Idea Cellular hijacks Surat station

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | September 01, 2008
The brand has launched a string of innovative ideas and branding across the country


Cellular is leaving no stone unturned in its goal of becoming the most unforgettable telecom brand in the country.

Imagine walking into a railway station and seeing a single brand splashed everywhere - kiosks, backlit glow boxes, frontlit signboards, and every possible ad surface. How's that for unforgettable? That's what Idea has done at Surat railway station for its Gujarat circle.

This is the first time any big station has been branded by a single company. The station has two main areas - the ground level, which consists of ticketing and the concourse area, and the top level, which consists of the platforms. Together, that makes up approximately 2,400 sq. ft of backlit glow signs and 1,500 sq. ft of frontlit boards, on which Idea has splashed its ads.

Click on the images to enlarge
The response to this has been encouraging, with some even commenting that Surat railway station deserves to be called Idea Railway Station and the only thing missing is for the announcer at the station to announce the brand name.

Commenting on why this innovation was done here, Arul Bright, chief operating officer, Gujarat circle, Idea Cellular, says, "Given the dense population, large number of buildings and the tag of the city with the highest per capita income, Surat has always been a focus area for Idea. We have recently enhanced substantially the number of network sites in Surat. We have also engaged specialists to ensure that Surat city gets the best of the Idea network. In line with the thought of providing Surat city with the best and the biggest, we wanted to extend the same in our brand visibility. One such thought was the extensive branding of the railway station."

Idea was partnered by its out of home (OOH) specialist agency, 141 Wall Street, the OOH division of Bates 141, and by Proactive In & Out Advertising, the media owner for this innovation.

Aseem Kala, senior manager, sales and promotions, Proactive In & Out Advertising, says he knew that a single company branding at such a prominent station would give the brand complete mileage, especially as the station caters to about 65 trains every day. A similar exercise had been done for Jivraj Tea, but only on one level of the station. Kala shares that the Idea branding took four days to execute.

The branding was done in July and is a one year deal. Idea will spend around Rs 6 lakh per month on this.

Idea has other tricks up its sleeve, too. To connect with the youth in Gujarat, Idea launched an eye catching outdoor creative for the Idea Music Station, whereby large, rotating music CDs were seen on billboards and bus shelters. The thought behind this innovation was to portray "continuous music" to generate the required buzz for the brand. This idea was well received by the target group. The Idea Music Station carries more than one lakh songs, available in 19 languages. This innovation was carried out in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot.

Another innovative outdoor was for the 'Education for All' campaign, in which actor Abhishek Bachchan comes up with the unique idea of teaching hundreds of students through an Idea connection. To enhance visibility and recall and deliver the brand story in an interesting manner, hoardings were given the shapes of pencils and schoolbags. For the pencil idea, the 141 Wall Street team converted existing hoarding poles into pencils, which added life to the regular creative. Besides Gujarat, the pencil concept has been implemented in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, while the innovative use of schoolbags has been implemented in Pune (Maharashtra).

Praveen Vadhera, country head, OOH, 141 Wall Street, says, "Idea is a leader in Gujarat and plans to continue holding that position. These calls for innovations are taken by the circle, depending on the requirement for that area, such as perception of a better network, etc."

Idea's recent Mumbai launch was accompanied by several innovations, including a laser light show and projection on the well known Air India building at Marine Drive, Mumbai.

In fact, Idea's communication has always been about the 'idea' rather than just network or features and the brand has used a number of innovations to convey these ideas. Vadhera says, "In terms of thought and attitude, OOH is going the innovation way. It is innovation that is eventually going to drive OOH."

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