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Marketing Strategy is a key part of overall corporate strategy, which is concerned with developing plans for finding out what customers want and then effectively meeting their requirements. Vodafones marketing aim is to attain market leadership, network quality and maximize the customer satisfaction. They strategy used by Vodafone is customer focused and product led; the company is continually developing new products and services which utilise the latest technological advances. The aim is extended to provide the customers with e value added services and also competitive charges to the existing customers.
The objective of the study is to understand the advertisement strategies adopted by Vodafone Essar in India, and to study the effectiveness of the campaign of Vodafone- “Indian Premiere League Season – 2” and to make a study of effectiveness of the advertisement strategies of Vodafone in their current market.
Vodafone is the most valuable as well as leading international telecommunication company. It has partnered a joint venture in the Indian market with the Essar Group. Essar is a perfect example of the diversified business corporation which is spanning the services and the manufacturing sectors, for eg, steel, shipping and logistics, communications, energy etc. This group has a base asset of about 400 million rupees and an employee group of more than 20,000 people.
21st September 2007, the launch of memorable joint venture, the Vodafone Essar group. Vodafone in India was welcomed with a fantastic phrase “Hutch is now Vodafone” campaign. Hutch was as it is very famous among people of India, now it was wisely transitioned to Vodafone. This was a significant chapter in the history of telecom, as the evolution of Vodafone, considered to be a very dynamic and at the time ever-growing brand. This brand across India was unveiled country wide through high profile ad-campaign.
This migration of Hutch to Vodafone was the fastest and most comprehensive in the history, with 400,000 multi-brands outlets, from which over 350 were Vodafone stores, over 1,000 mini stores, over 35 mobile stores and over 3,000 touch points that were rebranded within 2 months. The company now has 74.08 million customers**. It has earned titles over the years that are “Most Respected Telecom Company”, the “Best Mobile Services in the Country”, “Most Creative and Most Effective Advertiser of the Year”.
The study has found out that the advertisement strategies that have been used by the Vodafone Essar have give them better results by increasing their sales. This fact has been proved by the various research tools that can be used such as the correlation, hypethesis testing. This research will sure help the companies to work and improve their advertising strategies, because advertisements are the best ways to convince the people about our brand or product, and make their minds to go and get them.
The research statement is
The above problem statement quoted is not exactly a research that is to be performed instead it is an analysis to find out whether the advertisement of Vodafone Essar were effective or not. This study will definitely benefit the company by suggesting them if any future changes required in the present strategies. This will also help them in attaining good result in the next financial year with better sales.
The objectives of the research are
To understand the advertisement strategies of Vodafone Essar.
A study of the effectiveness of the campaign used in the “Indian Premiere League season -2”.
To study the effectiveness of the advertisement strategies in the current the market condition.
Vodafone’s new advertisement strategies started with the very same and familiar character of pug, brand ambassador of Hutch, the hutch dog. Tagline previously was “wherever you go, our networks follows” with the pug following the child wherever he goes. The message given with the brand transition exercise was “The new Vodafone is the same old Hutch. In the advertisement the pug finds a new house after it returns from an outing and feels that the new change is better. They came with the new catch phrase “Make the most now”.
Vodafone had also tied up with the entertainment channels like Star India to run the advertisements and completely roadblock it for 24-hours with the rebranding campaign. Vodafone used all its commercial airtime on 13 channels in 5 different languages from 9pm 20th September to 9pm 21st September to show this campaign.
Conventionally if we see, for any rebranding to be promoted requires ample period of time. But this challenge was readily taken by Star Network and Maxus, to make it as fast as possible by road blocking the channels on the day of rebranding taken place. Since Star is the leading network in India, this platform proved itself to be very beneficial for the launch of the Vodafone. This not only helped in promoting the brand awareness but also breaks the clutter going on the most happening sector of telecom. The print media came into picture on 21st September one day after the splash from the television.
While the rebrand campaign were doing their work on television on the other hand the company was preparing itself to fight the price war, which was again very important factor firstly in telecom sector and secondly in the Indian market.
Vodafone also launched low-costs handsets to its new subscribers under the Vodafone brand and also co-branded the handsets sourced from the other global vendors. This was done by bringing many low- costs handsets from around the world into India. Vodafone distributed these handsets through its network of 400,000 outlets. By doing all this Vodafone also became a mass mobile phone brand along with continuing to stay as the telecom service provider.
The above strategy was used by the CDMA players like RCOM and TATA Tele-services but Vodafone was the first GSM to do this.
The Vodafone, a communication leader in an increasingly connected world – also enriches the lives of the consumers, helping the individuals, businesses and also the communities to be more connected by delivering them their total communication needs. Vodafone’s logo is itself a representation of that belief – the start of a new conversation, a trigger, a catalyst, a mark of true pioneering.
Advertising is the most frequently used tool to support or promote the rebranding, also its very easy, flexible and quick to change. There are also many examples where advertising has rebranded and repositioned or strengthen brands. There were also examples which developed strong emotional link with the public. The advertising agency of Hutch and now Vodafone, O & M(Ogilvy and Mather) had two-folded task to do, first to announce the entry of Vodafone to India and second to highlight the transition of Hutch to Vodafone. Which they did very wisely with the pug, in a campaign they showed the pug coming out of the pink kennel and then entering into the red one, the pink color depicted Hutch whereas the red depicted the Vodafone. A more energetic and chirpier version of the song “You and Iâ€¦” tune associated with Hutch was also played towards the end and it concludes “Change is Good, Hutch is now Vodafone”.
O&M also introduced four commercials, which had animated boy and a girl who launched the logo of this new brand to consumers. The four creatives which were merely of 5 seconds included the duo peeping over the wall just to see the logo; parasailing with the logo flying high behind them; releasing a rocket bomb where the explosion in the air reveals the brand logo; and last was the trendy one in which curtain was raised in order to introduce the logo.
Another bunch of four advertisements casted the very old Hutch dog “pug”. These commercials were of 10 seconds and they shot pug in the situations where he literally, saw red, color created the visual impact on the consumers this strategy made the public remember the color of the brand. The pug was shown in a basket that was red in color, popping from a red cart, drying itself on a mat which was also red in color, finally hiding itself in a beautiful red color blanket. Here also the target was fulfilled with the help of the punch line “Hutch is now Vodafone”.
The print ads were working in their own way, in various languages and in various dailies. These print ads were made very simple as in a still shot of the pug was taken inside a red colored kennel. The same creative was used on the outdoor hoardings as well, in all the 16 circles in which Vodafone was now operating.
It wasn’t easy as it seems to be to integrate the two brands like Hutch and Vodafone. Hutch as is known is a subtle, understand the brand, while globally, Vodafone represents high energy, dynamics and young vitality, all these were represented by its bright red speech mark logo. And because of all this it always had a very energetic background music and feel of the ads.
Hutch is now Vodafone: if we watch any of the start channels or tuned to the 20-20 world cup, the ads were seen. On 11 February 2007, Vodafone agreed to acquire the controlling interest of 67% held by Cheung Kong Holdings in Hutch-Essar for US$11.1 billion and now had to rebrand itself so it had decided to run a new ad series which piggy banked on Hutch’s dog mascot and the theme “Change is Good”. This required nearly 250 crores of spending by Vodafone, but they have successfully painted the town into their color that was red. The most interesting part of it was the 24 hours roadblock that was done on the day of rebranding on the channels of Star network, so that other than this one no other commercials was aired(apart from the in-channel promos).
Vodafone also came up with the Valentine Day Special Ads: Vodafone released a very sweet and simple ad of the musical greetings that were targeted at the couples during the Valentine week. The feature of the campaign is its simplicity and believability and is quite well received. It uses the positioning “Make the Most of Now” enjoy the video.
Vodafone Chota Credit Ink Ad: this ad came as a refreshing change and more so that this ad takes a very refreshing look at the school and at fountain pens. This ad creates very wonderfully subtle message which really puts the point of Chota(small) credit across.
“Everyone likes Funny commercials. Creative people like creating them. Advertiser are pleased to be running them. The consumers enjoy watching them.”(Roman and Mass, 1976)
In market today there is a lot of competition among the producers, and a lot of choices among the buyers. There is actually a race for proving that one product is better than the other. Producers/ sellers apply a lot marketing skills and advertising strategies in gaining the attention of the public in market. It’s a human nature to get attracted towards the things that relieve their minds from hectic schedule. Companies spend millions of dollars to make the public smile and make them buy their products. This can be done through the below ways:
Funny ideas for advertisements
Make customers Hoardâ€¦..use funny Billboard!
Mascots dance to your tune by wearing funny costumes!
Press the laughter button while they watch TV (zoo-zoo)
Make Catchy Jinglesâ€¦Your stars would Twinkle!!
Want heaps of money..Use inflatable that are funny
Innovation is always a part of advertisements and the advertising agencies reach out for new ways to capture the prospective consumer’s heart. Vodafone capitalizes on the innovative ideas and always came with the new advertisements that took the brand on heights always. Out of all the commercials launched by Vodafone, ZOOZOOZ are the best.
O&M the mastermind behind Vodafone Zoozooz Advertisements and the main objective was to set the position of Vodafone as an innovative leader in the mobile services sector. The promotion strategy was to hit massive levels by maximising the target audience. IPL-2 was the best option for Vodafone to do go for. The advertising strategy behind it proved itself from the fact that the name Zoozooz got coupled with the brand Vodafone and gathered more publicity and reception than IPL. Repetition of the advertisements of Zoozooz may bore the viewers, so O&M came up with new Zoozooz Ad every day. Zoozooz were the new brand ambassador for Vodafone, has created a furore in the advertising industry. Zoozooz succeeded in giving the exact makeover Vodafone was looking for along with amazing brand presence.
The main reason of the advertisement to succeed was that is was very well planned and launched during the time of the Indian Premiere League- 2 using it as its platform. Cricket in India in nothing less than religion, and Zoozooz captured attention of all those people who saw the matches, and this count was huge nearly 2 billion people were targeted through this campaign. People were so attracted that they use to wait eagerly for the break to come and to watch more stories of Zoozooz. Zoozooz has become such a hero in history of advertisements that people will not forget in generations to come.
Zoozooz are basically animated character, with egg shaped head, round belly, but hands and legs are extremely thin. It was brand new and innovative concept and also Vodafone wonderfully promoted their services by creating different and more interesting stories featuring Zoozooz in it. The charm of the Zoozooz was so much that self-marketed strategy was also followed and they were instant success to the mass of people. Zoozooz for themselves created such huge audience and also gave boost to the brand of Vodafone.
People were as it is excited about the cute and lovable character zoozoo, but this curiosity heighted when Vodafone disclosed that Zoozooz were not animated, rather humans were playing their characters. People became hungrier to know about their favourite Zoozoo.
In the second phase Vodafone started promoting these characters on social media sites, which is considered to be a wise decision. People started joining fan club of Zoozooz on these social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many more. Also the communication started building amongst these people.
Vodafone also came up with the Zoozoo goodies like zoozoo toys, zoozoo mugs, zoozoo keychains, zoozoo t-shirt, etc. Zoozooz have now become a brand.
“Vodafone Zoozooz are the new Hutch Puppies”
One often wonders what is it about these advertisements that they clicked the people to certain extent. Is it merely because the Zoozooz are cute or is it because of the humour that is the base theme of the advertisements. Whatever it may but it has given Vodafone, the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company. Zoozooz were launched in the IPL-2 whereas in 2008 i.e. IPL-1 Vodafone came up the advertisement with tagline as “Happy to Help” services. An animated character was hired in 25 commercials to promote the various Value Added Services(VAS).
Vodafone operates in the “Oligopoly”. Oligopoly is a market structure that has unique features because it is characterised by few sellers and mutual interdependence. Price, Quantity and Revenue are the main players of this market. There are various “price wars” (cutting down the price) as well as “non price wars” taking place. Advertising is the non-price war where advertisements are the way to cut the chance of the competitors by making use of various strategies.
Revenue in the three months ended June 30, 2009 rose to 10.7 pounds ($17.7 billion), in line with analyst estimates, clearly proved that the Ad has contributed maximum. Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said that its total communications strategy was delivering well, with group data revenue 7 % higher than last year’s comparative period. He also said that the free cash flow generation was strong at £ 1.9 billion, up 21%. But while Vodafone has shown signs of combating the recession; some areas of weakness still remained. Not considering the positive effect from foreign exchange fluctuations and acquisitions. Vodafone results also highlight several areas in its core businesses that require close attention.
According to a report in the Telegraph on 24 July 2009, Vodafone the world’s largest mobile phone firm by revenues, reported sales in line with market expectations for that quarter to end-June as strength in India and Africa compensated for the weakness in Europe. According to CEO Vodafone added 8 million customers in this quarter, taking its proportionate customer base to 315 million. Growth in India and South Africa helped the mobile phone giant report a 9.3% rise in revenue in the three months to end of June to £10.7 billion.
After going through the Advertisement Strategies of Vodafone, I conclude that promotion whether it be through print media or through the ads shown on television, plays a very important role in building a Brand. Hutch and Vodafone rebranding is the memorable and most big event in the telecommunication industry. And the advertisement made this event bigger by continuously broadcasting the ads for 24 hours on national television. The main motive is to make people know about your brand. And that is what is done excellently by Vodafone.
The advertisement also puts a very big question in front of the other telecom companies, does having big movie stars and cricketers as their brand ambassador really help? Doesn’t a simple white character with egg shaped head, round belly and thin legs called Zoozoo can gain the attention of masses. This is definitely a new trend and also a new wave.
Thus it can be seen that oligopolistic market structure of this industry has played a significant role in the generation of revenue for Vodafone, especially through this unique advertising strategy.
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