Mumbai: Bharti Airtel has launched a multi-media campaign to promote Airtel 5G Plus, the banner under which it provides 5G services. Led by digital, television, and out-of-home, the campaign highlights the attributes of Airtel’s next generation telecom service.
This is the first major marketing exercise undertaken by a telco around 5G services since Airtel and Reliance Jio began rollout in October 2022. The campaign has been created by DDB Mudra and will be released in 12 languages.
“We wanted the campaign to bring forth the features of Airtel 5G Plus – the speed, the compatibility across handsets, and its impact on the environment in the film,” Sashwat Sharma, chief marketing officer, Bharti Airtel said.
The campaign centres around a young woman who experiences the benefits of Airtel’s 5G services. A red wave (symbolising airwaves) sweeps her off her feet as soon as she accesses the service on her phone and carries her around to explore the features of Airtel 5G Plus.
While the protagonist is a female youth, the brand has not brought back the ‘4G girl’ Sasha Chhetri who was the face of its 4G campaign.
Sharma explained that they went with a new face since they wanted the protagonist to represent the target consumer of the campaign, which in this case he described as the aspirational youth of the country.
Brand expert Harish Bijoor had earlier told ET that bringing back previous brand mascots or endorsers, however popular and recognisable, will defeat the proposition of newness that 5G offers, and hence brands would refrain from doing so.
The brand is using multiple marketing touchpoints led by TV and out-of-home for reach, digital for engagement and its stores for experiential outreach. As part of its plan to garner reach through television, the brand will make use of the Indian Premier League as a marketing platform, though Sharma did not reveal details on how.
Media planners have estimated marketing spending in the range of Rs 240-280 crore by telcos this IPL across TV and digital led by 5G marketing push.
On digital, Airtel will also create engagement touchpoints for the customer’s purchase journey while at its stores it will host demo centres around 5G for the next year. Airtel has around 1200 stores in the country as of now.
Apart from target audience representation, the campaign also uses the brand visual cues like the colour red, and the ‘Airtel Wave’.
As part of an ongoing brand refresh, Airtel has replaced its previous visual cue which has the word Airtel in red with a red swirl that Sharma described as ‘the Airtel Wave’.
“It’s a statement of a little bit of a self-confident move forward in terms of our brand journey,” he said.
Elaborating further, he said that as the company diversified its services from just being a telecom connectivity provider, it felt the need to use a visual cue that resonates with consumers rather than having long names for a business unit. So, under the new brand, just the unit’s name is spelt out, and the umbrella brand Airtel is represented by the red wave.
The exercise started with the introduction of the visual mnemonic on the Airtel Thanks App and has been spread across various consumer touchpoints over time.