Engaging with the youth isn’t an easy task specially in a space like messaging apps which is a crowded space in the country. With WhatsApp being the leader in India, WeChat India has been focusing on innovative localized features and marketing tie ups to provide stiff competition in the country. Carrying it forward, WeChat India recently launched four new features such as real-time location sharing, friend radar, video call and cloud storage to make communication more fun.
Nilay Arora, Head of India operations at WeChat India had spoken to us about the features earlier. Additionally to take these features to youngsters and a bigger mass, four new TVCs have been launched. The campaign is to communicate, and position WeChat in the country as the starting point of all conversations and interactions – #StartHere. It is also interesting to see that the brand has moved out from the regular Bollywood celebrity endorsement to a quirky way of talking about the features.
The 30-second TVC, conceptualized by Publicis India created a Jaat boy, who is in love with technology but at the same time quite proud of his roots. Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis India adds that,“The Jaat boy is a symbolic embodiment of many young Indians who live and breathe through their smartphones – very proud of their roots and, at the same time, open to all the opportunities that our hyper-connected world has to offer.”
At the moment the brand has launched two videos as a part of the campaign. The first TVC was made to highlight the feature of free video calls on WeChat, where the Jaat boy finds a prospective groom for his pet buffalo, Katrina. The second one showcases the real-time location sharing ability on WeChat. Here, the buffalo Katrina is lost and the Jaat boy helps her back home using real-time sharing location.
The TVCs have a freshness that is pepped up by the rural accent of the Jaat boy who uses English to communicate. Quite a change for the brand which has moved away from the likes of its original celebrities - Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan.
On social media, the TVC’s have got a good response. The video in which the Jaat boy is looking for a soul mate for his buffalo has fetched more than 895K views within two weeks on YouTube. The other video talking about Real time location sharing has also fetched 852K views within three weeks.
Facebook and Twitter have been used to reach out to fans for the promotion of the video. From promoting the ad, to the new features and building conversations around #StartHere, the brand is doing everything on both the networks.
Free voice calling on WeChat. Call your best friend and everyone else for free! Download WeChat now. #StartHere pic.twitter.com/kAYAGz8cJH
— WeChat India (@WeChatIndia) May 29, 2022
Picture #JaatBoy on mute. Would he still be fun? We think not. Introducing free. Voice Call on WeChat. #StartHere http://t.co/a1becHnVR0
— WeChat India (@WeChatIndia) May 28, 2022
Heading for a trekking trip with friends? Keep your family updated about your location with Real-Time Location sharing on WeChat. #StartHere
— WeChat India (@WeChatIndia) May 31, 2022
Launching TVCs to explain the four features in a quirky way is rational and also an effective way to reach out to the maximum audience. While the messaging app with its hashtag #StartHere might wish that all conversations of Indian youth start on its network but right now the maximum is happening on WhatsApp which has 50M active users in India. Additionally WhatsApp India boasts of the user base with zero marketing budget but that might change now with it being acquired by Facebook for $19 billion earlier this year.
Nevertheless, WeChat which stays away from reporting regional numbers, has been reported as the fastest growing messaging app globally and in India in 2013. Hopefully these moves help WeChat to grow its numbers in the country and also pose a stiff competition for WhatsApp in India.