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Vodafone replaces Hutch; plans extensive marketing

20-September-2007
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Vodafone replaces Hutch; plans extensive marketing

International mobile communications company Vodafone has arrived in India. The Vodafone brand will be launched in India, replacing Hutch, on September 20. In its extensive marketing campaign, it has already partnered with STAR India for a 24-hour rebranding campaign.

The brand change over the next few weeks will be unveiled nationally through a high-profile campaign covering all significant media. As is known, Vodafone, the world’s leading mobile telecommunication company, completed the acquisition of Hutchison Essar in May 2007 and the company was formally renamed Vodafone Essar in July 2007.

Asim Ghosh, MD, Vodafone Essar, said, “We have had great innings as Hutch in India, and today marks a new beginning for us. Not as a departure from the fundamentals that created Hutch, but an acceleration into the future with Vodafone’s global expertise.”

Harit Nagpal, Marketing and New Business Director, Vodafone Essar, added, “This transition is probably the largest brand change ever undertaken in this country and arguably as big as any in the world. It is even larger than our own previous brand transitions as it touches over 35 million customers, across 4,00,000 shops and thousands of our own and our business associates’ employees.”

One of the first exercises seen in this brand change is a re-branding campaign with STAR India, whereby Vodafone will use all of the commercial airtime across the STAR India Network from 9 pm on September 20 to 9 pm on September 21, to run TVCs, transition bumpers and contest spots to promote the Vodafone Essar brand.

The deal enables Vodafone to reach viewers across 13 channels in five languages of Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and English. The 13 channels from the STAR bouquet include Star Plus, Star One, Star Gold, Star Movies, Star World, Channel [V], Star Utsav, Vijay, Star News, Star Ananda, Star Majha, National Geographic Channel and History Channel.

Uday Shankar, COO, STAR India, said, “This is an idea whose time has come. It takes a mobile company and a broadcasting network to change the way communication solutions are offered to clients -- that’s exactly what Vodafone and STAR have done. This is going to kickstart dynamism in broadcasting advertising that’s been lacking so far. This partnership has also shown that when it comes to game changing requirements and innovation, the STAR Network is the clear choice.”

Ajit Varghese MD, Maxus, which is Vodaphone’s media agency, added, “Conventionally, awareness for a new brand takes some time to build. However, Vodafone wanted to achieve this task at the shortest possible duration. Maxus and STAR Network worked closely to address this challenge and came up with the idea wherein during the day of the launch, a complete roadblock on the STAR Network channels was conceptualised. Considering that the STAR Network is the lead network in India, this was the most apt platform for the Vodafone launch.”

An official statement said, “The Vodafone’s logo attempts to imply the start of a new conversation, a trigger, a catalyst, a mark of true pioneering.”

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