Airtel Nigeria has launched a new television commercial campaign –YOU’RE WELCOME HOME – to ignite what appears a fresh round of marketing warfare with MTN, its legendary competitor in the Nigerian market. The new 60-seconds commercial which has been running on prime time belt of many pan-Nigeria television stations has caught the eye with its unmistakable objective of inducing disgruntled subscribers on the MTN platform to switch to the Airtel family.
The commercial stars a befuddled young man throwing away his unreliable yellow phone in exasperation after failing to connect a very important call. His yellow bag which was placed at his feet suddenly saw his frustration and anger and, fearing he might transfer the aggression to him, suddenly developed strong legs and started fleeing to safety. The surprised young man pursued the racing yellow handbag until the bag, with jest-like laughter thrown in the direction of its angry owner, sought sanctuary in a Airtel Service Centre. The young man entered too and was eventually convinced to pick a new (Airtel) Sim Card. And by the time he got his bag back, it (the bag) had transformed from yellow to red. The now happy young man’s apparels too have taken on a dash of Airtel red as he made his way back home.
Given the high level of customer dissatisfaction and other problems rocking the MTN brand in the country currently, industry watchers believe the new Airtel TVC is out to take advantage of the situation to push for increased subscriber base by getting disgruntled subscribers on the MTN platform to switch to Airtel for better value.
According to some analysts, a clear indication that Airtel may be on a mission to spark a renewal of the ‘porting war’ witnessed in the sector not long ago is further seen in the fact that the new commercial asks subscribers to ‘Recharge with *555*PIN# (which is MTN USSD) and enjoy 25% discount on all your subscription on the Airtel platform and feel at home…YOU’RE WELCOME’.
For an industry noted for intense competition and communication vibrancy, industry feelers reveal that the Nigerian telecommunication sector may be getting ready to ditch out more excitement and creativity in the days ahead; thanks to the first blood being drawn currently by the new Airtel television commercial.
While Airtel has served its intention, the industry waits to see how MTN will react to save its market share in this new war.