Name of authors: Anil R. Bhaik (Associate Professor)
Co – Author : Anant B. Sidana (Asst. Professor)
College: Kamla Nehru Mahavidyalaya
College address: Sakkardara chowk, Nagpur
Contact No: 8600404623
Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This research paper deals with the study of advertising strategies of Idea Cellular, a leading telecom service provider in India. It explains how Idea promoted its services through several innovative ads via variety of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Idea had not hired any celebrity to promote its services till late 2007, in contrast to its competitors.
Idea’s focus in its ads also changed from highlighting its tariff plans and network coverage to using mobile telephony to solve social issues. Idea also developed several websites to support its ads based on social issues.
Keywords: Social media marketing, idea cellular, advertisement, company brand development
Introduction to Social Media Marketing:
Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks. Among social media platforms, user-generated content has acquired a huge interest for marketers. User-generated content in the form of online consumer reviews have given birth to electronic word of mouth.
Online consumer reviews (or electronic word of mouth) are conceptualized as any positive, neutral, or negative information about a product, service or a brand created and published on a consumer review platform or social commerce website by a potential, former, or actual customer.
Now, let us study the various techniques and strategies used by idea cellular, a telecom company for promoting its telecom services to expand its consumer base.
Aims & Objectives:
- To appreciate the importance of brand development for achieving longer term growth.
- To study the usage of different media for advertising a brand.
- To understand how contemporary social issues are highlighted to promote a brand.
- To analyze the benefits of viral marketing for brand promotion.
Background of Idea Cellular Company:
The inception of Idea dates back to 1995 when one of India’s leading business conglomerates, the Aditya Birla Group (ABG), ventured into the mobile telecom space by establishing Birla Communications Limited (BCL). BCL started providing GSM services in the Gujarat and Maharashtra circles in India. Later on, the telecom services of Idea spread in the entire nation. For last one and a half decade, Idea remains on top due to its various unique promotional strategies, full coverage and network and thereby provided immense satisfaction to its user.
Idea’s Ad Campaign:
Idea had decided not to adopt celebrity endorsements in 2002 while its competitors like Bharti Airtel had been using multiple celebrities to promote its brand. But, in October 2007, Idea had chosen Abhishek Bachcahan as its brand ambassador. In May 2009, Idea Cellular’s (Idea) advertisement (ad) endorsed by the Indian film star Abhishek Bachchan won the ‘Best celebrity endorsement award’ at NDTV Tech Life Awards. On receiving the award, Bachchan said,” The IDEA campaign carries a socially relevant message in today’s commercial environment and the brilliant concept of encouraging two-way communication between the government and people has connected with millions across India.”
Use of Social Media Techniques by the company:
A. Facebook: The following graph shows the key statistics and people response to Idea’s advertisement on Facebook in the last month of April,2016:
The total number of likes and posts in the month of April, 2016 were 7 million and 34 respectively.
B. Twitter: The following graph shows the various tweets made by Idea Cellular per day from 21-04-2016 to 30-04-2016 whose average comes to 4.1 per day:
Famous advertisement campaigns of Idea cellular company:
- Jingles of Honey Bunny: Idea Cellular launched its new communication campaign, with a catchy jingle which has immediately gone viral! ‘Idea Rings All India’, the new advertisement from Idea, depicts the diversity, footprint, and seamlessness of our country, and how Idea’s customers benefit from its pan-India network. The new TVC shows Indians from around the country, with varied cultural backgrounds, connecting as one big happy family of over 120 billion people, all of whom are seen humming one song – ‘Honey Bunny’ – albeit with a regional flavor. The campaign is aimed at highlighting the strength of Idea’s pan-India coverage which helps people of this huge Indian family stay connected with their Honey Bunny’s wherever they go – from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Gujarat to Guwahati, Ladakh to Bengaluru, Rajasthan to Orissa, or Mumbai to Bihar.
- Advertisement of IIN: Idea Cellular started the year with a clear objective of increasing Mobile Internet penetration across the country and increase relevance for mobile internet, making it a way of life for people. Idea launched its latest campaign – “IIN, the greatest place to learn”.
- Tie up with IPL: In March 2009, Idea tied up with Mumbai Indians, one of the teams participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL). IPL provided Idea with a good opportunity for its brand building exercise as the competition was closely followed by the entire country. Idea launched a campaign called ‘Call the Cricketers’ on April 30, 2009.
- Advertising experts felt that the campaigns used by Idea to promote its network coverage and tariff plans were creative and would help it to add to its subscriber base.
- They opined that many of Idea’s ads in ‘What an !dea’ campaign had a rural background and would help Idea in building a strong brand image in rural India.
- Analysts said that the urban markets were getting saturated for telecom operators and hence expanding into rural India would help them grow significantly.
- Companyhas limited its scope up to Facebook and Twitter only. It should make use of new social medias like Instagram, whatsapp,hike,etc, etc.
- Company should keep on making innovative advertisement to popularize its telecom service.
- Company must increase its tie ups with online companies like Paytm to reach maximum consumers.
- Company must inform about its new schemes to the consumers on social media rather than merely depending upon television advertisements.
So far, Idea Cellular Telecom Company has made a terrific use of social media marketing techniques and obtained fruitful reasons to increase its overall profitability and consumer base. Of course, there is still a wide scope for improvement. But, with technology up gradation, new collaborations and tie ups, Idea Cellular can enhance the use of social media for marketing its telecom services and can attain higher growth rates and popularity.
- Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick- “The Art Social Media Marketing”
- Websites of Idea Cellular Company- “www.ideacellular.com”