Second is the new minute with Tata Docomo

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | August 07, 2009
The newest GSM player introduces tariffs based on seconds and not minutes

Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited (TTML), in conjunction with Japan's NTT Docomo, launched the GSM service, Tata Docomo. The service has been present in the southern states and in Orissa, and has now been launched in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

The state already has a basket full of GSM service providers, namely, Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance, Idea, Aircel, and now, Tata Docomo. TTML has made its presence in the telecom category with its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) offering, Tata Indicom. The only other CDMA player is Reliance, which recently went GSM as well.

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In a category that is immensely cluttered, Tata Docomo aims to stand out with its new and differentiated tariff plans. The new kid on the GSM block will charge the user per second, and not per minute. The basic tariff is one paisa per second. Dr Mukund Govind Rajan, managing director, TTML, says, "Second is the new minute."

Most tariff plans are based on per minute rates. That means that even if one speaks for just over a minute, the charge is for two minutes. Tata Docomo's tariff plans, on the other hand, will charge the user, only for 51 seconds if that's how long the conversation lasted, instead of for a minute, as would be the case with other tariff plans.

Regular VAS (value added services) is part of the offer. Tata Docomo Dive-in, a WAP Portal, and i-channel, a customised ticker, are also available.

The brand proposition that Tata Docomo has taken is that of 'do', much like the first syllable of the brand name, Docomo. Abdul Khan, advisor to the managing director and head, GSM marketing, tells afaqs!, "We're focusing on the thought of 'Do'." Just as one expects to get more out of life and do more, Tata Docomo wants to give the doer spirit a tangible shape. "We'd like to give it a voice," says Khan.

As part of this initiative, Tata Docomo is carrying out a research across the state of Maharastra and in Mumbai, in association with AC Nielsen. The objective of the study is to find out what the youth want to do. After the assimilation of this 'Doer Manifesto', Tata Docomo will direct it towards the right persons.

The new logo for Tata Docomo has been created by Wolff Olins.

Two brand ambassadors, or as the brand would like to call them, 'doers', have been appointed -- Krushnaa Patil, who scaled the Mount Everest and Pooja Chopra, who is Lakmé Femina Miss India (World).

Draft FCB Ulka is the creative agency that has worked on the campaign. A bus activity, where the doers went around the city to malls and asked people what it is that they'd like to do. Apart from this, the regular media vehicles of TV, press, outdoor and radio will be utilised.

A couple of humorous radio spots have been planned to target the youth. The aim is also to popularise the newly created brand tune.

Outdoor hoardings that will include both text and image led creatives will talk about the newfound joy in every second. The press ads are an adaptation of the outdoor ads.

Television commercials will soon be launched as vignettes with the brand ambassadors. The TVCs will take the route of urging people to do more for the city.

TTML received the license to provide GSM services in Mumbai in September 2008, and for the rest of Maharashtra, in November 2008. The telecom company has reused a lot of its infrastructure and transmission, as it already possesses towers for its CDMA offering.

NTT Docomo is a Japanese telecom provider that has about 50 per cent market share.