India is leapfrogging into the digital world, and evidence of this massive transformation is everywhere. For some of us, especially the millennials and digital natives, it is like a duck taking to water but for a large majority of consumers, technology can sometimes be hard to grasp at first and hence a bit intimidating. Words like GPRS, TCP/IP protocols, IoT and HD streaming can cause knitted brows.
In this context, Vodafone is repositioning itself internationally with a new global line—The Future Is Exciting. Ready?—which invites consumers to come into the new digital era with Vodafone as a trusted partner. In India, Vodafone recently launched this positioning about bringing the latest technology to the mass audience in a very relatable and authentic strategy. A strategy which involved thinking a little differently—and who better than an old couple to share the latest in technology!
Hence, Vodafone’s latest campaign #FutureIsExciting (launched on 23 October 2017) has the now famous couple of Asha and Bala wowing large parts of the country doing fun stuff with the latest technology—from drones to IoT solutions. And consumers seem to be loving their message. So much so, that the campaign, propagated via digital activations and public relations, resulted in video views crossing 100 million in just a few weeks’ time—an out and out record in telecom and most other categories.
The campaign consists of three lead TV ads featuring Asha-Bala on an international trip and two more “Made-For-Social" films. The loveable couple take the help of Vodafone’s network for getting around their daily activities, whether it be for entertainment or consulting the doctor (with Vodafone Diabetes Care), or just having fun with drones and virtual reality in their daily lives.
Says Siddharth Banerjee, executive vice-president (marketing) at Vodafone India, “We are delighted that our READY campaign, focused on the theme of future and optimism has been so successful in communicating Vodafone’s positioning as a modern, contemporary, inspiring and future-fit brand. It succinctly conveys that beyond mobility, Vodafone is making available tomorrow’s offerings today with technology solutions like IoT, M2M and holistic Business Solutions. We are also deeply touched that consumers in India have showered so much love on Asha & Bala as our icons. We have realised that having them here helps in bridging a technology divide and enables our aim of democratising technology."
Sharing the latest in technology in a manner that is able to carry everyone along without them getting intimidated or lost is a tricky task.
The campaign has been able to hit the sweet spot with consumers.
Says Rahul Saighal, managing director of NetImpact Solutions, a firm specializing in Big Data social analytics and a Vodafone partner, “Social conversation analysis around the campaign shows why it has been so successful. Firstly people love the old couple with words like ‘cute and adorable’ being used to describe them and with people saying that in the future they would want to be like the happy couple. Additionally, with the human angle in place, people are receiving the message of the latest technology nicely which often they can tune out of."
While India has reached around 450 million internet users as per latest estimates from the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the transformative power of the internet comes alive when people become more comfortable with the various services and tools that are available to aid daily life—from a simple helping hand in a foreign place to sharing moments with loved ones to having the comfort of a doctor nearby. And it is important that not just the tech-savvy folks use them but all consumer segments are carried along—and who better than a “young-at-heart" old couple showing the way!
NetImpact Solutions specializes in Big Data social analytics, online reputation management and brand strategy.