Emvies 2010: Selling the Bhagwad Gita on Indian television's first virtual store

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media | August 18, 2010
Faced with the dilemma of generating leads on a negligible budget for Tanishq's novel pendant, Maxus faced the challenge with India's first virtual store on television

Selling a product through the television medium is not a very novel idea these days, with the advent of the many teleshopping concepts; however, generating interest for a unique product completely through the television platform and making it a model for the future is surely novel - claimed Maxus at the Emvies 2010 case study presentations.

Maxus presented its campaign for Tata Group's jewellery brand, Tanishq, which was shortlisted in the Best Media Innovation-TV category.

In 2009, Tanishq launched the world's smallest Bhagwad Gita in the form of a pendant. All the 700 verses or the 18 chapters of the Gita were inscribed in the 24 carat gold, one sq. cm pendant. The inscription could only be seen under a 20X microscope and read under a 200X microscope.

The pendant was priced 50 per cent higher than other normal pendants.

As the media agency for the brand, Maxus was faced with the challenge to create awareness as well as generate leads to sell 5,000 such pendants and the agency claims it had a negligible budget to achieve the target.

The task at hand was to identify the right target audience, give out the relevant details and pass the resultant leads to Tanishq.

The agency chose to associate with Tata Sky, the DTH service it found its target customers on. The pendant concept was pushed through Tata Sky's Actve Mall service that boasted of 40,000 viewers every day across all homes. Thus was created India's first virtual store on television.

Actve Mall service is an interactive platform service provided to all subscribers of Tata Sky, which enables subscribers to view product listings of various Tata Sky category partners and make requests for purchases. Interested subscribers may purchase any listed product by sending the product code via a text message.

The pendant was promoted on Actve Mall for 45 days across 4.5 million homes. The agency claimed that the idea was the first of its kind because till then, there were only generic offers available on Actve Mall. Viewers got access to a virtual brand store for the first time in the comfort of their homes.

Viewers who clicked on the Tanishq Virtual Store were led to a short comprehensive description of the pendant. A button on the remote then led a prospective buyer to a short code through which a direct order could be placed.

For viewers who were not regular Actve Mall users, a TVC was played on Channel 100 of Tata Sky, which was strategically placed during devotional programmes in the morning and prime time. Viewers could then directly place a query through an SMS prompt at the end of the commercial or by clicking a button on the Tata Sky remote, which directed them to the virtual store on Actve Mall.

The innovation generated more than 100 leads every day for 45 days in a row. More than 75 per cent of the leads were converted into sales, claimed Maxus. Eventually, 70 per cent of the total pendant sales came from the virtual store.

The agency said that for every Re 1 spent on the activity, the sales generated were worth Rs 50. Following the success of Tanishq, a new revenue model opened up for Tata Sky - with many other brands operating on similar virtual stores on the DTH service.

Other case studies presented in the category included Fair & Lovely's 'Chhoo Lo Aasman' (Mindshare); Tata Sky's 'Making Friends: Giving Face to Brand Recall' (Maxus); Paa - The Film God Speaks on India's Biggest Religion (Mudra Max); Nokia's Zero TVC Approach (Maxus) and Cadbury Dairy Milk's 'Pehli Tareekh' (Madison) campaigns.

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