Communication Company, a GSM mobile service provider in Afghanistan, has hired TBWA India for all its integrated communications needs. This is second time in a row that an Indian advertising agency has been roped in to handle the creatives for an Afghanistan based company. In June 2006 Ogilvy bagged the account for Afghan Telecom.
The communications budget for Afghan Wireless is equivalent to approximately Rs 20 crore. It is unlikely that one will get to see this film on Indian television. The campaign will be run only in Afghanistan.
Says Tushar Maheshwari, chief commercial officer, Afghan Wireless, "We went through a competitive pitch process involving agencies in both Dubai and India, and after due consideration have decided on TBWA/India as our communications partner."
Says Nirmalya Sen, senior vice-president, TBWA India, "At present, there are quite a few players operating in the GSM mobile space in Afghanistan. Another one will soon be launched. The mobile market there is very evolved now and there is a potential of almost 15 million users there. Of this, the country has already tapped a market of four million users."
Adds Sen, "The basic challenge for us was to understand the core 'Afghani' character that should come out well in the creative. Besides spending time in the country, we did a lot of ground work such as talking to journalists and the consumers there." The media mix includes radio, outdoor, television and print in a very restricted form.
The other two telecom players in Afghanistan are Areeba Afghanistan (whose creative duties are being handled by Leo Burnett Pakistan), and Roshan.
Afghan Wireless is a privately-owned company, founded by Ehsan Bayat. Recently, it was nominated at the Global GSM Awards ('the Oscars of telecommunications industry') in the technical innovations category.