Adgully Exclusive | How marketers are leveraging this Ganesh Utsav...

Come September, and the masses will be seen jubilantly welcoming the God with a trunk- Lord Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi, is believed to have been turned into a celebration to get the people of India united. The face of our extremist side of freedom fighters- Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started this celebration for a way to help people meet and socialise.

The son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati has been welcomed to most of the houses, with songs about promises to come back the next year. The festival has broken all caste, creed and region barriers. Everybody believes in Ganesha's power to relieve His disciples' sorrows and to bring good luck to a new work or a new venture.

The festival was although a medium to engage the community and form a close knit neighbourhood, it has seen quite a few changes gradually over the years. Initially we had small shops and showrooms advertising in the form of small posters around a Ganpati pandal, but now we have big names in the business sponsoring major crowd-pulling pandals across the city.

So the festival has caught the marketer's eye and the market looks all the more accepting and approachable when you reach them in the festive mood. Though it is easy to believe that the consumer might not bother to look at the advertisement but the consumer will surely recall hearing the name, reading the name and seeing the name in a pandal. Nowadays the "names" are so flamboyantly put across that "you hate it or you like it, you can't miss it."

This year Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated on the 11th of September, and quite a few brands, channels and specifically radio channels have geared up to get the consumer's attention.

To give the viewer's an experience of all the enthusiasm in pandals across Mumbai in their living rooms, CNN-IBN and IBN7 has kicked off the exclusive series showcasing the various pandals and temples in Mumbai, and also provide viewers a sneak peek into the festival celebrations at celebrity homes.

The market also consists of an important set of decision makers in the buying process, and these are kids. Hence to appease this very important category, Pogo will telecast a special show Chhota Bheem & Ganesh as Chota Bheem remains one of the most important celebrity cartoon character in India.

However, in the fight to reach a lot of listeners and to earn a lot more ad revenues, the radio channels have started their own league of "Ganesh Chaturthi" ideas.

Radio City 91.1FM and Vodafone have joined hands to bring "Dekho Visarjan Aasman Se', Vodafone customers tuning into Radio City 91.1FM will be given an opportunity to win an opportunity to watch the Ganpati Visarjan from a helicopter.

Vodafone customers can register for the competition by sending "GANESHA' as an sms to 111 (toll free) then the Radio City RJ will randomly call listeners who have registered for the competition and ask them questions based on the festival. Vodafone customers who answer the questions correctly can witness the Ganesh Visarjan from a helicopter.

Speaking about this initiative, Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City 91.1FM said, "We at Radio City are known for the eclectic and exciting platforms to connect with the listeners. Last year the listenership was clocked at 29,68,000*, a number which gives us immense faith on the success of this activity and partnership. We are sure that this year too, we will see huge participation and only too happy to give them a chance to get an aerial view of the visarjan once again. Radio City also plans to conduct on-ground activities to engage Mumbaikars this festive season. Radio City RJ's would be visiting pandals across societies, interacting with people and giving away on-the-spot prizes."

On the other hand, 92.7 BIG FM has come up with an initiative - BIG Green Ganesha 2010 with the support of RAMKY, an environment based company as the title sponsor. The radio station will also try to capture the spirits of the festival by installing the BIG Green Ganesha at various malls and pandals. The Ganesh idol will be installed in the thirteen cities - Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore, Surat, Bhopal, Goa, Gwalior, Sholapur, Baroda, Vizag, Mysore, Mangalore.

92.7 BIG FM along with the title sponsor RAMKY will host an award function called RAMKY Award for selecting the best eco-friendly pandal. This contest will start from September 11, 2010 and will be judged on the basis of eco-friendly content that has gone in making the idol, the amount of recycle material used to decorate the Ganesha idol, other marketing initiatives taken to push worshippers to go green. These pandals will be taken on air to promote the cause and will be judged by representatives from 92.7 BIG FM, RAMKY and well-known dignitaries from the respective cities.

Following suit, Red FM, will try to tackle environmental concerns this festive season. Red FM and Oh! Wonderful Emotions ' an NGO have joined hands to spread awareness about greener means of celebrating Ganesh Jayanti this year. As part of this initiative, Red FM will be giving out 20 eco friendly Ganesha Idols to its listeners.

While a few people will be listening to radio or watching TV, others will be shopping to celebrate the festival. Hence in a bid to get more crowd, Hypercity has installed an 8 feet tall Ganesh idol made of biscuits at all its outlets and has spread the message that ' "The Idol forms a spectacular visual appeal thus every Mumbaikar must pay a visit to the wondrous Biscuit Ganpati only at Hypercity".

So while Lord Ganesh graces every pandal for a good number of days, the odds of consumers missing out on the promotional activities is very small. With the market being slowly explored and the festival opening upto commercialization, the marketers will surely be singing away that "Pudhchya Varshi Lawkar Ya!" | By Prabha Hegde [prabha(at)]

More in Exclusives