"We do not need any celebrity to sell our brand as some of our competitors do.
At Idea, we stick to the basic elements of our brand communication - whether it's the Idea theme tune, the number garland, the open sky, or even the fact that no cellphones are ever shown in the advertisements," says Sukanto Dey, chief marketing and commercial officer of Idea Cellular Limited.
"The main usage of a mobile phone is to keep people connected, even when they are not together. And, this is the storyline in all our commercials," Dey adds.
That, with the baseline - "An Idea can change your life" is kept alive through recent TVCs, where a lady and her boyfriend have a fight, perhaps even to a point of separation. However, their Idea connection manages to re-connect them once again. The advertisement ends with the couple burying their differences.
The 'staying connected' angle is brought alive through a commercial where the team's football captain is lying in a hospital with a fractured leg. That, of course, does not come in the way of his connecting with fellow team members. The same storyline continues with the commercial where a mother is giving culinary tips to her chef son, while she is enjoying the evening in the park and the son is trying to do his job at a restaurant. That the conversation ends in a disaster is another story. The creative agency for Idea is Lowe.
Dey says, "Our efforts in personifying our brand have paid off. Our subscribers have made us the number one brand in four circles."
Idea, he elaborates, currently, operates out of eight circles in India. Out of this, it is the number one brand in Kerala, Western Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh-Chattisgarh, and Maharashtra-Goa - beating Airtel and Hutch in the process. The other circles are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Delhi. The combined subscriber base is 4 million.
"One needs to be extra cautious with our kind of campaigns," Dey quips. He explains, since a mobile service is a product which is used by different socio-economic classes - be it the upper class consumer who might move in e-class Mercedes Benz, or a low-end customer who just might drive a two-wheeler. "Causing a customer disconnect is an absolute no-no in this business; campaigns should connect to all sects of customers."
Even for the commercials for its value added services, such as the one for 'roaming' on prepaid connections, two people are shown talking to each other. The only palpable difference in this TVC is the presence of a 'voice', which incidentally is absent in other commercials.
Idea is now keen in shifting the gear and grow on a higher curve. And for this, customer acquisition from competing brands is as important as creating new cellular subscribers.
This is precisely where Idea's recently kicked-off service, EDGE ( Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) will come into play. The new service will enable all post-paid and pre-paid subscribers to surf Internet at a speed of 80-160 kbps, or watch streaming video and send MMS on their cell phones, provided they have Edge-enabled instruments. The entry level cost for such a handset is around Rs 7,500 now, while the service comes at a cost of Rs 500 per month. Subscribers will also get to watch live television in a couple of weeks, once Idea finalises its negotiations with all the leading broadcasters to provide content. The live TV service will be yet an extra-cost. Edge will thus provide new revenue earning models for Idea.
Dey has another reason to explain the launch. "Earlier, we have been catering to a cellular population of 10 million. Since that has grown to 40 million now, we need to have these kinds of innovative services to attract a new set of subscribers," he says.
So, will Idea - which promises to "change your life" - also change the way you and I watch our favourite soaps? © 2004 agencyfaqs!