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‘Isko laga dala toh life jingalala’ — how ‘premium’ Tata Sky made its way to Indian homes

Tata Sky revolutionised the television industry in India and the jingle 'Isko laga dala toh life jingalala' became an instant hit.

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New Delhi: If in today’s age of smart TVs and streaming platforms, someone mentions direct-to-home (DTH) television, it might take a minute to recall. A technology not older than 15 years may not be as popular as its successors, but for most millennials, it’s the quirky tagline — Isko laga dala toh life jingalala — that still resonates in their minds and evokes a sense of nostalgia.

A joint venture between the Tata Sons and The Walt Disney Company, Tata Sky was incorporated in 2006 and revolutionised the television industry, as it was one of the few ones to be selling DTH services to Indians accustomed to cable television.

The success, however, did not come easy.

Convincing a population of billions or even a couple of thousands to let go of their age-old habit and move on with a new technology was seen as an “expensive” affair.

To bust myths around the DTH service, the company launched a campaign called ‘Poochne Mein Kya Jaata Hai‘ to urge people to not deny the product assuming that it would be costly simply on the basis of premium features.

But it was their flagship ad campaign  — Isko laga dala toh life jingalala — that changed the whole game.

Featuring Bollywood star Aamir Khan, the company released a set of quirky advertisements endorsing their unique features for the users.

One of the ads showed Khan stressing the need of ‘family time’ as he highlighted the ‘record’ feature of the DTH service, a revolutionary upgrade in the viewing experience for the common man.

In another comical act, Khan, dressed as a bride and groom, showed how the collaboration between a trusted Indian brand like Tata and one of the leading technology companies, Sky, had brought out a product offering active technology and reliable customer service.

In yet another one, Khan played the role of a shopkeeper ordering his employees to dress up a customer in new funny-looking clothes against his will, driving home the point that how watching default channels on cable TV deprives you of Tata Sky’s customised channel packages.

As Vikram Mehra, Tata Sky’s chief commercial officer at the time of the tagline’s release said: a combination of three key areas such as what a DTH box can offer, the value-added services and the customer service could tilt a buyer’s interest significantly in favour of one’s product.

How ‘jingalala’ became an instant hit

Vipul Prakash, a 29-year-old Delhi-based marketeer believes it was the “Mumbaiya and Bollywood vibe” of the ad campaign that made the jingle an “instant hit”.

“Who would have thought that the jingle would become the brand’s (Tata Sky) identifying factor. The different features they offered were interesting and unique but for me, the jingle was the winner,” Prakash told ThePrint.

Along with its DTH box, Tata Sky offered various features at different price points/packages including inbuilt games, exclusive content, premium shows and movies, recording option, and a schedule of shows/movies on different channels.

In a conversation with Business Standard, Ashish Khazanchi, who came up with the eccentric tagline, described the Tata Sky campaign as an “attempt to create a new language”.

Khazanchi, the co-founder of a Gurugram-based ad agency Enormous Brands, recounted the process of narrowing down to ‘the one’ and said the only brief they received from the client was to keep it fun and relatable for people so that impression of it being a premium hence expensive product could be quashed. And funny they did!

Even years later, if the tagline is brought up in a conversation, it will not take more than a second or two before people realise the brand. Such was the magnitude and impact this ad campaign generated across sections of society.

A Pune-based baker Advaita Sinha, 33, recalls the time her family of five upgraded from cable TV to DTH in 2013.

“It was everywhere (the ads and tagline). Now when I think of it, it sounds silly but we were using the term jingalala in our day-to-day conversations, basically to describe anything weird or funny,” she said.

For Mohit Garg, 38, an entrepreneur from Delhi, it was not just the tagline but also the step-up from conventional television viewing that makes the experience wholesome.

“I felt Tata Sky had a friendly user interface and with the exclusive TV guide, we could explore our television as we had never done before,” he said.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: ‘School chalein hum’: The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan ad campaign that’s much more than nostalgia


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