‘Man is by nature a social animal.’
Phonethics has been a strong believer of this famous Aristotelian quote. However, being a Digital Marketing Agency, ‘social’ has more than one definition for the company. Hence, when one of their existing clients, DIGISOL, a large computer peripherals manufacturer, asked them to pitch for their mainline creative services, they stuck to this central idea – from the pitch to clinching the deal to finally executing a full-fledged campaign that involves a Bollywood celebrity.
So how did it all start?
To promote their range of wireless and networking products, DIGISOL planned to reach out to a pan-India audience using an integrated campaign idea. This campaign would spread out to all media except television. That a celebrity would be roped in as the brand ambassador was a given; while the target audience comprised of young Indians in the age group of 18-40 years along with retailers, trade, and channel partners from urban and suburban parts of the country. And hence, the communication had to be simple so that it resonated across these varied audiences.
And how did Phonethics crack it?
Owing to the different segments of target group, one of the challenges for Phonethics was to identify and position the brand in a sweet spot that could be claimed by DIGISOL. Little did the folks at Phonethics know that it would be this very challenge that would go on to set the tone for a soon-to-be successful offline campaign to be executed by an agency that specialized in offering digital media solutions. “Unlike the service providers, the networking solutions industry was yet to find a space that could be associated with them. Although they provided people with the prerequisites for an Internet connection, terms like ‘2G’, ‘3G’, and even the ‘Internet’ were almost synonyms with the service provider. And that’s where we positioned DIGISOL”, says Vishal Kashyap, VP – Creative Services & Strategy, Phonethics. The idea was pretty simple – to go after and claim Wi-Fi.
DIGISOL – Merawala Wi-Fi
Based on their personal experience and interactions with those around, the Phonethics team identified that in today’s day and age no one wishes to be confined to a place in order to stay connected. “We’re constantly travelling from one Wi-Fi zone to another. Whether it’s a café where we hang out with friends or our workplace, our homes or while waiting in an airport lobby, we’re connected all the time. And it was this insight that led to ‘Merawala Wi-Fi’”, claims Kashyap as he takes us through some of the mock ads that were prepared as part of the pitch.
The positioning and language was pretty straightforward. At the same time, it also offered scope for derivatives like ‘Gharwala Wi-Fi’, ‘Officewala Wi-Fi‘, and ‘Travelwala Wi-Fi’.
Wi-Fi, Bands, and the Celebrity
Drawing from the Wi-Fi zone idea, Phonethics team decided to incorporate Wi-Fi bands in almost all of their communication. “One can’t see the Wi-Fi signals but they’re all around us. The big and bold bands across all communication visually represented the omnipresence of a fast, reliable and secure connectivity powered by DIGISOL”, says Priyanka Rajwade, Associate Creative Director, Phonethics. “WLAN is a difficult product category to market and this approach to look at an otherwise simple icon in a different way helped the brand stand out from the clutter”, adds Kashyap. “And once we got to know that Sonakshi Sinha was signed on as the brand ambassador, it worked in more than one way. If she was the heroine, the bands became the hero as she declared ‘Merawala Wi-Fi’ with the bands by her side. There, we had a story!” jokes Kashyap.
It was none other than Sonakshi Sinha who broke the campaign with her tweet and Facebook post. Since then, the campaign has spread across media; from print ads to outdoor and radio spots to the brand’s social media communication.
How was it going ‘Offline’ for a change?
“The experience was amazing! It’s a new trend, yes; but it’s definitely not a fad. Over time, you will find more and more digital players leading mainline campaigns”, believes Saurabh Gupta, CEO, Phonethics. On probing further, Gupta cites the interactive nature of digital medium as a key reason for being able to make the cut over other mainline agencies. “Unlike offline, communication in the digital space is never one-way. One post leads to numerous comments and the fans and followers scrutinize every tweet before they consume it. This keeps us on our toes all the time and this constant communication with the audiences also gives us an idea as to what may or may not work with them”, adds Gupta. In a world of increasingly personalized communication, more campaigns will break online than off it, signs off Gupta.
And that, friends, is how Phonethics went from being a digital marketing agency to a mainline creative agency for DIGISOL.