Heat Dust & Subscribers


Airtel Rings In Rural India with Regional Music

Rural India has proved to be an enigma for many a brand. Millions of ad dollars are being spent and lost in this battleground by every brand worth it’s salt. Stories and myths about size, nature, potential, and culture of rural markets flood B-School case studies. Yet, it is a territory that remains elusive.

Ground realities of the rural market are often divorced from assumptions and studies. For example, the literacy rate of rural India is claimed at 57.6%, however, the real rate could well be in the low 40 percent. These people do not own TV sets and have no access to FM radios. Culturally, rural India finds its icons in the Bollywood heroes of the early 80s and not in the Khans.

The Rural Disconnect

Rural India remains largely illiterate in real terms. Conventional Advertising techniques rarely produce results in these parts where only one in every three households owns a television set and more than half of all villagers are illiterate. Also what appeals to the urban customer may not appeal to the rural customer due to varying lifestyles. ATL media has a penetration of 59% at best in Rural India. So, even if the media reaches him, there might not be an impact as it fails to attract him due to the lifestyles being different.

Disconnect Points

  • Over half the target group in Rural India, and even more in MP/CG, may practically be illiterate. The Written material does not connect.
  • Mainline Media has very poor penetration and even worse comprehension. All that media spent comes to a naught
  • Sensibilities differ. Rural India is still caught up in late 70s early 80s. They do not like what we show.
  • They may perceive product benefit very differently

How does one connect to this populace?

We created a unique program that delivers Airtel’s message wrapped in regional music. A first of its kind campaign anywhere in India, the Airtel Haat Connect program featured rich regional songs set in rural context expounding the advantages of an Airtel connection.

The music albums were distributed through a Haat Connect program across central India. These songs were an instant hit with the market and they are still being played in local marriages and festivals years after the activation is over. Regional Music Connects Instantly

The Music Magic

Music is the heart and soul of the villagers. Nothing is as popular or connects as well. Hoards of people gyrating on the beats of the mandal or even a casio keyboard is a common site.

We attempt to weave Airtel into their music and reach out to them with entertainment. This is “In-Music Branding”.

The Music is a hit with instant connect Since the audience can not read, Airtel written is just a symbol. The songs have given the symbol a sound and a name that the prospect can ask for at the shop

The Haat case

– In rural India an estimated number of 47,000 weekly markets called “Haats” do a business of over Rs 1 lakh crore every year.

– Over 30 crore villagers attend Haats in a year

– Haats reach a whopping 1.5 million villages

– Haat visitors are pre-disposed to buying

– Most Haat visitors may never reach the nearest big town and never ever a metro.

The Idea

– Use entertainment in vernacular dialects to reach the grass roots

– Embed brand and brand communication in local music.

– The In-music placement of the brand.

-Create Touch & Feel opportunities through entertainment centric activations at Haats and Melas

Activity Pics