The Shit That Follows (Counter Marketing Again… With Pictures)

Okay, as I have wrote on my previous post about counter marketing, there are two Indonesian GSM providers who are currently involved in a marketing battle. I promised about posting a picture of a counter claim from Xplor whose image has been soiled by Indosat’s effort to gain a market share. First of all, Indosat put up this billboard complete with a plethora of similar TV and print ads.

crappy ad

The wording on the billboard means (loosely): Anything cheaper (tariff)? With Rp. 0 (free) next to the lady’s head. Then there’s the usual misconception problem about the ad as people accuses Indosat for making a misleading information. First of all, the Rp. 0 (free) is a tariff scheme whereby you used Rp. 5000 and you will get a free Rp. 5000 for the next one call on the same day. The call also only applicable for the same operator. The problem is that Indosat put up Rp. 0 that implies the call is free although it’s not, and a lot of people thinks it’s free.

Furthermore, the ad is a counter marketing for Xplor’s (another GSM provider) Rp. 1/second promotion. Xplor has this promotion of Rp. 1/second, and Indosat anything cheaper notion is specifically aiming at Xplor’s marketing effort. As I have mentioned on my previous post, this move is enough to send Xplor up in flames and decided to do a counter marketing. Then, Xplor made this billboard and its many variations through tv and print ads.


The wording on the billboard means: empty barrel sounds loud when hit… A famous Indonesian phrase hinting at those who exuberantly exaggerate things. In this case, the Rp. 0 Indosat claim is just one big bag of hot air, because it is not a tariff, it’s a bonus. I used Indosat as my personal GSM provider, but I do however side with Xplor on this… Indosat doesn’t have any “smart” thing to say about this, because Xplor is right. Rp. 0 is not tariff, unlike Xplor’s Rp. 1/second. Because the real Indosat tariff is around Rp. 8 /second, and after a cumulative of Rp. 5000 is amassed then the user got their bonus free call for Rp. 5000 duration.

If you guys take a look closer at the wording under the girl who sits on the barrel is the Rp. 0 crossed out with font and visual styling of Indosat’s original Rp. 0 ad.

Indosat… Shame on you… Xplor, I have your back… I’m still keeping my subscription though, even though Indosat is expensive, my number has flew around the world.

Last Week Weekend Roulade…

Okay, so last week I was feeling a bit under the weather, and I’ve just recently recovered… Although not 100% fit. Last week, I learned that I can put tags that describes the entry better than the categories in this blog, so from now on I will put tags and categories to better describe my entry.

Last week I posted the most debated ad ever (which I know so far) in my country. Well, what do you know, it actually a form of counter marketing… Yes, corny term again, but it is a valid term because the ad is actually countering another local cellular provider which is Xplor. You see, Xplor has this Rp. 1/second call rate, which amounts to Rp. 60/minute. However, it is just as misleading as Indosat’s Rp. o freetalk campaign although not as extreme. Xplor has this Rp. 1/second call rate scheme, in which (after reading carefully the terms and conditions), Xplor users (the postpaid subscribers) when their bill amass to Rp 150.000, they will get the Rp. 1/second call rate.

The clear indication that Indosat is doing counter marketing can be seen on some billboard placement where Xplor Rp. 1 is met with Indosat’s Rp. 0 plus the commentary “anything cheaper?”. Indosat’s Rp. 0 ad even backs up the claim that it is indeed a counter marketing, in which the ad depicts a bidding situation and the announcer said “Rp. 1, going once (1), going once (1)” and then there’s the shining girl walking by with her stupid hair blown out of nowhere while wearing a T-shirt with a text “Rp. 0”. Not being out gunned, Xplor actually returns the favor by making another ad saying that “there’s no such thing as free”… Or something, I don’t know it either, my friend told me that.

So there’s actually an advertising war between this two cellular provider. I’ll try to provide you all with proof of this and dig in deeper.

The most debated ad ever… (which I know so far)

From my previous post of “Please Help Me Decipher This Code“, I’ve quote that an ad suppose to capture the audience intention and convey the benefit of the product. Now let me humbly provides another full of hidden codes advertisement.

The most debated ad

This is a billboard of Indosat latest advertisement oddity, because lots of people misinterpret the meaning of the ad which mentions about free talk, zero money, and a pretty lady which I don’t really care who she is. The billboard ad means that if you spend Rp. 5000 on a conversation, then you will be given another free talk of Rp. 5000. What the billboard mentions about free talk /zero money in particular is that the second Rp. 5000 call is free. But here’s the catch, that second Rp. 5000 is applicable to one condition only in that when the free Rp. 5000 is used up for the day, you pay for regular charge, and that Rp. 5000 free talk use the same call rate of (around) Rp. 1700/minute, therefore only giving you a free talk time of around 3 minutes…

Come on… That’s just stupid and misleading. Furthermore, the writings “Ada yang lebih murah?” literally means in English: “Is there anything cheaper?” Off course there is, there’s Esia, and Telkom Flexi, although both are CDMA base wireless service, it has the same function of telecommunication. After all, the billboard ad doesn’t mention anything about the specifics, ain’t it? Is it the cheapest in CDMA or GSM base wireless service? Is it the cheapest prepaid wireless service, is it the cheapest lie ever in an advertising? Well, you decide. Just for comparison, the half Malaysian owned XL tariff is Rp. 25/second or roughly Rp. 1500/minute to call other operators, while Mentari users pays Rp. 17ooish/minute to call other operators… Now is that the cheapest? I don’t know, perhaps I’m the dumb one.

This Indosat billboard ad further strentghened my opinion about marketing people goes to hell.

By the way, I use Mentari, and there’s a free SMS promo in which you buy Rp. 50000 voucher you’ll get 50 free sms and 150 free sms if you buy Rp 100000 voucher (free sms applicable to own network). For me that SMS promo is more valuable than the trashy Rp. 5000 free talk ad.