Oh, Mitwa! ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ 3 Gold Jeetwa!

18 Jun,2014

 

By Delshad Irani

 

It’s been a long time coming but India’s finally scored the campaign equivalent of a killer app. Kan Khajura Tesan or “centipede station”, a programme by Hindustan Unilever to provide radio over mobile to the media dark parts of North India has scored a massive three gold trophies; two in Media for PHD and one in Mobile for Lowe and Partners Worldwide. Although Lowe Lintas is the creative agency behind the work, the agency is absent at award shows because of its chairman R Balki’s famous no awards policy. However, the creative council of Lowe Worldwide headed by Jose Miguel Sokoloff picked the pathbreaking work to throw into the toughest ad competition in the world.

 

Note with the winning Media Lions entry on Kan Khajura Tesan:
 

Results and Effectiveness:

“Single largest media channel in Bihar and Jharkhand”

 

Over 8MM subscribers in two states in 6 months. KKT reaches 60% of the non-TV households in these states. Consumer base growing at an average of 35,000 daily

 

Unilever ads have been heard over 70MM times  Increase in Spont Awareness for all three brands associated
– Wheel – 20%
– Ponds White Beauty – 56%
– Close Up – 39%

All of this at 4 cents cost per contact.

 

 

Creative Execution:

In a media first for India, we brought together telcos and content providers to create a FREE, ALWAYS ON, ON DEMAND entertainment channel accessible through even the simplest mobile phone.

 

Outbound dialers promote KKT and educate consumers on how to access free content. The content is personalised through a Radio Jockey, who also reminds users to call again to get more content. Consumer traction is increased through relevant and contextual content like movie clips, Bollywood songs and jokes. The content is refreshed on a weekly basis and engagement spikes are created through blockbuster movie tie-ups.

 

The Unilever advertisements are placed within the content in a non-intrusive manner.

 

Consumers can consumer upto 60 minutes of entertainment content per month, absolutely free.

 

 

Insights, Strategy and the Idea:

82MM Households in India are media dark!

 

Imagine a world where your basic source of happiness; entertainment on TV is cut short by long daily power cuts. What a mundane existence that would be.

 

With 86% ownership, mobile phones are the only saviours. Movie clips or songs downloaded from telcos or purchased via pre-loaded chippis (sim-like chips) are the only things to turn a frown upside down.

 

80 cents for limited movie clips coupled with the cost of connecting and downloading content from telcos makes mobile entertainment an expensive option.

 

So to plug this famine of entertainment content, we created the ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ KAN KHAJURA TESAN (ear worm channel) is the first of its kind, free advertiser-owned entertainment channel accessible through mobile. Just give a missed call to the branded number and receive entertainment content interspersed with Unilever adverts, free of cost.

 

Reacting to the news, Priya Nair, vice-president at Hindustan Unilever says, “It’s always great to have work recognised especially in a well respected forum.” Long regarded as a tough formula-driven marketer, Unilever has over the last decade turned its reputation around and is now regarded as a client encouraging of creativity. However as Nair clarifies, “Obviously, we are in the business of business. But while you do that, if the work delights the senses and builds a historical pathway for others to follow it’s a vindication of being in the right direction. It helps build an ecosystem of people thinking differently.”

 

Bagging Gold comes as a welcome surprise to the notoriously award averse Lowe Lintas which apart from abstaining from local awards for over a decade, has dragged its feet about sending entries to Cannes. When we called R Balki for a comment he was in the middle of a shoot in Helsinki, but texted back ecstatically with, “Awesome!! Ya!! Good for ideas!! It’s a super kickass idea.”

 

Speaking of the win, Deepa Geethakrishnan, president, Lowe Lintas says, “Kan Khajura Tesan is truly a collaborative effort between the client, who birthed the core idea, the creative and account and media teams. The insect has travelled all the way from Bihar to the South of France.” Sources at the media agency PHD were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

 

Often Indian campaigns are too desi for their own good at Cannes. Kan Khajura Tesan is the exception. Nair believes it’s because, the idea is “simple, inventive and not difficult to explain no matter where you belong. We are sometimes guilty of complicating the idea.” Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas, opines that the idea matched the judges’ sensibility of India. He adds, “Winning at Cannes is a good recognition. But this is a bonus; beyond a point we don’t think about awards.”

 

Many creative leaders complain young Indian ad folk spend more time trying to crack relatively new and therefore presumably ‘easy’ categories like Mobile and Digital, while ignoring the meat and potatoes of television and print. This win proves that convincing ideas on big brands beat all statistical finagling or hedging so popular with agencies. Not that we expect them to stop anytime soon, though.

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2014, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Licensed to republish

 

 

Also see/read:

A four-minute film on the project:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=674274805978726&set=vb.1289914 50507067&type=2&theater

 

Unilever Brand story:

https://www.facebook.com/UnileverDiaries India/app_819181691443540

 

 

We are republishing a story we had published in March 2014 on the HUL offering (link: http://www.mxmindia.com/2014/03/bihar-mein-no-1-radio-station-kaunbaa-aapan-hindustan-unilever-ke-kan-khajura-tesan/):

 

Bihar mein No 1 radio station kaunbaa? Aapan Hindustan Unilever ke ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’

 

By Sagar Malviya

 

At Gosaidaspur, a village near Ganga river basin in Bihar, people regularly listen to movie songs, dialogues, radio jockey talk, jokes and shayari on their mobile phone. There’s no FM station covering this village 250 km east of Patna; villagers owe this special service to Hindustan Unilever.

 

The country’s largest consumer goods maker has come up with a free radio-on-demand service to reach out to villagers in remote areas. And it says its lone channel – Kan Khajura Tesan, or ‘centipede station’ – is already the largest radio station in Bihar in terms of subscribers.

 

This is how it works: any mobile phone user in Bihar can give a missed call to a specific number to immediately get a return call that will play Kan Khajura Tesan for 15 minutes. Besides a series of entertainment programmes, the channel of course plays advertisements of HUL brands.

 

HUL has Stopped Ads on Radio

“There is a lot of demand for content or entertainment in media-dark villages and mobiles become their only route to that world. So, we thought, can we institutionalise missed calls into an entertainment channel,” said Hemant Bakshi, executive director for home and personal care at HUL.

 

“For consumers, it’s just like any other free radio station. But the one big difference compared with a radio is that we know who’s listening to our programmes,” he said.

 

Mr Bakshi said the company has stopped advertising on radio in Bihar because its own channel reaches more people than any radio station. The company has printed the phone number for the channel on some of its product packs and has put up banners outside stores to increase its reach.

 

It has already acquired more than 5 million subscribers, and interacts with about 1 lakh consumers everyday. That means about 25,000 hours of engagement daily with consumers in Bihar. And the company says it has more than 26 million ad impressions till date.

 

Buoyed by its success in Bihar, Hindustan Unilever has launched this service in neighbouring Jharkhand and plans to take it to other states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

 

Experts said Hindustan Unilever has reinvented “The notion that more advertising could mean more sales is diminishing. Also, impact of paid media is waning. HUL’s initiative is like a viral which will give much bigger bang for the buck,” said Alpana Parida, president at brand consulting firm DY Works.

 

So, where did the company get this idea of running a parallel radio station? From a radio campaign for Wheel detergent it ran more than two years ago.

 

The Active Wheel advertisement on All India Radio in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar asked listeners to give a missed call from their mobiles to a particular number.

 

When they did so, they promptly got a call back with a recording of actor Salman Khan’s dialogues from his blockbuster film Ek Tha Tiger and his endorsement of Wheel.

 

HUL got 16 million missed calls in four months and, by the end of the campaign, brand awareness scores for Wheel had increased 25% and its sales jumped three times in the region.

 

To ensure quality programmes, HUL has roped in several third-party firms to generate content and services for the channel, which it had initially named ‘Mobile Vani’ before opting for a more sticky and colloquial name.

 

Also, similar to a loyalty card system for retailers, HUL plans to develop strategies once it gets profiles of the listeners over a period. “Content and advertising are becoming more linked with each other than they used to be in the past.

 

As we go forward and have richer profiles of our listeners, we can leverage the database and plan customised strategies for our brands,” Mr Bakshi said.

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2014, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Licensed to republish

 

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Sanjay Singh, senior journalist and now communications specialist based in Patna, for help with the Bhojpuri headline

 

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