Two new campaigns from Google on Internet Access in June

The campaigns will highlight how SMBs and students use the Internet to grow business and upskill themselves.

Google RailWire
Google will launch a digital campaign in June that will showcase how SMBs and students have benefited from using the Internet. These campaigns are part of a four part series on “real user stories about access and how access to the Internet has changed lives,” revealed Sujatha V Kumar, Head - Brand and Reputation, Marketing and Strategy.

Google is notably known for Search and Maps, the India team wished to showcase the other services that Google offers in India. “We are now able to show how Google is giving access to the internet and changing people’s lives,” she explained.

The campaigns are part of Google’s Brand and Reputation exercise. “Under this we have areas where we provide access,” she explained. Google India has been running two other campaigns where the company has been showing stories of how providing Internet access to women in rural areas has changed their lives and the success of RailWire that currently connects 380 railway stations in India.

Collecting Real Stories for 3 years

This is the first time Google India has put paid media and social media for such a campaign and the responses have been overwhelming, said Kumar. “This time, we’ve chosen to use pure digital media and we’ve seen tremendous reach,” said Kumar.

The first leg of the campaign showcased Internet Saathi, the second and currently running campaign demonstrates how RailWire has helped uplift and improve lives on the go. “The third initiative focuses how small and medium businesses have used the Internet to improve their business. The fourth is about students using the Internet to upgrade their skills to get jobs. And this goes all the way down to rural areas,” noted Kumar.

There are two films (real life stories) on each service except on RailWire, where there are three films, they are all real stories. Google has been working on collecting these stories for the past 2-3 years and has developed a bank of user stories. “We felt it’s now time to share these beautiful stories with the rest of the world.”

Stories from the Stations

As part of the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative, RailTel roped in Google as the technology partner for setting up fast Wi-Fi network to cover 400 stations. Now the plan is to scale up to 7,000 stations. “Railwire is more or less a lighthouse project for the Indian Railways and the Internet. So there was an upfront commitment which was made to actually invest in infrastructure as well,” Kumar said. Through the course of the project Google developed a new solution “Google Station, wherein we provide a platform for free, then we run services,” she explained.

Railwire currently has about 7.7 million users monthly. Each of these 7.7 million users had unique stories that were waiting to be told. “Since we’ve been going to every station, we’ve always come across a lot of people using it very differently,” said Kumar. With the Railwire campaign titled #StoriesFromTheStations, Google India wanted to highlight the human stories. “Stories of actual people who use it beyond, for example, just reaching the station and using the Wi-Fi to book a cab. These are the real stories,” added Kumar.

To that end Google India tracked down Shrinath, a railway station porter, who used Railwire to prepare for the Kerala Public Service Commission. He scored 82 in the exam for the position of Village Assistant. Shrinath is confident he will land a job, all thanks to a little help from Railwire. They also found Naresh Babu, a trained martial arts instructor, who uses Railwire Wi-Fi to promote his self-defense programme in Ooty that draws many boys and girls to learn the martial arts. This quest for real stories also brought Google to Helen Jose, an auto-rickshaw driver from Kollam, who while waiting for passengers at the Kollam Junction station uses the railway Wi-Fi to browse and download relevant educational materials for her school-going son.

“We tend to think that people just use the internet for entertainment, but they actually use it to learn and that has been one of the most interesting things,” said Kumar in awe of how the country is leveraging the internet. Google’s campaign plan was to put together a campaign which will showcase these stories. “We’ve gotten lots of stories, but we’ve just taken three.”

Prior to Railwire Google India promoted Internet Saathi. For this campaign Google conducted a field trip (#ADayWithASaathi) which took media, business partners and influencers to the villages and saw how women, who had never even touched a phone in their lives were standing in the villages, in their panchayats with their family and their status has changed, and it has all been because of this program. For more updates, be socially connected with us on
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