In a strategic move, OgilvyInteractive Worldwide, the interactive wing of Ogilvy & Mather India, has joined hands with Ogilvy Outreach to develop and place content in computers for its client Hindustan Lever Ltd’s new project ‘i-Shakti’.
On Ogilvy’s new initiative, says OgilvyInteractive head Sandeep Joseph: “We are developing content for ‘i-Shakti kiosks’ which are located at key rural areas to start with. The objective behind the move is to empower rural self-help communities by using modern technology.”
At present, Hindustan Lever Ltd is piloting its new rural project i-Shakti at select rural areas across the country. To begin with, HLL has set up 15 i-Shakti kiosks which house computers in key rural areas in India, says HLL marketing manager (operations) Sharad Dhall.
“We plan to extend the number to 1,000 kiosks by the end of 2004. At these kiosks, we keep computers which house information on varied subjects starting from agriculture to health and education,” he adds.
Prior to the launch of i-Shakti, HLL carried out an extensive research in states like Andhra Pradesh. The objective of the survey was to know the exact needs of the rural audience, says Mr Dhall. “After understanding the needs of the rural folk, we have provided a host of information at i-Shakti kiosks to meet the growing demands of people,” he adds.
“Using text-to-voice techniques, we can explain things to people who can not read. In addition, we have appointed a local expert who will send us e-mails regurlarly. In fact, he’ll send replies within 24 hours,” explains Mr Dhall.
At present, HLL is looking for tie-ups with companies like JPOnline.
According to Mr Joseph, Ogilvy & Mather is now developing and placing content in computers which are being placed at i-Shakti kiosks. “We are in the business of building relationships between brands and consumers using the digital medium,” says Mr Joseph.
Mr Joseph says many companies are looking to online because it offers low-cost reach. “Also online reaches SEC A effectively. It now works in rural belts too. I think this mode of marketing is good for building ongoing relationships with existing consumers as well as for acquiring new users,” he sums up.