This could be a classic case of ‘unintended consequences’! I am referring to the current series of Rogers wireless TVCs that have been airing for the last few months.

The script/concept when presented to the sharp Rogers Mktg Team must have been interesting enough. There’s this clean-cut ‘happy customer’ – representing Rogers – who gets the best cell phone deals in the market. Juxtaposed against this, is this ‘other’ – ‘unhappy customer’ – representing, who else but, all the other mobile phone services. One can almost imagine the presenter stating gleefully to a rapt Rogers team: “….and this concept ladies & gentlemen is all about showing what all those unfortunate souls who choose to go with the ‘other’ mobile services in the market are missing….!!” Clapping all round the table. Sold!

Honestly, it does sound okay till the story narration stage. What happened between then, the casting, the various storyboard tweaks and the final edits – is another thing altogether.

Here’s what we, as viewers, see in the final piece: Less of the ‘nice’ Rogers man….much more of the ‘other’ guy (time it if you must and let me know please). In fact the latter is so much in ones’ vision that one begins to feel a sense of affinity for him. To top that off, he seems to be getting the blunt end of the stick everywhere he goes. Kicked, brushed-off, turned-away, humiliated, bruised….this poor guy stumbles along. And this makes us want to sympathise with him! Not make fun of him. And by the end of the umpteen 30-seconders that hit us day-in and day-out, we are sincerely feeling bad for him. And what about the nice Rogers guy? Which guy? Was that the intended viewer reaction Rogers were looking for? Don’t think so.

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