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Vernacular, digital media key focus areas for Lufthansa India: Sangeeta Sharma

02-November-2015
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Vernacular, digital media key focus areas for Lufthansa India: Sangeeta Sharma

Last year, with its “More Indian Than You Think” campaign, Lufthansa India tightened focus on vernacular, and first-time travelers. One would perhaps not expect a brand like Lufthansa to target the non-English speaking demographic, but as Sangeeta Sharma, Manager (Marketing & Communications) at Lufthansa Passenger Airlines South Asia, told us, the vernacular media is becoming increasingly important. Excerpts:

Digital media is opening up the ecosystem to a whole new audience, many of which consumer content neither in English or Hindi. How is Lufthansa targeting this particular segment of audience?

We have come a long way from where we were 5-10 years ago. Earlier, all our creatives used to come from our head office in Frankfurt, but we found that people abroad have different perspectives about the country.

So, when you look nowadays, we have TVCs in Gujarati. The “More Indian Than You Think” campaign we did last year further helped us understand the nuances of the country. We have a microsite in 5 different languages. Also, with digital advertising we are experimenting with both English and vernacular banners on vernacular media as well as on English media. I think going forward this is going to be the road we are increasingly going to take.

Would you say that advertising in vernacular languages has become strategically more important, especially on digital?

There lots of people who consumer vernacular content, but English is still most important for us. To give an example, if I want to advertise to business class flyers then perhaps both (languages) would be consumed equally. But, if I have a different target group then maybe it will be more of vernacular.

It is a very important medium and demographic for us since our target group is present everywhere. For example, Gujarat and Chennai are key areas for us. It is a completely basic insight—if you want to get deeper in the user group, then you need to do it. We are doing translations for strategic brand campaigns. Perhaps for tactical, short term campaigns we might not go vernacular.

Tell us about the global #DiwaliSurprise campaign that was recently rolled out.
From a strategic point of view, it was an extension of a campaign we launched last year—More Indian Than You Think. Innovation is the key to any brand. Every year around October-December we sit down to discuss where we are this year and what are the key ideas for next year.

The campaign was conceived and seeded by Lufthansa India, it has been rolled-out simultaneously across 80 countries and expects a participation of 1 million Indians worldwide. Celebrating the spirit of love and togetherness, the #Diwalisurprise campaign gives participants a chance to unite with their loved ones by registering their “wish” and getting a chance to win tickets for Lufthansa flights.

We created a Facebook page 5 years ago for India. We have started a YouTube channel this year. Right now, there are only two countries, including India, that have their own social media channels and pages.

So how are you reaching out to the non-English speaking audience for this particular campaign?

So, with the earlier ‘More Indian Than You Think’ we were reaching out to new or first time travelers. We do this in a variety of ways. One way is to send corresponding messaging on digital (after launching a TVC).

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