From the #TheSmartPhoneNetwork to the fastest network ever, Airtel – the largest telco operator makes a bold shift in its communication to sync with the 4G launch. The largest mobile operator in South Asia and the third largest in the world with a 303 million subscriber base recently rolled out high speed 4G services in 296 towns. Initially launched in Kolkata in 2012, 4G is now available at places like in the border district of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Airtel 4G is available to customers across a range of smart devices including mobile phones, dongles, 4G hotspots and Wi-Fi dongles. The service is available in 14 circles and 296 towns. The company has also tied up with online marketplace Flipkart to provide an Airtel 4G sim with a 4G phone purchase with mobile giant Samsung.
Airtel also announced the launch of a new carrier agnostic mobile app ‘Wynk Movies’ that offers a library of thousands of movies and other popular videos. This follows the successful launch of Wynk Music and establishes Airtel as the only mobile operator in India to offer OTT (Over-the-Top) mobile applications that work across carriers, Airtel said.
To spread the word of its new offering, Airtel released an ad campaign followed by the launch – “The Airtel Challenge”, as the name suggests, projects Airtel 4G as being the fastest network and throws open a challenge to existing data service providers. The ad has been created by Taproot Dentsu.
Keeping its focus on the youth and their internet consuming behavior on the go, the ad places two competitors (women) on a building’s rooftop amidst an excited crowd, where they perform various mobile data related tasks like web searches and downloads. The protagonist who is using the 4G network, wins the battle as she has the fastest network that can download even movies in minutes. The ad ends with a challenge for the viewers, proposing that if they find a swifter network, their mobile bills will be paid for, life-long.
Unbelievable? You might want to check the ad, though it is not told how big is the movie – a 5-minute short film or a 90-minute feature film.
Airtel that is focusing on the speed as of now, is keeping the pricing under cover The main video is available in three cuts, a 100-seconder for the digital medium and two 65-second spots for TV. Besides, the campaign is also being executed through radio, print and point-of-sale advertising.
On social media, the brand isn’t running a campaign but sharing information that fans would be interested in knowing.
— airtel India (@airtelindia) August 25, 2015
Additionally, to make fans believe and answer the genuine questions, Airtel recently arranged a Google Hangout with Gaurav Kapoor along with bloggers. I believe Airtel would rope in tech bloggers to get the word out on how fast is the speed on 4G network.
— airtel India (@airtelindia) August 22, 2015
While there is a complete change in positioning from 3G to 4G for Airtel, the ad clearly overlooks a lot of things. This time the brand has focused on youth rather than a female being boss at two places, which had landed into a controversy. Most of them didn’t like the portrayal of the woman boss but the ad was a talking point on social media.
This time Airtel has focused on speed and not price. While 3G only creates a big monthly hole in the wallet, 4G won’t be any lesser. Though reports are stating that the company is offering 4G at 3G prices. However it isn’t clear if it is an introductory offer.
Airtel’s choice to focus on speed is understood since the country is still struggling to achieve global average speed limits on broadband and it wants its users to move away from the buffering zone. Two months ago the brand had rolled out three videos as part of its digital campaign for 4G Home WiFi targeted towards select Southern market. The ads described how their lives changed for the better, after getting 4G Home WiFi.
It would be interesting to see how the audience buys Airtel’s claim, especially in the non-metro cities that have been shown in the ad.
Meanwhile to compete with Airtel’s 4G offering at 3G prices, Vodafone is also busy promoting “Vodafone Doubles” – a limited period campaign that gets double the data for existing pre-paid data users.