Love is in the airwave: Cupid strikes telcos

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018


Reliance Jio tweets Valentine’s Day wishes to Idea, Airtel, Vodafone

You would have heard of various ways of expressing love, but this takes the cake. Known for their corporate battle in the telecom space, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio cheekily tweeted its love for rivals Idea Cellular, Airtel, and Vodafone.

“Dear @airtelIndia, @VodafoneIn, @ideacellular, Happy Valentine’s Day #WithLoveFromJio,” it tweeted.

Reminiscent of the erstwhile cola wars, this comes at a time when Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are in the midst of a legal battle against Reliance Jio on its freebies.

Reliance did take rivals by surprise because it took them a while to respond. But, when the response came, it was as cheeky. Airtel used its campaign tagline in its response:“Same feels @reliancejio! After all #HarEkFriendZarooriHotaHai”.

Vodafone India responded with a ZooZoo GIF, stating, “Let’s all be Super this Valentine’s Day.” Idea Cellular too tweeted, “@relianceJio Same to you! Nice to know that love is in the air today. @airtelIndia @VodafoneIn.”

Not wanting to be left out, Aircel, too hopped on the bandwagon and started tweeting goodwill messages to all the telecom players. For instance: to Reliance Jio it tweeted, “Here’s to our unspoken pact of connecting lovers “Digital high-five!”.

Twitterdom buzzing

The exchange of love between telecom rivals definitely got the Twitterdom buzzing.

This has not been the first time that brands have been cheeky to each others to grab eyeballs. Unlike good old telly or print, this time around Twitter was the choice of the medium to prod rivals.

Brand expert Harish Bijoor said such initiatives help brands come to the fore of the public mindset. “Telecom wars are like the new cola wars. These companies will need to continue to strive to be relevant and connected to the young consumers,” he added.

But, besides grabbing eyeballs does this help with strengthening their brand ? Nimesh Shah, co-founder and Head Maven, Windchimes Communications, said that tweets of this nature can be qualified as an extension of brand personality.

“The tonality and cheekiness of language adds to the brand persona provided that there is a consistency in it. Else it’s simply a one off and does nothing to the brand.

“Jio has an advantage of being a disruptor given how it has shaken up the market and so it can choose to extend that tag on it’s social media platforms too. If it is able to pull that off, the brand will definitely see a build up of positive disposition towards itself,” he added.

Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have filed complaints against Reliance Jio in various forums including the Department of Telecom and sector regulator TRAI. Reliance Jio’s free 4G services have impacted financials of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.

Published on February 14, 2017

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