Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Xiaomi is advertising the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Routine enough? Well, what is not so routine about the latest Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro ad is that this time the brand has taken a not-so-subtle dig at one of its major competitors in the market, Samsung. But is there is much more to the ad than just that…

A case with a twist

“Robbery ft. Redmi Note 8 Pro” is a minute-long ad that starts in a place called CIB headquarters (!) where an officer is trying to find the culprit behind a robbery at a bank. In the setting, there is a witness who seems distracted while playing games on his Redmi Note 8 Pro. The officer introduces the witness to the bank manager, who does not too impressed and says, “I hope you are not wasting my time, officer”, questioning the attentiveness of the witness.

[tech ad-ons] redmi note 8 pro: catching sam singh red(mi) handed - redmi note 8 pro tvc 4

The officer then presents a bunch of suspects in front of the witness and asks him to identify the culprit. This takes the ad in the past to a flashback of the robbery. And as the robbery is taking place, the witness takes pictures with his Note 8 Pro of the whole incident. Getting back to the present, the witness looks at his phone to review the pictures. One of the suspects gets nervous and mutters “Redmi Note 8 Pro.” The witness then looks at the pictures, zooms very deeply into a particular one and to the surprise of everyone, the robber in the picture is none other than the bank manager, Sam Singh, himself.

The ad then shows a small clip of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, highlighting its design and features. And ends with bank manager Sam Singh getting his mug shot taken by a Redmi Note 8 Pro, followed by a Xiaomi logo.

Catching Sam Singh, poking Samsung?

Xiaomi is a brand that has recently taken up mainstream advertising and the odd ad aside, it has generally done very well. And the Redmi Note 8 Pro ad strikes all right ad notes. In under one minute, “Robbery ft. Redmi Note 8 Pro,” Xiaomi has not only managed to weave a funny storyline but also added suspense and a twist to it.

Often when you have such a strong storyline, it can overshadow the product as many viewers end up remembering the “great” plot of the ad and not the product which featured in it. That has not happened here.

[tech ad-ons] redmi note 8 pro: catching sam singh red(mi) handed - redmi note 8 pro tvc 2

We love how even though there was not any talk of the Note 8 Pro in isolation, the phone still managed to come out as the hero of the ad. After all, it was the phone that solved the case.

At first, the ad might look unidimensional as it is only really highlighting the camera on the phone, but watching it closely will tell you that there is more to it. The ad also highlights the design of the phone and even shows the witness playing a shooting game on the phone which sounds a lot like PUBG. And that is not all, along with highlighting the features of its phone, Xiaomi in the ad has also taken a very subtle dig at its biggest rival in the market, Samsung. The culprit in the ad, the bank manager is named Sam Singh (say the two together and you will get the pun).

If only Sam Singh was this clever (smh)

[tech ad-ons] redmi note 8 pro: catching sam singh red(mi) handed - redmi note 8 pro tvc 3

We have often seen companies getting completely consumed in bashing their competition when they make a competitive ad (remember Samsung’s own “Ingenious” ad campaign?). Xiaomi has not fallen into that trap. Nothing but the product remains in the foreground in the ad. The phone came and saved the day and that is what you take away — a camera so good that it takes such detailed pictures of a scene so swift. You can take it out, point and shoot away and the phone will capture so much detail that you would be able to zoom well into the picture, so much so that you can spot a mole in the beard of a person who was several yards away. We also like how the ad gives a very quick overview of the features and the design of the phone at the end, again emphasizing the product.

[tech ad-ons] redmi note 8 pro: catching sam singh red(mi) handed - redmi note 8 pro tvc 1

It is really hard to find an ad that has the right mix of everything but the new Redmi Note 8 Pro comes pretty close to it. The ad is hilarious, full of suspense and has a great climax. Note 8 helps in solving crime and saves the day. In the process, the ad highlights the features and design of the phone. The fact that there was a Sam Singh in it, added a touch of competitive spice to the ad which took it a level up.

It is funny. It is clever. It is competitive.

It is sad that poor Sam Singh isn’t.

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