An Idea to hail the spirit of Mumbai

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : August 21, 2008
Idea was finally launched in Mumbai after much struggle and delay. The launch campaign, created by Lowe, uses a teaser-revealer format


establishing itself in 11 circles, telecom service provider Idea has finally launched its services in Mumbai. Sanjeev Aga, managing director, Idea Cellular, refers to Mumbai as "the Kurukshetra of Indian telephony". Over the past year, Idea has run campaigns featuring brand ambassador Abhishek Bachchan. The campaigns, in line with the punch line, shed light on how an 'idea' can change people's lives. These campaigns include the 'Sarpanch - What an Idea Sirji' campaign, the Taj Mahal campaign and the more recent 'Education for All' campaign.

In Mumbai, Idea will not position itself as a freebie/ discount offering service provider (although the initial promotional offers will do the rounds). It wishes to be seen as a superior service provider right from the beginning - a tall order surely, in a market crowded with existing players such as Vodafone, Airtel, Tata Indicom, Reliance Communications and BPL.

Frames from the two
Idea Mumbai launch TVCs
To live up to its claim, Idea is announcing that it is 3G ready, with plans to launch PCOs and data cards. Aga further boasts of superior voice clarity and disaster management capabilities, qualities which are often required in Mumbai these days.

To announce the launch of Idea in Mumbai, Lowe has created a campaign that follows the teaser-revealer format. Lowe's task was simply to bring out the Idea brand values - champion, humane and elevating - to the fore, while celebrating the spirit of Mumbai. The teaser phase had hoardings dotting Mumbai, featuring people alongside words like, 'Yeh Delhi ki hain, Mumbai ki nahin', or 'Yeh Canada ka hai, Mumbai ka nahin'.

The insight is that Mumbai is a diverse city, where people from different regions converge to seek a livelihood. These people become contributors to the city, which gradually becomes their own.

"So, when someone has different mannerisms, or looks different, people tend to label his origins," says Pradeep Srivastava, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular. The brand attempts to communicate that these people own Mumbai mobile numbers, which is almost like a person's identity these days. Thus, these people are as much Mumbaikars as any native resident.

The revealer phase, which started on August 20, shows the same people holding Idea mobiles with the caption, 'Mera number Mumbai ka, toh main Mumbai ki', while the baseline is 'Mumbai! What an Idea!' Brand ambassador Bachchan will also be seen sporting his phone in this manner.

To add to the drama, the famous Air India building at Marine Drive, Mumbai, will witness something unique on August 22 and 23. During late evening, the building will light up with a projected image of Bachchan holding an Idea mobile, with the logo and baseline making an appearance. This projection will be marked by yellow spotlights roaming around it (yellow is Idea's prime brand colour).

Pradeep Srivastava
Two TV commercials have also been created to announce Idea's launch in Mumbai. The first TVC has a man on the roadside listening to another talking on the mobile. Recognising the Malayalam language, he asks the other if he's from Kerala. The other guy refuses this repeatedly and says he's from Mumbai as his mobile number is a Mumbai one.

The second TVC shows a man boarding a taxi at the airport. Once the cab drops him to his destination, the cabbie, assuming his customer to be a visitor, charges him an exorbitant amount. The smart customer flashes his Mumbai number, thereby convincing the cabbie that he's actually from Mumbai. This is followed by the tactical baseline, 'Mumbai! What an Idea!', which appears as a super.

Srivastava reveals that a healthy mix of newspaper, radio, cinema hall advertising, outdoor and television has been used as a part of this campaign. Furthermore, plans are on to associate the brand with events and occurrences where it can celebrate and salute the spirit of Mumbai. Idea has also tied up with NDTV and Nanhi Kali, an NGO for underprivileged children, to motivate its subscribers to sponsor the education of a child. A TVC for the same will be aired soon.

For the upcoming financial year, Idea has planned an investment of Rs 800 crore in Mumbai and plans to break even in four years. With this launch, Idea claims to have covered about 70 per cent of India's telephony market.

First Published : August 21, 2008

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