With free samples and catchy ads, brand-building begins at Kumbh Mela

With the expected footfalls this year being over 12 crore, it is a goldmine of opportunity for brands to build recall


‘Kachra le aao, chai le jao’. This was the message in Hindi on the tea machine created and conceptualized by Brooke Bond and Ogilvy India at Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of people world-over. It allows people to dispose of their trash in return for a cup of garam chai. Needless to say, unusual advertising mediums and hoardings with catch-lines that resonate with the theme of the festival are commonplace at the Kumbh Mela. The expected footfalls this year being over 12 crore, it is a goldmine of opportunity for brands to build recall.

Industry pundits call it the most valuable outdoor asset offering guaranteed to grab eyeballs of a huge number of people at a geographical location of a few hundred hectares. Outdoor campaigns at Kumbh Mela has been one of the most sought-after brand building activity by national and international advertisers as there is no other similar opportunity anywhere in the world. This year, while some brands have adopted the digital route, others have established brand-connect with the festival and conceptualized interesting initiatives around it to ensure visitors stop and take notice of their brand.

Airtel enabled its customers to stream the Kumbh proceedings – including important snaans and aartis – on the Airtel TV app. A special channel, dedicated to Kumbh Mela 2019, has been created on the Airtel TV app to bring all the action excitement from the event to the smartphone screen. Airtel has tied up with VR Devotee, a devotional content provider, to bring this exclusive content to Airtel TV app. 

This tie-up will allow millions of Airtel customers to stay digitally connected with the Kumbh, wherever they may be. This special channel on the Airtel TV app, powered by VR Devotee, is already LIVE and will run through until March 4. To access this digital service, customers need to download the Airtel TV app (available for Android and iOS) on their smartphones. In addition to this, Airtel in partnership with VR DEVOTEE will be putting up special kiosks at the venue (in Prayagraj) to offer Virtual Reality based immersive experience to visitors, who will be able to enjoy real life like display of proceedings right from the kiosks. 

On the other hand, Jio has launched the Kumbh JioPhone which will allow users to access end-to-end information services, including helplines, ticket-bookings, real-time travel information, area routes and family locator.

With pilgrims coming to Kumbh from far and wide, Dettol and Harpic have come up with innovative ways to deliver their campaign messages by organising ‘Nukkad Nataks’ within the Kumbh premises as well as creating life-size wall paintings across 54 villages surrounding the Kumbh making perfect visual representation to showcase the importance of these campaigns. Dettol has deployed ‘Hand Mascots’ who will recite the story of the hands coming in contact with germs and educate people of the need to wash hands. The mascot will share Dettol soaps to encourage personal hygiene.

Leading bathroom brand, Parryware has also taken an initiative to clean up the river through the Kumbh Mela. Celebrated over a period of two months, Parryware has deployed boats for cleaning the garbage on the river banks and reducing pollution in the holy river and keeping it divine and pure. It has gone all out with focused messaging on hoardings endorsing cleanliness across Prayagraj. The messaging has to be displayed at key locations such as bus stops, railway station, etc. at the city and also at small and medium eateries (dhabas) asking the public to adopt healthy hygiene practices for themselves and for the Kumbh.

Among others, Charminar, the flagship roofing solution brand from the house of HIL Ltd., has installed numerous water kiosks at Kumbh Mela, Prayagraj to serve clean drinking water to the masses and devotees. It will also distribute bags/jholas to the public and devotees on key gathering days. Textile brand, Welspun India has launched a quirky-dry towel for devotees who have taken a dip in the holy waters. It also has branded changing rooms and each person will be given a Welspun Quik Dry Towel to use.


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