Vodafone unleashes media blitzkrieg to re-brand Hutch

TV campaign, radio jingles, publications used to communicate change

Purvita Chatterjee

Mumbai, Sept. 25 Creating mega roadblocks across the Star television network was the media strategy adopted by Hutch to make a transition to the Vodafone brand.

The team at Maxus (the media agency for Hutch) had to come up with 75 ideas before zeroing in on using the largest broadcaster to create awareness about the name change on the night of September 20. The overnight blockage of the network was to ensure that competitors did not get proactive with their share of voice.

According to Mr Ajit Varghese, Managing Director, Maxus, “The purpose was to get the highest share of voice in the category to make an impact with the awareness campaign. The idea was to launch it in such a way that competitors did not get time to react.”

Bombarding the network

Almost bombarding the Star network across all its 13 channels, Hutch managed to grab between 500 and 600 seconds per hour on a 24-hour basis to drive home the point about its name change.

Having the experience of handling name changes in the past (Orange to Hutch), the telecom operator liked the idea of using the country’s largest broadcaster to convey the message. As Mr Varghese says, “The client was savvy enough and dared to back the idea of creating roadblocks among the 75-odd ideas the Maxus team presented.” Bringing in the all familiar pug, which was shown to change its house to imply the brand name change, Hutch then moved on to radio, print and hoardings the next morning to extend its TV onslaught of the previous night.

“The TV campaign was used as the largest window and comprised the base media for the brand unlike the rest of the media where no roadblocks were used,” states Mr Varghese. Local radio stations, across cities, such as Radio Mirchi and Red FM were then roped in to play spots to remind listeners about the Hutch-to-Vodafone transition.

Explains Mr Kartik Sharma, GM, Maxus, Mumbai, “Radio’s job was to build on the television story and remind customers about the name change. We played an old Hindi film jingle and then bought in our new jingle. While TV’s job was to show the pug, radio could not do that and we ran spots based on the new jingle with high levels of frequency across the radio stations.”

Retail spaces

Also, almost 40 publications were used to communicate the change in brand name. Next in line would be the use of retail spaces for conveying the same message.

According to Ms Hephzibah Pathak, Executive Brand Director, Vodafone, “The important element in the changeover was to move seamlessly from Hutch to Vodafone with a positive attitude, while taking our customers along with us. The pug is synonymous with our robust network and is the most endearing symbol of our brand. Our idea illustrates that the good things associated with us will continue while we build on our strong fundamentals. Change is good; it implies that even if a well-loved brand changes, there are always positive aspects to it in the long run. The branding initiative was an overnight transition from Hutch to Vodafone.”

Related Stories:
>‘It’s Vodafone from tomorrow’
>Hutchison Essar is now officially Vodafone Essar

Published on September 26, 2007



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