FreeCharge creates Emotional Atya-Charge

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 07, 2013
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The spoof on TV show Emotional Atyachar highlights the benefits of numerous recharges on FreeCharge., an online recharge service for prepaid mobiles, DTH and data card services, has launched a branded entertainment video in partnership with (TVF), an online youth entertainment network, which creates regular shows especially for the young audience. TVF came into prominence with spoofs made on MTV Roadies, and movies like Gangs of Wasseypur and Ra.One.

The video, which is a spoof of Emotional Atyachar, a TV show that airs on Bindass, highlights the benefits of numerous recharges done through FreeCharge, including a chance to win coupons and various deals.

Emotional Atya-charge video

The video shows a lady who has doubts about her boyfriend's loyalty. She suspects that the man is buying top-ups for other ladies' mobile phones as well. She decides to test his loyalty. During the test, it is revealed that he actually recharges through to win shopping coupons and treat his girlfriend to movies, pizzas and burgers. The video ends with a message, 'Issued in public interest by'.

Launched in the first week of May, the video has received 407,373 views on YouTube till the time of filing this report.

The mention of comes towards the end of the story and the branding is also kept very subtle. The video doesn't seem like an advertisement, and that was the intention, claims the company.

Kunal Shah

Speaking about the objective behind the campaign, Kunal Shah, founder and CEO,, says that the campaign was meant to subtly raise awareness of FreeCharge by exploiting or leveraging a pop culture phenomenon, while having some fun at the same time. "At FreeCharge, we're suckers for the unconventional, and this was a perfect medium to experiment with. TVF took the lead to come up with a small universe of different concepts, which it presented to us. The concept we finalised was almost an instant light bulb moment for the FreeCharge team. As soon as we heard it, we knew we wanted to go in this direction," he adds.

According to Shah, the company wanted the youngsters to learn about FreeCharge too, without an exchange for branding and awareness. "We respect that our audiences are getting smarter and more cynical about media in general, so subtlety was a must," Shah informs.

The video is promoted through word of mouth and social media, and if it works well, the company plans to launch a series of such videos with TVF.

Speaking on how FreeCharge benefits from this subtle marketing message, Shah states that though this might sound lofty, FreeCharge stands for empowering the youth generation. "We do this today by helping these youths catch a little break for doing something as trivial as a recharge - a free burger, a free cappuccino, perhaps a free movie ticket," he informs.

In Shah's words, FreeCharge plans to be 'a bit schizophrenic' about its marketing plans throughout the year. The brand will continue to do the things that work well (such as search engine marketing and search engine optimisation); but not be afraid to go out and experiment when it comes to "traditional marketing" (viral videos, television, print). "We want to stand out as a brand. Some of these experiments will fail, and we are comfortable with that. Failure is part of the journey," Shah says.

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