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Vodafone pulls off a buffering act in print

Maxus India, Ogilvy & Mather and Hindustan Times jointly put together a simple, yet innovative print campaign for Vodafone’s SuperNet 4G

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | May 3, 2016


After its ZooZoos made a splash on Twitter with a specialised emoji, Vodafone has released another innovative campaign, this time in the print format.

The print innovation was in the form of a “jacket” on the Delhi and Mumbai editions of the Hindustan Times. The dummy front page had all the live news on it, only the spaces where pictures should have been were left blank, with the buffering sign in them. The real front page carried the same news as the jacket, only the blank spaces had the actual pictures in them.

A horizontal banner at the bottom of the jacket had a red background bearing the question: ‘Tired of Waiting for pages to load?’ The same banner on the real front page read: ‘Switch to Vodafone SuperNet 4G to enjoy high speed browsing’.

The simple yet innovative campaign was executed by Ogilvy & Mather and Hindustan Times. The idea had generated from the Hindustan Times team and was executed by the creative agency. An advertisement demonstrating buffering would normally include augmented reality with a barcode access, but the O&M and Hindustan Times initiative seems to have achieved the effect with much less.

Rajiv Rao Rajiv Rao

Rajiv Rao, National Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather, said, “Not everyone would have an amazing network to try out what we had to offer, in that case. Here we have taken up an online issue and solved it through the offline medium. The brief was simple: it was to say that with 4G there is no buffering. Vodafone was keen on doing the innovation on the front cover of the newspaper.”

Rao pointed out that the idea had come from the Hindustan Times team. Vodafone has always been known for new and novel ideas of communication, like the ZooZoos and the Pug. For its SuperNet services, though, the telecom service provider seemed keen to depend on traditional ideas that bank more on the media plan than the creative angle.

The company is using both digital and on-ground activity innovatively as was evident in quite a few campaigns during the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Maxus is the media agency for the print campaign.

Rohith Sundararaman Rohith Sundararaman

Rohith Sundararaman, Buying Lead on Vodafone and Associate Director at Maxus, said, “The message through this advertisement was to reinstate the presence of Vodafone SuperNet in Mumbai and Delhi. This is possibly the only national level print campaign in the plan. A previous one was done on circle basis, individually in Delhi and Mumbai, at the time of the launch of the service in the two cities in March.”

Siddharth Banerjee Siddharth Banerjee

Siddharth Banerjee, National Head, Brand Communication and Insights, Vodafone India said, "This was a good partnership between Vodafone, Hindustan Times and Maxus which allowed us to brainstorm and prepare this innovation together to get our Vodafone Supernet functionality across to consumers in an innovative, clutter-breaking manner, while at the same time respecting the print medium which allowed seamless integration while landing the brand’s message."

About the diversion of a specific percentage of marketing spends to individual media platforms, Banerjee said, "Depending upon the marketing task and the target audience, we use various media. Given the nature of our messaging, TV/Digital and Retail/Shop POS remain our top three media vehicles."

The company has registered a phenomenal response with millions of impressions and a hashtag (#BeSuper) which trended #1 organically on Twitter India. There will be more coming on Twitter.

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