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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Aircel- Save Our Tigers

Aircel- Save Our Tigers: Social Campaign or Marketing Campaign?

Aircel is running a campaign to create awareness about the depleting tiger reserves in the country. It has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund India and made a portal which talks about the issue.

The campaign includes a series of commercials which raise awareness about the fact that there just 1411 tigers left.

The campaign also includes commercials which feature Aircel brand endorsers like Dhoni, talking about the issue and exhorting us to "Join the Aircel- Save Our Tigers Initiative" . The ads highlight very prominently Brand Aircel and the portal made for the cause-

The portal, again features Brand Aircel on the landing page.

The campaign also has a Facebook Page, which is based on a character Stripey the Cub.  The Facebook had as of 27th Feb, almost 2 Lakh fans. What on paper seems like a Social Campaign, is infact a very innovative and effective marketing campaign to create awareness of not only the tigers, but business wise,more importantly Brand Aircel. 

Aircel is doing an Idea by talking about social issues. But it is going one step ahead of Idea by involving the public ( The Target Group! ) in the discussion built around the social issue, which happens to be Save The Tiger! This it does by creating a environment through its commercials where the issue is brought into prominence. The connect with the TG on this issue is also made through the Facebook Page, which Aircel has made for the issue, its blog which talks about the same and the series of roadshows it is running, like a drawing competition for kids on the same theme.

The TG is made to think about the issue and is exhorted by Dhoni and co to do something about it. How how do they involve themselves? They do so by going to the  portal of The portal features Brand Aircel and gives options to spread the message on various social networking sites. The TG is also directed to the Facebook page of the campaign , apart from the Twitter page, the YouTube videos and the campaign blog.

"Join the roar for our national animal on the official ‘Save Our Tigers’ website – an Aircel initiative in partnership with WWF India. Speak up, SMS, blog, share the concern, stay informed... every little bit helps!!!"

This is the text, which gets shared on your Facebook when you click Share on Facebook on the site

On clicking share on Twitter, the address of the saveourtigers portal gets shared with your Twitter Followers.

The exhortation of "SMS, Blog and Share", is the best form of Viral the campaign could have got. More the issue is discussed, more would the message of Save the Tigers spread and more would Brand Aircel touch the lives of the TG. The Save The Tiger campaign is among the few campaigns which is using the power of social networking and sharing to self sustain and spread itself. The trigger is the TV commercial, which leads us to the portal and then the power of Facebook and Twitter help in taking the message to Friends and Friends of friends! The social insight at work here is the fact the youth want to associate themselves with issues which they feel serious about. Its cool, gives a good feeling and sometimes all its takes is becoming a Fan of the issue on its Facebook page! It is this youth, which is the focus of the Telecom Companies right now, as they would form a major part of the growth which the sector would witness.

The campaign is the best example of cause related marketing in recent times. The issue is cause worthy and is one on which they has been minimal focus of the press. Its great that finally the public is been made aware about the problem. But the brilliance lies in using a social cause to highlight your own brand in the most understated way possible. There is no hard sell of the brand, just a reminder at the end of the TV commercials and on a corner of the portal, that its an Aircel Initiative. This is what makes the message and the source of the message believable. It helps Aircel distinguish itself from the sundry list of telecom brands, old and new, that are vying for our attention. The success if the campaign can be estimated from the close to 2 Lakh fans on the Facebook Page of the campaign.

Another important point is why did Aircel which launched on the national scene with Dhoni talking about "Its Time To Move On", through a set of Value Added Services like Pocket Internet, suddenly turn to Tigers?

At that time, VAS was a differentiator in terms of communication amongst all telecom companies. Since then, other players, most notably, Vodafone, with the Zoo Zoos has talked extensively about Value Added Services. So, VAS is no longer a differentiator for Aircel. Hence, for them also, "Its Time to Move On". So, VAS goes out and The Tiger comes in! With a social networking element! :-)