redBus, the online bus ticketing platform, has launched a 360-degree integrated marketing campaign featuring cricketer MS Dhoni, highlighting key propositions of the platform with a strong narrative. Dhoni was recently appointed as the brand ambassador of redBus.
The campaign brings to the fore specific aspects of bus travel that inconveniences passengers, impacting the overall experience of the journey — from booking tickets, all the way to completing the trip. Most traditional and unauthorised ticketing agents offer little choice to passengers on seat selection or extra leg room, yet charge exorbitantly, resulting in a journey that is uncomfortable or distressing. Passengers booking their seats on the redBus platform however, are spared from such turmoil, as redBus not only offers passengers the option to select a seat of their choice, but also at best prices, apart from a host of other features that make bus travel convenient. The campaign vividly highlights these aspects with two entertaining and creative films, featuring the cricket icon.
The two main characters in the film are Balbir Singh, captain of a hockey team, played by MS Dhoni and Raja Babu, an egotistical and power-wielding local politician, played by film actor Gajraj Rao of Badhai Ho fame.
In the first film, viewers witness Raja Babu, the local politician, trying to create space in a bus for his throne like seat, by having his henchmen remove some of the regular seats. The helpless bus conductor seeks intervention from Balbir Singh in the vicinity, who takes a scoop and corners the neta, convincing him to use the redBus app to gratify his travel requirements, rather than indulging in netagiri.
In the second film, the same neta falls prey to a travel agent’s deceitful ticket pricing, to be alerted in the nick of time by Balbir Singh, who highlights the best and genuine offers that redBus makes to its customers. Both films end with the neta vouching for redBus, along with Balbir Singh.
Pallavi Chopra, VP and Head of Marketing, redBus, said, “The objective of this campaign is to strengthen our engagement with customers, while also attracting a large group of offline ticket purchasers across the country to our fold. An off-centre portrayal of Dhoni, as Balbir Singh, as the flag bearer of the platform in a hilarious and entertaining narrative, strongly communicates our proposition to the audience. redBusgiri as opposed to netagiri couldn’t have happened at a better time. I am extremely excited and look forward to its reception among customers and fans across the country.”
The campaign has been conceptualised by McCann Worldgroup, Bangalore.
Dileep Ashoka, Executive Vice-President, McCann Worldgroup, Bangalore, said, “redBus is the undisputed leader in the online bus booking market in India. The redBus-McCann partnership has been an exciting and rewarding journey and this campaign is the latest product of this partnership. With this film we are seeking to reinforce the brand’s offering among its audience, while also attracting new customers. The decision to feature MSD was driven by the need to resonate across markets, with a challenge to show him in a refreshing and unprecedented manner. We feel that apart from the humour, cast and storyline, Dhoni's new avatar as a hockey team captain, will break clutter and drive conversations.”
The campaign is being aired on all leading national and regional channels with an extensive plan to promote on digital and social media, apart from cinema and outdoors.
Agency: McCann Worldgroup, Bengaluru
Creative Director: Puneet Kapoor
Production House: Keroscene Films
Director: Rajesh Saathi
DOP: V. Manikandan