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Advertising Effectiveness

Advertising Effectiveness

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Published by: sumanthvarma412 on Mar 13, 2011
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11/09/2012

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Advertising Effectiveness: Airtel s advertisements focus on functionality and efficiency.

Their ads generally underscore the superior network quality and huge network of its subscribers(As they say, 165 Countries....Some Millions of People), they emphasise on roaming, international calls, coverage area,etc(Making Worldwide Communications). They convey their message through a soothing music which created a sensation when it was first launched. The Airtel Ringtone created frenzy among the Indian masses. Another peculiar feature of Airtel s ads have been their strategy of roping in stars (like Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, A.R Rehman, or most recently the 3 Idiots fame Sharman Joshi) and has been successful to appeal to the rural markets. They wish to make life interesting (Live Every Moment). In contrast, Vodafone has always relied on out of the box thinking for connecting with the masses, creating a distinct brand image and providing good network quality(wherever you go, our network follows). Their You and I, in this beautiful world ads showing the lovable pug Cheeka won the hearts of the audience, it created a huge emotional appeal for the brand. Then they came up with a new species of superstars, the Zoozoos(some willowy, flat-faced, ghost-like characters) during the IPL matches and they focussed on things which mattered to the masses, like the chhota recharge, the affordable call rates, etc. The Zoozoos became a phenomenon overnight. However, in May 2009, when the Zoozoo hype was at its peak, Vodafone slipped adding 2.53 million to Airtel's 2.81 million subscribers. A reason could be that the bulk of new connections are being added from Tier and -2 Tier-3 towns, who perhaps find the bouncy, white creatures peddling some smart VAS offering a little alien to their taste. The zoozoo ads were very intelligent and conveyed smart meanings with them which might not have connected very well with the masses who they wish to target. Infrastructure Sharing
Bharti Airtel shares around 23% of its infrastructure and recently has demerged its tower business into a wholly-owned outfit called Bharti Infratel, while Reliance has demerged infrastructure business into a new company, namely Reliance Telecom Infrastructure. Infrastructure sharing is expected to reduce the total cost of delivering telecommunication services, especially in rural areas, enabling both parties to expand network coverage more quickly and to offer more affordable services to a broader base of the Indian population. However, sharing of active infrastructure will attract glitches by the telecom regulator. An MoU between Vodafone and Bharti outlines a process for achieving a more extensive level of site sharing and covers both new and existing sites. Around one third of its current sites are already shared with other Indian mobile operators and Vodafone is planning that around two thirds of total sites will be shared in the longer term. Bharti said it would share a range of infrastructure-including around 70,000 towers-with Vodafone. Bharti would be the preferred vendor for Vodafone for NLD, ILD and leased line services and would also handle 50 per cent of Vodafone's incoming roaming traffic into India for three years under the agreement. But for Vodafone, it would not be an easy game as they have to take clearance from Essar, who is screaming for joint management.

Alliances for the present and future
Strategic partnership and alliances is yet another aspect of competition between Airtel and Vodafone. The long-standing partnership with Nokia has given Airtel an edge into latent markets of eastern India

by providing infrastructure and managed services. While both of them brought Apple iPhone to India, Vodafone has already partnered with Apple for launching Apple iPhone 4. It has also collaborated with Research in Motion for Blackberry handsets in India. These partnerships are even more important keeping an eye on the launch of 3G services. Considering the 3G spectrum bidding strategy, Airtel has majorly opted for pre-dominated circles bagging 13 of them. Vodafone also adopted similar strategy and won licenses in 9 circles. With such massive investments, they are looking forward to increase their falling Average Revenue Per User. For that, they are keen to upgrade their existing customers to high end services which may not be very difficult in Delhi and Mumbai but definitely far from easy in other circles because of the fear of losing them. For Delhi and Mumbai, both Airtel and Vodafone together with Reliance will also be looking to snatch subscribers from operators who won¶t be able to provide 3G services.

Customer Database

Airtel is the market leader in India with about 31.18% market share of 481 million GSM mobile connections as of August 2010. Its Telemedia business provides services in 89 Indian cities and consists of two brands. Airtel has about 3.15 million wireline customers, of which 42.6% are broadband/internet subscribers as of August 2010. Until September 18, 2004, Bharti provided fixed-line telephony and broadband services under the Touchtel brand. Bharti now provides all telecom services including fixed-line services under a common brand "Airtel". The Digital TV business provides Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV services across India under the brand name Airtel Digital TV. It started services on 9th October 2008 and has about 32.44 million customers as of August 2010. Vodafone¶s customer base is around 23% of the total Indian GSM subscribers. It also caters to corporate customers with wireless email and other services.

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