Commuting from one end of the city to another for work or for any other purpose is a common part of most people's daily routine and is tiring, frustrating and time consuming. But, the metro rail changed all that. In cities like Delhi and Mumbai, it is certainly a blessing. But, having said that, the painfully long queues at the metro station ticket counters often dampen one's spirits rather than lift them.
Another unique feature of the ongoing campaign is its deliberate focus on internal branding in metro trains. Unlike other brands which lay equal emphasis on the outdoor train wrap that appears on the doors of the metro trains, this one has tried to be a differentiator by being the attention seeker only inside the compartments. The reason is that according to a study done by FreeCharge, it was found that commuters spend 80 per cent of their time inside the metro compartment and the remaining 20 per cent at the metro station platforms. Hence, it makes sense to advertise at the direct point of contact rather than elsewhere.
Talking about choosing this particular metro line, Ashish Virmani, marketing head, FreeCharge, notes that the brand enjoys three-fold advantages by advertising on the Versova-Ghatkopar metro line. Firstly, the number of daily commuters via Mumbai Metro is the highest on this route; hence, it will certainly ensure high brand visibility for them. Secondly, compared to all other media mix, outdoor advertising has the least spillover rate. For instance, unlike a radio or a TV channel, when one may choose to either turn off or switch over to some other channel once some ad starts playing, a passenger boarding the metro does not have the choice to turn it off or move away in case of a train wrap or internal branding in metro compartments. Lastly, getting a recharge for a metro card done through FreeCharge is an option that lies closest to the point of transaction.
Previously, the brand took to outdoor advertising at bus shelters near malls and colleges in metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. But, this is the first-ever metro train-based outdoor advertising being undertaken.
Speaking about the major marketing challenges faced by FreeCharge, Virmani is of the view that 'behaviour change' remains the most prominent challenge for them as only one per cent of the metro commuters recharge their cards online while the rest prefer paying cash over the counter, to effect the same. Hence, this is an issue which the current campaign aspires to overcome. The brand has therefore, hiked its ad spends by 70-80 per cent compared to its previous ad campaigns.