Special rates for special people

Written by Malabika Sarkar | Malabika Sarkar | Updated: Aug 4 2009, 07:43am hrs
Bharti Airtel has launched a new plan for all its customers, the Special 5. The plan allows the customer to choose any five (Airtel) numbers of his choice to make local calls at 20 paisa per minute and long-distance calls at 50 paisa per minute.

According to the companys internal research team, most users make 60% to 70% of their calls to four or five special people, be it friends or family.

To feature this special plan from Airtels basket, the creative team got involved in building a protagonist called Anna. Anna has five friends and all the stories are about these five friends and how they stay close to each other. This idea became the central idea for the Special 5 campaign, conceptualised by Rediffusion Y&R. The films have been shot in Cape Town by renowned filmmaker Javier Blanco.

The main idea behind the campaign is to get people close. The Special 5 offering essentially enables the subscriber to call five people at very nominal rates, whether it is local or STD. Therefore, Airtel has interpreted the product proposition as special rates for special people.

This product proposition is converted into a communication proposition, which has the message that you can always keep your special one close to you, says Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, senior vice-president, marketing, Airtel. Airtel believes in maintaining relationships. This campaign reasserts our belief in human relationships.

The the Special 5 campaign will be on air between six and eight weeks with at least six short stories. A whole bunch of activities is lined up to support this television campaign. Print, outdoor, radio, and a lot of activation programmes are part of the latest initiative. Print and outdoor are already on and the radio campaign is scheduled for the friendship week in August. Mall activation programme is also taking place, simultaneously.

We evaluated various options. We even evaluated options of conversation. But here is an idea, which takes it to the next level because it tells a story and when you start telling a story, advertising becomes captivating and more enjoyable, says Radhakrishnan.

The current campaign is totally in line with Airtels overall communication philosophy of connecting people, getting them closer, according to the company. The brand philosophy works on four tracksbrand network building, driving value, innovation and consumer empowerment.

In sum, the Special 5 story aims to take the brand philosophy forward , while reinforcing the value for money imagery associated with Airtel.