Telecom giants’ unique advertising ideas impress rural marketsApril 13th, 2012 | Posted by in Client campaigns
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.