Cannes 2014: HUL's Kan Khajura Tesan Strikes Gold!

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs! | In Advertising
Published : June 18, 2014
The first-of-its-kind innovation by PHD and Lowe - both agencies are listed as winners - bags two Gold Media Lions. Meanwhile, Lowe bags its own Gold Mobile Lion for the same campaign.

Hindustan Unilever's Kan Khajura Tesan gives us reason to be very proud. The innovation has struck Gold at the International Festival of Creativity this year, in two separate award categories - Media Lions (2) and Mobile Lions (1).

In the Media Lions category, both PHD India and Lowe and Partners India have, together, won two Gold Lions for this innovation.

In the Mobile Lions category, Lowe and Partners India has won a Gold Lion for this innovation. In all, 54 Mobile Lions were given away this year.

Meanwhile, O&M India has won a Bronze Media Lion for its Message Barter campaign for The Akanksha Foundation (Schools). Overall, 92 Media Lions were given away.

What Is Kan Khajura Tesan?

Kan Khajura Tesan or 'The Earworm Channel' is basically an 'On-demand' entertainment channel on a mobile phone; it is HUL's very own structured, branded media channel on the mobile platform, that offers jokes, music and latest Bollywood content. This content is interspersed with radio advertisements for Unilever's mass consumer brands.

The idea was to reach India's rural population, one plagued by daily power cuts. Moreover, in India, these areas see no more than 20 per cent of traditional media coverage.

Mobile operators and content providers were brought together for the implementation of this idea. To launch the station (or 'tesan' as the rural pronunciation goes) rural audiences were invited to call the unique station identity number and hang up, only to be called back with entertaining content. Basically, it can be summed up as 'free entertainment for a missed call'.

Across two states the channel gained eight million subscribers in a matter of six months, during which time, Unilever's ads were heard over 20 million times. Spontaneous awareness of these brands soared - Wheel by 20 per cent, Closeup by 39 per cent and Ponds by 56 per cent.

With one million unique callers per month, and total usage of over 140 million minutes of content, it has become the largest media channel in the region.

This is the first time the mobile phone has been used as an 'entertainment portal' in India. And the cost per contact was just four US cents.

Message Barter

As reported in a previous story, here's what the Message Barter campaign was all about: Akanksha, an NGO that provides free education to over 5,000 under-privileged children, was in dire need of teachers. This campaign 'forced' Indian celebrities to spread the word that the organisation was short on staff. Here's how: the NGO carried out promotional activities for the nation's leading celebs (including Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Hritik Roshan and Chetan Bhagat) without their knowledge. Videos of the same were then sent to the celebs along with a plea to tell their fans to teach. Almost all the celebs responded. Overall, 18 million people were reached, the campaign generated coverage worth a million USD at almost no cost at all, the NGO's website traffic increased four times and teacher applications increased 2.5 times.

Catch up on all the latest updates from the Cannes Lions - International Festival of Creativity here.

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