Advertising that has built brand Airtel
24-year-old brand, Airtel begins its next step in its advertising journey by adding Leo Burnett to its roster of agencies. The brand has delivered outstanding campaigns in the past and launched many memorable properties from the iconic Airtel tune to ‘Har Friend Zaroori Hota Hai’ campaign, 4G Girl and Boss TVC.
Advertising agencies Redifusion DY&R, JWT and Taproot Dentsu have worked on Airtel’s account delivering many memorable campaigns over the years. Personalities like Shah Rukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar have their names tied to the rise of the brand.
Airtel was a joint venture between the Indian telco Bharti Telecom and Singapore based telecommunications company Singtel. To build their Indian identity and appeal to the public their first brand campaign in 2002 by Rediffusion DY&R was meant to reflect patriotic feeling.
Airtel First Ad
Airtel Bharti Ad
Join the Dots
All their campaigns during this period ended with the iconic jingle crafted by composer AR Rahman. The aspirational and emotional messaging of the brand caught the imagination of Indian viewers and it became a household name soon after. Sachin Tendulkar was their ambassador during the early days of the brand.
With Airtel going global and targeting an international audience, the focus of the brand communications was approached with a mindset of a global customer. Their ‘No Boundaries’ campaign conceptualised by Rediffusion DY&R was one of their most successful communications.
In 2008, Airtel roped advertising agency JWT to handle creative biz for their DTH offering. When 3G came to India, Airtel immediately turned its communications strategy to focus more on things customers could do with data and improved connectivity. Their series of campaigns were actually a precursor to the ‘seflie’ trend and highlighted social media as a core aspect of mobile communication.
Airtel Table Tennis with Selfie
Social Networking with Airtel 3G
They signed superstar Shah Rukh Khan for their campaign ‘Together Good Things Happen’ in 2009.
In 2010, JWT refreshed Airtel’s brand logo and positioning with a greater focus on their global identity. They dropped their original tagline ‘Express Yourself’ and their signature tune by AR Rahman was also refreshed.
In 2011, part of Airtel’s communications business was being handled by Taproot Dentsu. The agency won the entire account post the success of the ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai’ campaign. The many successful version of this campaign like ‘Har EK Friend Kamina Hota Hai’ collectively gave the brand a huge boost.
Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai
In 2012, Airtel came on board as title sponsor for Satyamev Jayate to strengthen it connect with the mass audience.
Their Boss TVC launched in 2014 depicted the changing dynamics in the Indian household.
In 2016, Airtel rolled out its 4G services in India. Highlighting the data and speed aspect of 4G services they launched the famous 4G Girl campaign and several other iterations with the appearance of the 4G Girl.
Sab Kuch Try Karo, Fir Sahi Chuno Airtel 4G
Their most recent ‘Thank You’ campaign was inspired by the popular ‘Cups’ song sung by Anna Kendricks.
Through its advertising a solid foundation had been built for the brand. Airtel is the most successful telecommunications company in India supported by a loyal customer base. As the market is being disrupted by low cost data plans, Airtel rejigs its marketing efforts to focus on driving consumers through mid and lower funnels.