you can zoom into the subject which is at a considerable distance, without losing too much detail, thanks to the 48-megapixel sensor. We like that the brand has focused on just one USP of the phone and highlighted how the feature can be useful in daily life.

redmi note 7 pro ranveer ad 1

We also like how the brand has kept a few things similar in both the ads which makes it obvious that they are a part of the same campaign, but still kept them independent enough to air separately and make complete sense. Both share the same punch line, which begins with “dur se dekha toh…” (when seen from a distance) followed by “Redmi Note 7 Pro pe dekha toh..” (when seen on the Redmi Note 7 Pro), which was uttered when Ranveer zooms into an image on the phone.

The campaign overall is pretty clever, laced with humor and we appreciate how much attention the brand has paid to detail and production values. Both ads are exactly 41 seconds long, use the same puns and are very to the point. And because the ads are not too long, they just deliver the message and get out of your hair (pun intended), without boring you too much or bombarding you with too much information.

But while we liked the core idea of the campaign- highlighting the use of the 48-megapixel sensor on the phone – we hated the storyline of the first ad. The one in which two guys are trying to get a sneak peek of a person, who they think is a woman. That seems to smack of stalking to an extent and the fact that Ranveer participates in it, almost glorifies it to an extent. And in that context, the role that the Redmi Note 7 Pro plays in this situation is not particularly praiseworthy. The ad shows that you can take a picture of someone in their private space, without their consent, which again is not the idea you want to put out there in the world. That said, we liked the storyline of the second spot. It was appropriate and justified. In a school, a headmaster is supposed to keep an eye on students and portraying that in a funny manner was a definite win for the brand. Ranveer Singh is at his best here, with his hilarious accent and mannerisms.

Scoring on concept, missing a little on implementation

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With the ad campaign for the Note 7 Pro, Xiaomi was able to step over one of the biggest hurdles that most ads with celebrities face — celebrity-ness (oh, the irony). As we have remarked before, celebrities often become the lead in these ads and the poor products get sidelined. Fortunately, that is not the case in Note 7 Pro’s campaign. The Note 7 Pro is in the forefront all the way, while Ranveer Singh is in the background adding value and entertainment to the message. We just absolutely disliked the storyline of the first ad, which is not something we expect from any brand, especially in this day and age. The second ad and a few details that the two share that saves the day.

It is definitely a Note-worthy campaign, with a Note-able celebrity and with a Note as the hero as well.

Please to note: snooping is not a good idea.

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