Emvies 2010: Docomo 'doing the new', taking radio over

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media | August 17, 2010
Lodestar UM presented its innovative launch strategy for Tata Docomo, where it was decided to launch a radio station collaborating with the major radio stations across the country

Tata Docomo had a tough task ahead as it decided to launch its services in the country last year. Apart from being the tenth entrant in an already cluttered market, it also faced stiff competition from other mobile service providers planning to set up shop.

Lodestar UM presented its case called 'Station Docomo', nominated for Best Media Innovation - Radio, at the Emvies 2010 case study presentations.

The agency had the option of going the usual way and planning a loud launch using tried and tested methods; or staying true to the 'Do the New' positioning of the brand. The latter was chosen with the Station Docomo concept, which turned the accepted norms of radio on its head.

It was decided that radio would be made the hero of the launch, instead of the usual television or print. The innovative bit was that an altogether new radio station was launched on the brand's launch date, by tying up with FM stations such as Big FM, Fever FM, Radio City and Red FM.

The heads of the major radio stations were briefed together. The first brief was to host a common show across all stations. While the status quo was that the stations would compete with each other, the new idea was to get all the top radio jockeys to get together and host a common show on the day of the launch.

"Station Docomo was about all the top RJs from different stations sitting together in one studio and talking about 'Do the New'," said Maneesha Asthana Khanna, media director, Lodestar Universal, who presented the case.

The second brief was to synchronise the clocks of all the radio stations. Every station has a different clock with breaks that start and end a show. However, for this particular campaign, the clocks of all the stations were synchronised.

Every station was made to design the same playlist to sound as one common radio station. All the RJs were to have a similar theme and sit and banter together. They were also made to adopt styles contrasting to their own, and shuffle their regular jock talk and telecast timings. The signature Docomo tune was also integrated with the signature tune of every station.

For example, a laidback RJ was required to seem energetic and do a morning show instead of his regular evening one. In another example, Ghanta Singh, a prankster on Radio One, was given a taste of his own medicine and became a victim to the prank himself.

The entire commercial time of all the stations was bought out on the day of launch, during which teasers, witty one-liners and Docomo's signature tune were aired.

The campaign was executed in 28 cities across the country, with 14 partnering radio networks and 28 FM stations, on different dates depending on the day of the launch in each market. The campaign was carried out in spite of the initial stiff resentment from radio stations.

The entire effort was not without results either. The agency claims that it over-achieved its targets by 300 per cent; and the campaign helped make Tata Docomo the top gainer in new subscribers, month on month.

Over the launch weekend, the brand got 1.2 million subscribers as claimed by the agency, and there were long queues outside local stores, so much so that it ran out of SIM cards. The campaign further helped the brand to add 22 million subscribers in record time in a recessionary market, Khanna said.

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