I don’t see a point in having a big-bang campaign focusing on 5G right now…it’s likely that TSPs like Airtel will have a big festive season campaign, signalling the arrival of 5G, but for dedicated 5G campaigns, all three will wait to iron out chinks that come with the rollout of any new tech
Built largely around Bharti Airtel’s and Reliance Jio’s respective anticipated launches of 5G services next month, the two companies are set to outdo relative straggler Vodafone Idea (Vi) and together spend the bulk of around Rs 350-400 crore in festive-season advertising.
Media planners said Airtel is slated to lead the media spending in the category while all three telcos – Airtel, Jio and Vi – will have tactical campaigns in the festive quarter.
“This festive season, brands have the option to invest in media spending on three major (entertainment) properties – the FIFA World Cup, the ICC-T20 World Cup and the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati,” said Rammohan Sundaram, country head & managing partner (integrated media), DDB Mudra Group.
He added that there would also be on-ground campaigns deployed at points of sale and other consumer touchpoints. Earlier, planners had estimated the 5G rollouts to result in around Rs 700 crore media spending by the three telcos in FY23. But the number may be lower, given that Vi has not revealed any plans to launch 5G services this year.
Cash-strapped Vi, on its part, recently said, only after it lines up fresh bank loans and finalises 5G network gear procurement deals with multiple suppliers, it can launch 5G services.
Some media planners, however, expect Vi to spend a modest amount on advertising during the festive season to undergird its existing 4G campaign.
“I don’t see a point in having a big-bang campaign focusing on 5G right now…it’s likely that TSPs like Airtel will have a big festive season campaign, signalling the arrival of 5G, but for dedicated 5G campaigns, all three will wait to iron out chinks that come with the rollout of any new tech,” said another planner. For now, the focus could be on media platforms such as digital, and out of home (read: hoardings, bus shelters, store fronts). But these are more targeted and localised mediums which will allow telcos to communicate to target audiences in geographies where they launch 5G first.
All three telcos, in the past have had tactical campaigns. Jio, which had launched with a 4G network, has had its long running campaign “Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan” for which it optimises media spending during the Indian Premier League. For Vi, this will be the first campaign since the merged entity announced its new branding and positioning as Vi back in 2020. Both the erstwhile Vodafone India and Idea Cellular brands had launched 3G and 4G campaigns respectively.
In the past, Airtel has had above-the-line (ATL) campaigns like the one with Sasha Chhetri (who later came to be known as the ‘Airtel Girl’), and below the line (BTL) activation like live speed tests at various consumer touchpoints.
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