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Pitch CMO Summit 2009: Doing more during slowdown

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Pitch CMO Summit 2009: Doing more during slowdown

The last session of the Mumbai edition of the Pitch CMO Summit 2009 saw Abdul Khan, Head - Marketing, Tata Docomo, discussing the telecom brand’ launch during troubled times earlier this year and how the brand weathered the storm and strived for innovations to break through the telecom clutter.

Khan started by painting a grim picture of the conditions in which the brand planned its launch. “Right from the slowdown, layoffs, a writhing retail sector and a cluttered telecom market, we had a challenging environment during our launch. Yet, we wanted to break away from the ordinary,” he said.

The Mumbai launch for the brand was quite unique. Instead of the run-of-the-mill analyses and discourses by experts, the brand invited daring and young achievers like the youngest Indian girl who climbed the Everest and for that matter Colors – the youngest GEC in the lot, yet one of the most successful one since its launch to do the honours. “We wanted to bring out the passion and conviction and create brand connect with these attributes,” adds Khan.

Creating a mix of colours and shapes, Wolff Olins created the logo as the brand adopted the Tata Docomo name with a positioning that centered around individualistic, innovative, youthful and fun. According to Khan, the brand never really considered signing a brand endorser. “The ‘Do’ proposition is our key and who better than the consumer himself endorsing and talking about the brand,” he added.

Khan also shared some of the innovations that the brand has engaged in since its launch – Pay per use and Diet SMS being some examples. Music or the brand jingle is also a very important part of the brand’s character. “Composed by Ram Sampath, the tune has been kept simple, friendly, hummable and something that can be shared within a group,” maintains Khan.

To conclude, Khan shared some of the important lessons learnt from the whole exercise. “One has to invest a lot of time in understanding the consumer. We wanted to re-define the market and thought T20. We also did the unexpected to stop short of being predictable. Finally, in the telecom sector, one has to be entertaining and engaging – a complicated excel sheet type of advertising won’t interest the consumer today anymore,” he pointed out.


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