Aircel boat – brand to the rescue?

Via Springwise, I came across this special build billboard for Indian mobile company Aircel.

aircel boat special build

In early July they tethered an inflatable dingy (complete with ‘cut rope in emergency’ instruction) to a billboard in an area of central Mumbai notorious for its flooding problems.  Within a couple of weeks, it monsooned, the rope was cut and pedestrians were paddled to safety.

aircel boat branded helpers

But hang on, this wasn’t an impulsive ‘power to the people’ moment, a second glance at the photos shows that blokes with Aircel branded t-shirts were in charge of the whole operation.

In one way this is kind of sweet, the brand making sure that their boat was used properly to really help people – and in another way it makes me a bit cynical, with images in my head of a marketing team sat there waiting for the heavens to open so they could dispatch their branded team of helpers – plus of course a photographer to document it all. 

aircel boat press coverage

Brilliant coverage achieved, but it all feels a little bit too planned and manipulative to really connect with cynical old me – then again I’m not exactly Aircel’s target audience – and I wasn’t the one getting my feet wet.

You can view the Aircel Boat case study on slideshare here

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