"....the Sri Lankan armed forces are fighting pitched battles in the war ravaged lands occupied by terrorists in a bid to eliminate the enemy, hoping to see an end to the bloody conflict that has claimed thousands of lives...."
So thats the subject matter thats hitting headlines these days in prime time news across all local channels. Little do we realize that another battle continues to rage in the telecommunication platform, where each operator is throwing all its reserve energy just to see the light of the day, while some are left gasping for oxygen strangled in the intoxication caused with the emissions of CO2 in the battle field.
Airtel had a terrific entry to the arena, with a splendid burst campaign that touched across all media. The commercial proved to be an astonishing success with crowds flocking in numbers to get their hands on the sim, while keeping its product in suspense. Spending a whooping 3millionUSD for the burst, reflected that Airtel meant serious business, and the masses had little chance to avoid the noise. 100% awareness was the prime objective, and no doubt it was achieved.
Dialog fired all what it had in its ammunition, just to end up being copper and proved futile to the Airtel juggernaut. The counter campaigns displayed sheer desperation and showed obvious signs of loosing steam with negative financial figures in its financial performance, left severely bleeding in a street battle . Dialog apparently was the only operator who was bold and confident enough to take the bull by its horns, while others were playing the waiting game.
Sangakkara's "Simple Plan" seemed to have amused the audience in a big way, infact shocked audience about the switching of endorsing Hutch to Airtel. The campaign did carefully highlight the switching of his preference, but the public was not impressed. No brand ambassador in our times would have got such a severe bashing on his "simple plan" effect , which even resulted him portrayed nude in certain circulations.
Despite Airtel's big bang, the post experience seem to have been disastrous. Its becoming more obvious that Airtel is getting increasingly strangled for any air and left crying foul over other operator's actions. Little does Airtel realize that the Sri Lankan terrain is totally different to the Indian, where competition is matter of life and death for some. Consumers were left disappointed with the product offerings, that were way below any standard offered by the existing players.
Interestingly Tigo seem to have taken Airtel for a dizzy ride, openly bashing its weakness in coverage and value. The counter campaigns seem to taking a heavy toll Airtel, which is left to remain silent and be satisfied as operator no.5
Summary: Sri Lankans will be Sri Lankans. Price dont win battles.