Tata Communications books Heathrow Express for brand communication

This will involve wrapping Heathrow Express’s entire fleet of trains with the livery of Tata Communications


A file photo of Heathrow Express 332002 at Paddington station. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A file photo of Heathrow Express 332002 at Paddington station. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi: In a bid to increase its brand visibility globally, Tata Communications Ltd has tied up with Heathrow Express, a rail link that connects one of the world’s busiest airports London Heathrow Airport to the heart of the city.

This will involve wrapping Heathrow Express’s entire fleet of trains with the livery of Tata Communications, the flagship telecommunication arm of Tata Group. The brand will also use on-board digital screens and TV spots along with digital airport panels for its latest marketing campaign—We Are The Connection.

The company that generates 75% of its business from international markets such as Australia and Europe lacks a strong brand recall in these very markets.

Tata comm provides new world communications to multinational enterprises and service providers in the UK including voice, data and mobility solutions among others.

“We want to grow our business in Europe by 50%. Heathrow Airport is a big gateway between the east and the west. TNS which conducted a brand study for us, advised us to do something bold in the UK. I was looking for brand platforms that could connect with the global mass consumer,” said Julie Woods-Moss, chief marketing officer of Tata Communications, over a call from Mumbai. She is in India for a five-day business visit.

Heathrow Express is the fastest rail route between Central London and Heathrow Airport which connects 60 million international passengers since its launch in June 1998. It carries 16,000 passengers daily.

In India, the Delhi Metro started sporting the livery of e-commerce brands from December last year. Advertisers such as IndiaMart, Amazon and Myntra pay around Rs.25 lakh to wrap six to eight coaches of the metro for a month. The prices depend on the metro route and the number of coaches.

The Delhi metro covers 190.03km across six lines and ferries close to 260,000 passengers every day, as reported by Mint earlier this year. Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (DMRC) allows only 10% of its coaches to be wrapped with ads, making it a case of demand exceeding supply. DMRC runs 216 trains with 1,282 coaches. A total of around 800 million people used its services in 2013-14.

Until November, it only allowed ads inside trains and on stations.

Tata Communications is scouting for similar out-of-home branding and marketing opportunities in countries including Singapore, the US and India.

“Our media mix has been weighted towards digital but it is equally important to amplify that with real on ground presence. Over the last nine months or so, we have been working on our out of home brand building,” said Moss, who joined the company two and a half years ago.

With an annual marketing budget of $25-$50 million, the company has in the past partnered with high-profile sports events such as Formula 1 with Mercedes AMG Petronas racing team and Red Bull Media House (a multi-platform media company with a focus on sports, culture and lifestyle), providing them with global broadcast and connectivity services.

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