It isn't merely Rajinikanth fans who are eagerly awaiting the release of his 150th film 'Baba', but also Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Chennai. BSNL has sponsored certain portions of this much-awaited film, thereby hoping that it will get the publicity, in return.
Reveals K.Venugopal from the marketing section of BSNL, "In the film you will get to see Baba himself (played by Rajinikanth) making frequent trips to our booth. You can also expect to see a lot of our hoardings in the film."
BSNL's key product at the moment is their India telephone card. This prepaid card enables you to make STD/ISD calls, from phones that do not have this facility. The calls are charged to the secret number specified in the card and not to the telephone connection being used. Also, you can use the ITC card in any place, provided you have the access number allotted for that area. Though very popular in Chennai circles, with increasing competition from RPG and Skycell that provide a similar prepaid card, BSNL authorities have decided they need to get their promotional strategies right.
Apart from 'in-film' advertising for the film Baba, by August 15th many ads, both on television and print are expected. BSNL has also acquired the services of four advertising agencies in Chennai; Concept, Sowbhagya, Rashtriya and Pressman.
Explains Venugopal, "We have our own marketing agencies all across the town as well. But now we will also see a lot more ads in local channels and newspapers." He also added that in Chennai at the moment, there are 58 lakh people who patronize the ITC card and if all went well it would increase to a crore.
BSNL spends close to 2.5 crores on advertising in Chennai market and a lot is expected from the new ads and the film Baba itself. But many in Chennai wonder if in-film advertising will indeed create wonders. And one also wonders if a fan who has waited two years for the superstar's film will actually notice a BSNL hoarding at the background.