The publication intends to leverage on the pilgrimage, expects 50 million unique visitors
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | May 6, 2016
Brands seem to be making the most of the month - long Simhastha Kumbh Mela. Held every 12 years, the spiritual congregation for a holy dip in the river Kshipra, draws lakhs of pilgrims. Almost five crore pilgrims are expected to gather at the Madhya Pradesh town of Ujjain till May 21, this year, when the auspicious period that began on April 22, comes to an end.
While Dettol and Harpic took on a hygiene and sanitation drive in keeping with the ‘Swach Bharat’ initiative, the Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar went all out to do an out-of-home (OOH) blitz to attract pilgrims during the spiritual gathering.
The publication intends to reach out to more than 50 million people. Dainik Bhaskar, which is India’s largest and the world’s fourth largest circulated daily, with 44 million readers and a direct reach to more than 3,000 towns, decided to capitalize on this once in twelve years’ opportunity.
The publication began planning for the event almost a year ago. After several rounds of discussions, the plan was frozen and divided into three stages to ensure optimal reach. The first part of the strategy was to build-up a momentum for the Nasik Kumbh Mela, that occurred between October 2015 and January 2016.
The second stage of the strategy was to procure support from the local administration for activation during the Ardh Kumbh Mela at Haridwar that took place between February and March 2016. Targeting the mega religious congregation at the Simhastha Kumbh Mela in Ujjain was the last leg of the marketing blitz planned.
The plan covered all possible grounds and venues during the Ujjain Kumbh Mela. The brand was present everywhere, from the changing rooms for the ladies at the bathing “ghats” to newspaper stands at major hotels and even around the garden umbrellas, where information booklets and brochures were distributed to pilgrims.
Commenting on the brand’s association with the Kumbh Mela, Vikas Singh, Associate Vice President, Brand Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar, said, “While the Madhya Pradesh Government is leaving no stones unturned to deliver a great experience for the devotees, we are happy to have partnered with the (State) government on this.”
As part of the partnership, the publication organised a ‘Maha Yatra’ and a ‘Maha Arti’ on March 20, 2016. More than 10,000 people participated in the four- kilometre - long yatra (march). Free bells and cymbals were distributed to more than 20,000 people at the ‘ghats’. The local administration also pitched in with OOH creatives that asked people to come out and witness the spectacular turnaround of the city.
Talking about the initiative, Vinay Maheshwari, Senior Vice President, Sales and Market Development and Brand Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar Group, said, “Being India’s largest and the world’s fourth largest newspaper, we are driven by one of the core values of being connected with our stakeholders. Kumbh is an incredible platform to demonstrate that we care and hence, concentrated our efforts towards achieving this.”