Optimum use of humour, exaggeration in Hitachi AC ads

MUMBAI: A successful ad is one which is able to sell the product to consumers. And that's exactly what the new ad for Hitachi's miniature AC - the 'Atom' is doing for the product. The television commercial (TVC) which was launched in March this year has been conceived by Leo Burnett and has ample amount of humour and exaggeration to communicate the product’s USP – its size and its power.


The message that Hitachi wants to convey through the TVC for its latest launch, the Atom is that despite its small size, the AC is very powerful.

The ad has five spots, featuring a couple of geeky, shivering foreigners begging to have the AC turned down but the AC can't be detected. The guests' plaintive and frustrated cries of "But where is the AC?" are often met with blank looks - even the hotel staff doesn't know because it's so small.

Hitachi Home and Life Solutions India VP marketing and service operations Amit Doshi, "The Lambda technology in the Atom allows for a special coil design, which increases the surface area of the heat exchanger resulting in 'super-efficient cooling' and helps shrink the size of the air-conditioner by over 30 per cent. While it was launched simultaneously all over the world and touted as the smallest split AC in the domestic market, the company realised it would have to grapple with the impression that a small AC might come across as one that has compromised on power."

Leo Burnett India account director Rameet Singh Arora added, "The Atom's size had to be communicated so also the fact that this AC is by no means less powerful. The heroes of the communication the small AC and the Lambda technology both had to be communicated effectively. To demonstrate this we decided on exaggerating a situation where people feel its power but can't see it."

The need for an innovative clutter-breaking story saw the TVC feature two foreigners almost tearing out their hair in desperation as they, nor the locals, could ever locate where the too-cold AC was, wherever they were - their room in the hotel, the restaurant, the saloon and the boardroom.

The TVCs end with a magnifying glass zooming in on the Atom tucked away discreetly, to go with the 'exaggeration' tone of the ad. Leo Burnett created five short films to sustain interest in the campaign. The point is to let the viewer know what they are searching for in one ad and make them wait to see whether they find it in the next. But each film is complete in its own right thus ensuring that the message finds its target even if only one ad is seen.

This ad campaign was accompanied by a unique dealer promotion. Customers in select outlets were given magnifying glasses at the entrance and asked to locate the Hitachi Atom AC. Whoever succeeded, got a “small but powerful gift”.

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