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Vodafone, Shoppers Stop announce launch of Zoozoo merchandise

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 27, 2009
Shoppers Stop will have the exclusive rights to manufacture and retail Zoozoo merchandise, such as T-shirts, kids wear, mugs, and bed and bath accessories

Vodafone Essar and Shoppers Stop have announced the launch of merchandise featuring Vodafone's popular character, Zoozoo, which was created earlier this year to promote the cellular service provider's value-added services.

Shoppers Stop will have the exclusive rights to manufacture and retail Zoozoo merchandise, including T-shirts, kids wear, mugs and bed and bath accessories, across its stores in India. Further merchandise will be introduced shortly.

& #BANNER1 & #The T-shirts, available for both men and women, are priced at Rs 299 onwards. Vodafone is also offering a 10 per cent discount to its customers on purchases of Zoozoo merchandise.

"We thought it is a fantastic way to connect with our customers. Zoozoo has a huge community following on the viral medium," Kumar Ramanathan, chief marketing officer, Vodafone Essar, tells afaqs!.

"What started as an innovative advertisement campaign has become so popular that we are compelled to bring Zoozoos out of the television screens and into the homes of our customers," he adds.

After the initial enthusiasm during the second edition of the Indian Premier League, when the Zoozoos were introduced, there was a lull, as the characters were not seen much in advertisements.

"We were not advertising using Zoozoos and that is why the lull. Relevance is more important to us and we think it is the right opportunity and medium now," explains Ramanathan.

On the choice of Shoppers Stop, he says, "We looked at key guys in the segment. We chose Shoppers Stop for their phenomenal experience in merchandising and them being one of the pioneers in the retail space".

Vinay Bhatia, customer care associate and vice-president, marketing and loyalty, Shoppers Stop says in a press statement, "We identified a significant opportunity in character-based merchandising. This exclusive arrangement marks a strategic alliance aimed at augmenting the Zoozoo frenzy".

"Character merchandising is a new emerging trend in India targeting the youth, and we are adding a whole new dimension to this. Given the increasing size of the youth audience at Shoppers Stop, this merchandising line fits well in our merchandise offering," Bhatia adds.

The promotion of the merchandise will be done at three levels, Bhatia tells afaqs!.

At the first level, the 14.5 lakh members of the Shoppers Stop First Citizen Club will be targeted, which will be followed by communication with the Vodafone subscriber base.

For the final level, Shoppers Stop will conduct in-store promotional activities to reach out to its weekly traffic of seven lakh customers.

"The promotion will be a joint effort with Shoppers Stop and Vodafone reaching out to their relevant customers," says Bhatia.