The Indian mobile IM market is one of the most competitive in the world right now. WhatsApp currently leads the race but there are a number of others who are battling it out. In this scenario, Hike Messenger, India’s very own messaging app from Bharti Soft Bank, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japanese operator SoftBank, has turned to an aggressive brand campaign to rope in its target group—the youth. Taglined “Hike Up Your Life”, the TVC campaign went live in June and will be on till August. Interestingly, Hike is also making use of cinema advertising and radio to bolster the campaign. The TVCs are also being aired on YouTube.
Explains Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder, CEO & Head of Product and Strategy for Hike Messenger, “Hike Up Your Life is a call to the youth of India to experience a messaging app that is made with their needs in mind. We want to appeal to the undercurrent running among them. Connections are an inherent part of our life and we want to facilitate it.”
The TVC has been created by Taproot India with Motivator (GroupM) as the media agency. The ads focus on the USPs of the messenger, for example, stickers, offline chat, the ability to select who reads your chats, etc. To capture the cinema-going youth, Hike placed 10 second pre-movie ads which highlighted another key feature of the app—Big File Transfer. In all, 406 screens across 14 cities are being targeted.
On the radio front, Hike has tied up with radio stations to get RJs to endorse the product. Some of the stations partnered with include Red FM, Radio City, MY FM, Big FM, etc. Mittal informed us that the radio campaign would run in 11 cities.
When asked why the company had launched a major campaign at this point, Mittal said, “Our focus so far had been on building the right product. We’ve spent a lot of time building Hike as an app that bridges the existing gaps in the instant messaging space. Our organically grown 20 million user base is testimony to the right direction in which Hike is growing. We are now ready to amplify our reach to more users through our full-fledged brand and marketing campaign.” With the campaign scheduled to run till August, Mittal said a call would be taken on further marketing initiatives after evaluating the “Hike Up Your Life” campaign.
According to Mittal, Hike Messenger is currently No 1 on the iStore, No. 2 on the Windows App Store and No. 3 in the Play Store (Android). He further said that nearly 250,000 new users are added each day on Hike though number of active users is unknown. In June Hike crossed 20 million users. 80 per cent of Hike’s users are from India and the company has not done any promotions on a global level. In comparison, WhatsApp has 450 million active users globally. Viber has around 300 million subscribers globally while Nimbuzz has more than 150 million globally.
You can watch the ad here: