Helo is relevant to every section of society across the country: Chhandita Nambiar

ByteDance owned Helo wants to bring linguistic diversity to the social media world, shares Helo's Entertainment Head, Chhandita Nambiar as she speaks about their latest campaign, “Helo Pe Milo”

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Published: Mar 19, 2020 7:38 AM  | 6 min read
Chhandita Nambiar Helo

Helo, the regional social media platform, recently released its first-ever brand campaign - "Helo Pe Milo". At the heart of the campaign is self-expression in one's language of choice. The app which is looking to aggressively penetrate deeper into India is amplifying the uniqueness of its product through its latest campaign while encouraging the like-minded to share, post and socialise in their own language.

The Bytedance owned, Helo already has a 50 million user base and wants to become the default app of choice for regional markets, where it has competition from other players like ShareChat. Its latest campaign, therefore, has cleverly conceived ways to hit home with four multilingual TVC's titled Hostel, Akhada, Cricket and Shayari. The campaign also draws attention to its popular categories like entertainment, celebrities, food, sports and humour through each of its TVC’s. It has already been rolled out in Hindi, Punjabi & Tamil and will further be rolled out in 9 different languages within this year itself.

Social, video and the overall entertainment consumption has been seeing huge growth in regional markets. In fact, ByteDance’s TikTok has also zoomed up the popularity charts due to its high adoption in Tier 2 & 3 cities. Buoyed by the promise that vernacular holds in India, Helo clearly wants to make its presence felt.

The platform claims to be India's leading regional social media platform that not only caters to Indian consumers but also Indian language speaking communities, which are present in 13 global markets. Chhandita Nambiar, Head of Entertainment, Helo spoke to exchange4media about how Helo intends to capture the hearts and minds of the social media user and what sets it apart from competition.

“What is unique about Helo in this cluttered social media market in India, is that we are the only platform in India that offers content generation and consumption in multiple formats, in 14 different Indian languages. Another key unique thing about Helo is the relevant content recommendations that it provides to our users. Also these recommendations are personalized, according to the consumption pattern on the platform. Helo also has a lot to offer in terms of the biggest celebrity interactions, latest trends, and internet-based communities.” Says Nambiar.

Interestingly, the app also offers its own IP’s on the platform which she shares is to ensure more stickiness to the platform, “We have launched a property called Friday Fever which is like an in-app celebrity chat show. It has become very popular on Helo in the past couple of months since we have launched. Besides this another IP that we have launched is called Fan Meet Up, what we do here is get our users on Helo to directly interact with their favourite celebrities. And this is not only for Bollywood but we have tried to do it across languages”

Nambiar says what Helo is trying to do in India is to bridge the information gap of Indian and bring linguistic diversity in the social media world, she adds, “What we are aiming is to offer authentic and reliable information through various partnerships also that we have done across verticals and sectors. So, what basically I am trying to say is that Helo is the biggest hub for PGC, OGC as well as UGC content in different Indian languages.”

As far as safety and privacy issues are concerned, she details the steps they are taking to ensure stringent checks and balances, “India's digital population is growing at an exponential pace. And you find yourself this huge opportunity to provide the new age internet user with a comfortable environment of self-expression. However, at the same time, you want to ensure a safer internet environment for them. So we have several in-app safety features. And we also work closely with internationally acclaimed fact-checkers to reduce the prevalence of fake news and misinformation on our platform. Some of these features include in-app reporting, privacy settings, restricted mode, parental control and comment filter just to name a few of them. Our safety features and content moderation policies are actually available in 14 Indian regional languages on Helo.” Says Nambiar.

As a young brand, the platform has already experienced exponential growth in the Indian market. In fact, Helo was downloaded 1 million times within a week of its launch. Their latest campaigns aimed at new user acquisition intends to drive growth for them in India.

Talking about the concept behind the campaigns, Nambiar explains that it is based on user insights from a market study they conducted last year. As per the study, people feel more confident while expressing themselves in their first language or mother tongue. Additionally, 82% of people feel a need to be up to date with information regularly and are able to relate themselves better with local language digital content because they found it more reliable and credible. 

“Who are our target audiences if I talk about that, we are confident that Helo is relevant to every section of the society across the country, given its language appeal and unmatched product experience. Therefore, we are targeting the new age internet users as well as existing social media users who have only explored English language social media platforms. Our target audiences are across all 14 languages available on Helo and regions pertaining to these languages. We are reaching them through TVC’s, creative ads and in-app engagements.”

The brand has spent a substantial amount of their marketing budgets on the ‘Helo Pe Milo’ campaign and can be seen aggressively pushing it across mediums. Talking about the marketing mix Nambiar says, “What we are doing is we are exhibiting our brand across OTT platforms such as VOOT, Hotstar, ZEE5, Sony Liv etc. Some of the shows that we will also target are the Kapil Sharma show, India’s best dancer,  SaReGaMa Punjabi as well as through in-app activation. We are also looking at amplifying through creative ads across offline platforms and displays like billboards etc. The media strategy is an amalgamation of digital and high reach media. So while TV is to reach the single screen household and digital media is for reaching the younger audience who are normally the early adopters and also the agents of change in the household.”

Helo shares that while their priority is to create a great app experience for their users, they are, at the same time, exploring opportunities to create value for their brand partners. Since the time of their launch they have partnered with brands such as Tripoto, OYO, Edureka, Natgeo, Yatra, India Film Project etc and have received a positive response on the platform.

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