HP Gas talks to moms through kids via Art for Awareness

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 22, 2011
The idea was to target existing LPG consumers in cities, and spread safety and awareness messages via an unconventional route - kids.

HP Gas, the LPG strategic business unit of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), recently conducted a nationwide consumer engagement and awareness programme called Art for Awareness. Spread across 24 cities, the programme targetted the urban SEC A and SEC B category households to spread awareness about LPG usage and kitchen safety.

The idea was to target existing LPG consumers to spread awareness about this relatively low involvement category via an unconventional route. The below-the-line (BTL) activity targetted school-going children in the age group of 5-10 years, and spoke to the mothers through these kids.

Subhankar Biswas, deputy general manager, sales and marketing, HP Gas, says, "At HP Gas, our focus has been to continually look at ways to communicate with our end consumers in all segments through last mile activities. Having successfully undertaken 'Suraksha Sanchetna Abhiyan' to the rural and semi-urban masses, we are now geared up to get our message across to the urban population."

The activation took place within the school premises, wherein children were shown a special animation film featuring a magical character, Whizzo, which was custom-made for these children.

The kids in the targetted schools also participated in a drawing competition at the school level. A select few from each city represented their schools and states in the national level drawing competition held in Nagpur on February 19. The event saw participation from schools in 22 cities across the country.

The children, along with their parents/guardians, participated in a day-long function with several activities including the national level drawing competition. Six students won on-the-spot cash prizes.

In the urban set up, the consumer-dealer interface is minimal, thus offering a challenge in terms of communication through that channel. Art for Awareness was a 'fun while you learn' activity wherein kids took home a safety kit for their mothers. HP managed to touch close to two lakh households in the target group across the country through the initiative.

The brand and communication activation plans have been put together keeping in mind the large size and diversity of the consumer base. Rohit Mago, manager, branding, HP Gas, says, "It is imperative to focus on each target group through multiple channels of communication. In order to maximise the outreach of the Art for Awareness programme, we have strategically implemented a communication plan by which we are engaging our target audience through both BTL and ATL (above-the-line) activities. The response has been very encouraging."

Sadanand Parulekar, business head, JWT Connect, the agency that handled the activity, adds, "Times are changing, and with it, consumer behaviour. Consumers, today, prefer engaging activities. Therefore, we decided to promote the cause of safe LPG usage and awareness for kitchen safety through the BTL route. Through the Art for Awareness programme, we have engaged the kids, who are known influencers in urban households, in order to reach out to the mothers. The magical character, Whizzo, struck a chord with the young minds, and the message is sure to reach home to the end consumer."

HP Gas endeavours to continue spreading awareness on kitchen safety and safe LPG usage through several other initiatives, as well.

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