The Mother Goddess Tulja Bhavani calls Tuljapur, amongst three and half ‘Shakti Peethas’ in Maharashtraher divine abode. As per Hindu Puranas, Tulja Bhavani, who represents the shakti of the Supreme Being is said to exert moral order and rectitude in the world and quash evil through the yugas. She is the Family Deity of several notable Maharashtrian lineages, such as the great Bhosale dynasty, of which Shivaji Maharaj is a descendant. In keeping with her importance in Hindu culture and society in Maharashtra, women from the state visit Tuljapur in droves during the Navratri season. Since she is also the Goddess of Power, as depicted by the tale of Mahishasura and believed to have gifted the Bhavani Sword to the region’s greatest Maratha hero, she receives the devotion of Maharashtrian men as well. Thus, regardless of gender, the Yatra receives the undivided interest of multitudes of rural masses during the Navratri season. (more…)
The ‘banker to every Indian,’ State Bank of India (SBI) is the country’s largest BFSI entity by revenue, assets and market capitalisation. With 13,000 outlets including 150 located abroad, the branches of this state-owned corporation can be found literally anywhere an Indian might aspire to travel. Its reputation as a trusted banker has been concretised since 1806, so much so, that it was ranked the 29th most reputed company in the world by Forbes in 2009. Indeed, inIndia, SBI represents trust and financial stability, and the company decided to leverage this perception in rural areas.
Despite being a household brand name in rural India, a common belief was that SBI is acutely selective in providing loans and that their systems are cumbersome. In a bid to alter these believes, the bank brought Vritti i-Media on board to promote its loan offerings and position itself as a one-stop-shop for all rural borrowing needs. The offered loans comprise SBI Tractor Scheme loan and crop loans (for farmers), as well as home loans and car loans (for middle class employed people). In addition, the bank promoted gold loans to farmers, small retail businessman and other lower and lower middle class people in Maharashtra. The aim of the exercise was to reinforce the fact that it is easy to get loans from SBI, and that villagers can approach the bank to meet their needs of tractors, a house, farm or dairy purchase.
Before its campaign with Vritti i-Media, SBI invested heavily in terms of cost and time for reaching out to rural markets through newspapers, OOH and below-the-line activities. Vritti i-Media devised an experimental pilot for the bank in 20 locations for three months which worked wonders. The campaign involved the use of Vritti i-Media’s audio network at MSRTC bus stands and audio visual network at food malls and dhabas on national highways and express highways. It not only enabled SBI to change people’s perception, but also established a channel of direct communication with farmers by educating them on various schemes, akin to the internet medium in urban areas. Fantastic results from the pilot drove the bank to extend the geographies and duration of the campaign. Extended from the three-month pilot, SBI will now conduct this campaign at all stations served by Vritti i-Media for a year.
On conducting the campaign, Vritti i-Media and SBI were able to fructify several cherished motives. For instance, with the initial campaign which was conducted for 20 days, SBI was able to garner enquiries worth Rs. 500 crore from varied rural target groups comprising farmers and small businessmen. The promotion also helped SBI in reducing its non-performing assets by directly communicating various schemes available for farmers if they pay their EMIs on time. Conclusively, with promotional help from Vritti i-Media, SBI was able to position itself as a one stop solution for all borrowing requirements of small town folk. It was able to establish itself as a simple, easy and responsive entity to deal with in a bid to encourage financial inclusion. Due to the success of the campaign, SBI recently renewed its association with Vritti i-Media and continues to count on its assistance to connect with Maharashtra’s hinterlands.
Take a glimpse on the audio ads created to reach the non-metros masses of Maharashtra:
SBI Bank’s car loan jingle:
SBI Bank’s tractor scheme jingle:
Traditionally, local eateries like old-school halwais, bakeries and Irani café’s have never had to advertise their wares. It was only aromatic wafts that tempted people walking along these eateries to venture into them and try out a beguiling delicacy. Every city boasts of a few legendary eateries that have managed to maintain a loyal clientele over several decades. Yet, times have changed. In cities, where MNC franchises like MacDonald, KFC and Dominos Pizza have fought tooth and nail to become the giants of a new Indian fast-food space, the likes of Jumbo King, which are well-supported by smart marketing strategies have emerged. By turning the simple vada pav to a newly competitive and dynamic offering, for instance, Jumbo King has turned the fast-food industry on its head with the proposition of an inexpensive, hygienic and tasty food on-the-go. The company’s surprising success shows that new-age branding and advertising tools can do wonders to affordably transform simple offerings by small enterprises.
Pin-pointing the Issue
Fast-food eatery ‘Nalawade Samosewale’, located at Kankavali in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district is a promising eatery that deals in samosas, wadas, misal pav and other fast foods. It is a nascent eatery with a seating capacity for a dozen customers and has already achieved an enviable turnover in its first year of operations. It prides itself on its best-rated and high-demand offerings, such as jumbo wada, Punjabi samosa and misal pav. In order to increase popularity of its products, increase sales and awareness, the eatery kick-started its marketing campaign by partnering up with Vritti i-Media.
Devising a Solution
So, in a bid to increase sales and awareness for its offerings, Nalawade Samosewale decided to create greater interest for his products among the people of Kankavali. Reaching the right audience at the right time and in the right manner was a challenge, and to ease matters, Vritti i-media was brought onboard. Vritti’s i-Media Audio Network is a means of audio advertisement through public address systems at district bus terminals, for which the company has sole authority by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Service (MSRTC). The audio broadcasts of Vritti i-Media at over 80 plus locations across Maharashtra, makes it a formidable mode of advertising in non-metro areas. By meshing commercial advertisements with buses arrival and departure announcements, the medium creates maximum impact.
Mr. Parag Nalawade, the proprietor of the eatery, had heard various audio advertisements by Vritti i-Media at Kankavali bus station himself, and was sure that this mode would certainly achieve the desired popularity and improve business. Being highly impressed with Vritti i-Media’s past achievements, he made a direct enquiry with the company. His advertisement was a 30-second jingle that elaborated on the various fast-foods available at the eatery. Vritti has been running this campaign for the last one month and has been reaping the rewards of this ‘completely dynamic’ medium since then. Some of the attributes of this medium make it simply amazing like the timing and content of the advertisement campaign, which is set to run for three months for this eatery, can be modified in tune with seasons and festivals and communicated in the local dialect.
Reaping the Benefits
The campaign has worked wonders for Nalawade Samosewale and there is a high chance that the advertising contract may be extended. Being a small company, Nalawade Samosewale required efficient use of its modest advertising budget. Vritti i-Media’s Audio Network ensures maximum reach and retention of jingle. On an average, Vritti i-Media Audio Network is said to touch approximately 40,000 people a day at a single location, with it’s per person cost being about 10% of other media. This cost-efficiency and effectiveness has made Vritti i-Media’s solution a critical component of the media campaign by Nalawade Samosewale, and is sure to inspire several local businessmen to promote their products and services in such markets.
Farmers are our bread-baskets. To ensure their well-being, the Central government is increasingly creating several knowledge facilities like the Kisan Call Centre that enlightens farmers about various government schemes, farming tips, and more. Several state governments are mirroring these initiatives to provide similar facilities at the local level.
For Maharashtra, the welfare of farmers in the state is a critical issue at an economic as well as socio-political level. Thus, following the steps of the Central government, the department of agriculture under the Maharashtra government has established an agro advisory feed in 2011. The ultimate objective of the initiative was to provide expert agricultural advice to farmers in Maharashtra. The problem was disseminating this information to rural audiences. For the most part, villagers live in media darkness. Due to illiteracy, they cannot or may not be inclined to read useful and informative printed material. Due to poverty or inadequate local infrastructure, they may not have access to broadcast media like TVs and radios.
Traditionally, melas and haats have been preferred modes of rural communication, since they allow communication with a large number of people with minimal effort. However, such events do not offer an appropriate ambience for educating farmers. The solution was determining where rural folk congregate in adequate numbers and could be in a receptive state so as to readily assimilate the communication.
The audio medium emerged as a perfect mode of broadcasting informative messages, while district bus-stations were thought of as apt venues for the exercise. To this end, Vritti i-Media’s audio advertising network at Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus stands became an effective point of contact with the non-metro audience. Sound reasoning supported the selection of this peculiar medium. As media like OOH and public address systems are not dependent on power availability or literacy rate in villages, it is one of the surest ways to connect with rural audiences. MSRTC buses are among the main modes of transport for farmers in rural Maharashtra. Bus stations are, therefore, essentially transport hubs that gather huge numbers of people. This makes them opportune for mass communicating information and promotions. The agro advisories are suggestions by the state’s expert agriculturists and broadcasted in a format where they are intertwined with bus timing-announcements at regular intervals.
Through these advisories, farmers were able to gain knowledge about purchasing quality seeds, recognising the quality and quantity of produce in the coming harvest, simplified information on market prices and seasonal crops, as well as the correct use of fertilisers and hybrid seeds. More importantly, since farmers need financial education to increase their financial stability, the medium is also used to inform farmers about various beneficial government plans, the procedure of application to these programmes and the advantages they may gain from them. In the absence of such an initiative by the state government, farmers would have no means to receive such valuable information.
The Vritti i-Media Edge
Vritti i-Media, being the only agency authorised to run audio advertisements at MSRTC’s bus depots, offers an effective audio medium to advertisers at more than 80 locations in Maharashtra. This medium touches about 10.3 crore people a month. Therefore, the agro advisory initiative has met success in keeping local farmers updated with the latest technologies and techniques in farming and increasing their awareness about conducting agriculture viably.
The audio medium of public address systems at MSRTC bus-stands has ensured the customisation of information. The medium facilitated the dissemination of information or advice specific to the location where it is heard, making the messaging relevant to the types of crops grown in the region. For instance, for the Konkan region, which is the highest cultivator of mangoes, messages are customised to provide solutions for better mango cultivation or how to get rid of the specific pests likely to affect the mango produce given the local climate and solutions. Since this timely, location-specific manner of information dissemination picked-up among farmers in Maharashtra, the state government has received overwhelming response very quickly. The farmers are reaping the benefits of this initiative at no cost, while performing the mundane task of travelling to their destinations. This widely successful campaign enabled the Maharashtra Government to receive a Gold award at the National Awards on E-Governance.
India’s ever-growing telecom market is currently pegged at 770 million subscribers as per the latest data from TRAI. Yet, much more opportunity prevails in rural areas today, as opposed to big cities that are nearly totally saturated. With rural India being highly media-dark for mainstream advertising promotions, the telecom industry has always scouted for innovative media platforms that can quickly and effectively communicate the uniqueness of new products and services to the rural youth and working-class segments.
To this end, Airtel tied up with Rediffusion Y&R to extend the philosophy ‘Atoot bandhan. Atoot Network’ in 2009. The ad campaign which starred actor Shreyas Talpade depicted him as a nervous MLA entering the Parliament for the first time. Carrying the collective hopes of his village, he assures his father that he would never forget his roots. In the true flavour of rural advertising, the campaign hoped to establish an emotional connect with the native population. Similarly, in 2010, Vodafone created a product ‘Ultra-Pocket Sized Tariff at just Rs. 4’ with the rural audience in mind and coupled it with a memorable advertisement featuring an animated talking parrot. By arguing that nothing can be purchased for Rs 4 in today’s day and age, the argumentative parrot drives the point home; another witty attempt by the telco brand that gave the advertising industry ‘Zoozoo’ and the ‘Hutch dog.’
On the other hand, Idea Cellular’s approach to reach rural India included wall paintings and on-vehicle advertising. In addition, the company also attempted to gain some brand exposure through ‘haats’ and ‘melas’ in the past. The company’s focus on this population is reflected in the recent introduction of its pan-India interactive voice response-based value added service (VAS) in association with Handygo, a provider of software and system-enabling VAS called ‘Behtar Zindagi.’ This service provides everyday information to rural India in areas like health, education, finance, weather updates, mandi rates, livestock, agriculture and fisheries.
Yet, although every telco chooses a different approach to communicate with rural India, they have something in common. Idea Cellular, along with Maxx Mobile, Tata Indicom, Lemon Mobile and several other telecom brands have started using Vritti i-Media’s DW+, a technology-enabled media solution, to market their latest products and services to an audience that represents the most important markets for telcos in the imminent years. Maxx Mobile has engaged itself in a 6-month campaign that used Vritti i-media’s audio advertisement across more than 65 ST bus-stands inMaharashtra. This has helped the teleco penetrate and establish its brand in small towns and rural markets in a big way.
Vritti i-Media’s DW+ is a cutting-edge technology used in Vritti i-Media’s audio and audio-visual network. The DW+ system runs on a software platform that was developed in-house and is fully controlled from Vritti’s control room at Pune. Due to the use of sophisticated technology in this innovative advertising solution, there is complete transparency and flexibility in its use. Therefore, there is full assurance that the advertisement will be done at the promised rate, which is a rare case when it comes to rural advertising. By digitalising the entire process, the content can be changed at the drop of a hat and go on-line within 30 minutes. Due to the mandatory listening format, this medium ensures that brand communication penetrates the depths of the market. It enables brands to break through existing media clutter and connect effectively with local audience, which is generally oblivious to media such as newspapers, TV or hoardings, due to unreliable power supply or illiteracy.
Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), the Indian counterpart of the UK-origin game show, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ has captured the fancy of the nation since 2000. Every season that has followed was viewed with rapt interest. In fact, foreseeing high viewership for the fifth season of the series that unfolded last year, advertisers are reported to have invested Rs 3.5 lakh for every 10-second ad slot. Sony Television expected a 70% increase in the show’s ad revenue that season over the previous year.
It is obvious that high viewership was expected to justify such ad spends. But achieving a viewership size that could substantiate this hype was impossible without roping in viewers in India’s far-flung corners. With a view to penetrate populations in Tier 2 and 3 cities as well as regions that are cut off from mainstream media, Sony Television has joined hands with Vritti i-Media to promote KBC Season 5. This initiative was in line with the newly adopted credo of the show, which declared that ‘Koi insaan chota nahi hota.’
In turn, the initiative looked at exponentially increasing the viewership base of the show by attracting people residing inIndia’s semi-urban and rural regions. Through Vritti i-Media’s award-winning audio advertising network, a promotional effort took shape in the form of the eponymous KBC jingle coupled with a reminder for people to catch the show. The jingle was played at regular intervals at MSRTC’s district-level ST bus-stations inMaharashtra.
This medium enabled KBC to reap clear benefits. Since ST buses are the primary mode of transport for non-metro folk, each bus-stand is frequented by around 40,000 people a day or 2-3 times a week. A commuter is expected to spend about 20-25 minutes at an average in his wait for a bus; at this point, he is eager and receptive to audio announcements. So, playing the KBC advertisements along with the bus arrival and departure announcements on regular basis on Vritti i-Media’s audio network made perfect sense.
As a result of combining Amitabh Bachchan’s booming voice with a memorable jingle and a compulsory listening format, the audio announcement was adjudged the most popular and highest recalled ad in ruralMaharashtra. These were the findings of a survey by Vritti i-Media, which is the only agency authorised by MSRTC to run audio advertisement at more than 80 bus depots across Maharashtra. This medium is estimated to reach an excess of 10.3 crore people a month in the state.
Considered the pinnacle of automobile luxury since its launch in the Indian market in 1995, Mercedes–Benz is among the few car-makers to have a varied and extensive range of luxury cars in India. On Saturday, March 10th and Sunday March 11th, 2012, commuters travelling between Pune and Mumbai by road were pleasantly surprised on being greeted with communication by none other than the car company that has captured the imagination of India’s aspiring masses for decades.
It was to attract the high-end segment of a prospective clientele that the eponymous brand decided to campaign at the famous Food Hubs on the Pune–Mumbai Expressway. It is a known fact that food hubs adjoining the area attract maximum high-end traffic on weekends, given that Pune and Mumbai are both important industrial centres seeing a shuffle of workforce. People stopping at these food hubs were greeted by teams from Mercedes. Received with warm smiles and special gift hampers, a whopping 310 commuters that stopped by were also given the opportunity to touch and feel Mercedes cars and even take them for a spin.
This innovative and impacting consumer interaction for Mercedes–Benz India was a brain-child of Vritti i-Media, a major media owning group based in Maharashtra with the sole rights for 360 degree-branding on Expressway & Highway Food malls & prominent stopovers. For Vritti i-Media, the rationale behind this campaign was to emphasise first-hand user-experience. The target groups that advertisers are keen to attract are largely on the move for business and study and so the implication of this campaign hits the nail on the head.
With its 360 degree branding solutions along with its proprietary Audio – Visual Network for out-of-home marketing, Vritti i-Media has effectively reached out to appropriate target audience at transit hubs like highway malls, bus stations or airports in the past. Companies like Bunty Group, State Bank of India, Mango Holidays, Manish Potdar and Pride Purple have already tasted success with Vritti i-Media. Efforts to engage the audience include huge plasma displays, hoardings, information boards, product displays, promotional schemes and interviews. In addition to this, audio communication is also intertwined with bus departure announcement that the audience is eager to hear.
To sum up, by choosing to grab those idle moments when commuters take a break from their arduous journeys, Mercedes–Benz India has experienced victory on the go—quite perfect for the brand which is always driving forward if you think about it.
Client: Hindustan Unilever- New Wheel Detergent
HUL used Vritti i-Media’s audio advertising network at Nashik & CBS (Thakkar Bazar) S T stands in Maharashtra in August, 2010 to increase recall of its washing detergent, New Wheel bar. The campaign was targeted towards women, specifically, housewives from the age group of 20- 50 yrs.
In order to assess the success of the campaign, Vritti i-Media conducted a survey through Genesis, a market research firm. Interestingly, the survey showed extremely high recall on the advertisement even though the campaign commenced just 4 days before the survey.Surprisingly, 80% of the respondents even completed the New Wheel punchline correctly.
You can also take a look at the survey findings in the Details research report below:
To know more about Vritti i-Media’s audio advertising solution in Maharashtra, visit: www.vrittiimedia.com
The agricultural department of the Maharashtra Government has set up an agro advisory feed at Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus stands with the objective of providing expert agricultural advice to farmers in Maharashtra public address system at the stands. This initiative has been started with the aim of keeping the local farmers up to date with the latest in farming techniques and to increase their awareness about agriculture. The initiative is conducted across all parts of Maharashtra excluding Mumbai.
MSRTC buses are the chief mode of transport for farmers in rural Maharashtra, thus forming important junctions for communicating information. The agro advisories by agricultural universities and the meteorology department are broadcasted through Vritti’s audio network along with the announcement of bus timings at regular intervals. Experts share advice about quality of seeds and probable quality of production in the coming harvest season, information about market prices, seasonal crops, using fertilizers and hybrid seeds. In order to increase financial stability, farmers are also informed about various beneficial government plans, its application process and the advantages reaped out of them.
Speaking about this initiative, Mr. Veerendra Jamdade, CEO, Vritti Solutions says, “It’s a matter of immense pride for us to be able to help out our local farmers who would otherwise have very little means to receive such privileged information. Our medium facilitates customization of advice specific to the location thus making the information relevant to the types of crops grown in the region, types of pests likely to affect the crops in a particular climate and solutions to cure them. For instance, in the Konkan region, which is the highest cultivator of rice, the messages are customized to provide solutions for better rice cultivation. This kind of timely, location specific advice has greatly benefitted farmers across Maharashtra.”
This initiative of the Government has received an overwhelming response in a short period of time. The farmers have reaped the benefits of this initiative at no cost while travelling to their destinations.
Client: ICICI Bank
The ICICI Bank-“Loan against Gold” campaign used the Vritti i-Media’s audio network at around 15 locations targeted at masses across Maharashtra in small towns and rural areas. The campaign aimed at attracting individuals looking for cash liquidity during the Diwali and forthcoming wedding season. This was an interesting two month campaign & first of its kind from any Large Private bank .The key offering by ICICI bank was that any individual( irrespective of ones account holding in ICICI bank) looking for loan not only can get the loan instantly but can also trust ICICI Bank in mortgaging their precious Gold.