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! :-)


I think these sort of campaigns do provide a lot of scope for the image of Aircel.. And if there is no direct or indirect harm in what the company does and if it is making people aware of some issues that we have ignored over the past years, how does that matter if it is doing it for social need or for it's branding.. This reminds me of some of the social/CSR campaigns that were run in the past 1 or 2 years.. One is the campaign by Coca Cola India repairing old water ponds or creating new ones for drinking water for people in certain areas across India. Coke came up with this campaign post some organizations objecting the government providing water to these cola companies and neglecting the common man.. And this is true across some places in India... This is a case of conflict of interest.. But, Tigers and Aircel doesn't seem to have any conflict of interest and that too it has definitely provoked a lot of us & especially our thoughts.. I think brands should come out with these sort of campaigns involving public rather than those like Coke for dual benefit of brand as well as public...
Shivangi Malot said…
Great initiative from Aircel indeed, serving both the purpose very well one being branding Aircel and another is the save tigers cause.
Very similar, i find is the Hero Honda 'Ab dil do hockey ko' campaign again serving Hero honda image and promoting our national game.
Aastha Jain said…
Thanks for dis post. Though ther is no doubt that the subject they are highlighting is very serious and needs desperate action, but i also believe that they are "trying" to contribute into CSR bit. When i first saw their campaign, first thing to hit me was comparison with Idea Cellular CSR efforts. Without getting into literal comparison, Aircel is creating awareness but is lacking a firm direction. They definitely leave behind the thought but they also leave behind a feeling of helplessness. Its a positive action but is incomplete without any firm reaction.
Shreshth said…
In a competitive industry plagued with price wars the idea is to be able to play on fad like phenomenons. In the TG social causes are the "in" thing. Not that youth will let go of one comfort, or take one meaningful step, but sending across messages and posting videos is good enough "contribution" to cause. Companies are hence playing the "awareness-contribution" card. People who do work for such causes seldom need multi million dollar campaigns. Crudely put, the heart of marketing has always been on playing with customers mind, creating desires and fulfilling them. In todays hollow racy life the desire to make a difference opens up this arena of social marketing. I would rather have Aircel put all the campaign money directly into the cause and set up an effective monitoring mechanism for its use.
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