In conversation with Campaign India, Ritesh Ghoshal, head – brand marketing, Tata Docomo, outlines the brand’s communication path, the ongoing campaign, complicated tariff structures that exist, digital channels and campaign RoI so far. Edited excerpts:
What is the objective of the latest campaign, the ‘Open up’ film?
The objective of the brand campaign is to announce our new product portfolio. We are launching a few products having attractive and simple tariffs across voice and data.
The fundamental purpose for which a person buys a SIM card and a phone is to have a conversation with his friends and family. So at the core of the category is conversations and what we do is enable impulsive communication. It could be through a voice chat or through the data channel. The opportunity we are trying to open for ourselves is really, ‘Enabling conversation’. When you have something in your heart, just let it out and don’t leave anything unsaid.
Can you explain the thinking behind the campaign (the strategic route)?
In the telecom space in the last few months, there has been progressive complication of tariff. At one point, half rate used to mean 30 paisa a minute. Now with different rates to landlines, same operator, other operators, etc., half rate could be 30 paise, 36 paise, 48 paise and so on.
Fundamentally, the guy who is buying the tariff at the retail point really has to be a rocket scientist to figure out which is the best value offering. We have attempted to simplify the complexity of tariff and bring in simple tariffs, not necessarily cheaper tariffs. We wanted to take ‘Which plan, which voucher, which rate card’ etc. out of the conversation and let them stay in the background, letting the guy in the foreground decide what he wants and how much he wants to talk.
This is the announcer of the campaign. The thematic message is to open up and feel good – therefore, ‘laugh, share and talk’. This is the brand campaign which we will build up till the end of this month. Starting the first week of October, there will be a set of five TVCs speaking about the products offered by Tata Docomo and saying ‘Why Docomo?’ It is the concept being launched; once the concept seeps in a little bit, you take it forward with your product narrative.
What was the response to the previous campaign - all pervasive networks?
That was really a fresh thought. Tata Docomo is young in the telecommunication space and we are all of just four years old. A lot of consumers think of us as a start up. They think, "I don’t know how reliable their network will be and will it really stay with me."
One of our best kept secrets is that we have a robust and stable network, especially when it comes to data services. There are a lot of banks using our data services disbursing cash at ATMs, or hospitals which run remote diagnostic services using our network. The message given was that our network is robust and relied upon by people and enterprises who have to run their businesses.
What does brand Tata Docomo stand for in the cluttered market? Dhinka Chika is a deviation from the signature tune and the creative one identifies with the brand...
The way the brand is designed is to lead people away from the current telecom operators and say, ‘Look at me’. Therefore, the conversation really starts at the television in your room, where the brand makes a statement that it is different from other operators, whether it's through the signature tune or the energetic logo. It's all about being organic, simple, slice-of-life, rather than being part of telecom.
This Bollywood number is not going to be constant - our signature tune will continue to remain a vital part of our communication. The Dhinka chika song is a foot tapping one and it invites people, whether kids or adults, to break into a spontaneous jig. It could have been a Michael Jackson number or Lungi Dance - it doesn't matter as it is just a creative device which makes the film work.
If this was the only film I was planning to run as a campaign for a very long period of time, then may be it could affect the brand positioning. But film is going to be followed by a five-film campaign which would use the signature tune.
Digital is a thrust area for most brands. What is the strategy so far?
The strategy for Tata Docomo has been consistent from the day we were born - that is to go after the youth and engage in a two-way communication using digital platforms like our website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Most brands look at digital as another medium. But we look at it as the most cost effective way in a better controlled environment for us to have an activation sort of engagement with consumers. Advertising is about one-way communication while digital is a two-way channel. It enables us to have rich conversations with the core TG. Our website draws organic traffic of seven million people.
Currently, which markets do you see growth coming in from for the brand? And for the future as well.
Ideally we would want our growth from all over the country but currently, our focus is the three South markets of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka followed by Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat. We are closer to being able to create the churn and be the number one choice in these markets than we would be in a State like, say, Uttar Pradesh.
How have the ad campaigns delivered for Docomo?
We started out with operators like Aircel and Unnior - at the same time. And today I am pitched right against Vodafone and Idea. If I look at the number of people who use the Tata Docomo brand, it has almost doubled over the last two years. It's a journey and people don't let go of their current number or SIM card very easily. They need to be reassured that the other operator, apart from giving good tariffs, also addresses mobility needs. It's a step by step operation.