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redBus rides on Allu Arjun’s mass appeal as travel resumes post-Covid

Online bus ticketing platform redBus is one of the world’s largest online bus ticketing platforms that has transformed bus travel by bringing ease and convenience to millions of people who travel using buses. Recently, redbus roped in Tollywood sensation and ‘Pushpa’ fame, Allu Arjun, as its official brand ambassador. The actor will spearhead all major campaigns for redBus, while being the face of the brand.

The brand has rolled out a full-fledged 360-degree integrated marketing campaign across TV, cinema, digital, social media, OOH platforms and redBus app, with Allu Arjun, that pivots on the narrative of “Travel Like a King”. The campaign highlights the advantages of booking bus seats on redBus as opposed to offline or traditional booking systems that offer little control over choice of bus, seat or ticket pricing, further emphasising that the ones who travel by redBus are the “Asli Rajas” or “Real Kings”.

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In an exclusive conversation with Adgully for their column Talking Insights, Pallavi Chopra, Senior VP, Brand, and Head of Marketing, redBus, elaborated on the campaign strategy, how the narrative has been kept simple and easily relatable to the audiences, and more.

What’s the objective of your new TVC for Redbus featuring Allu Arjun? Who are you targeting with this communication?

Our new TVC featuring our new brand ambassador, Allu Arjun, is aimed at encouraging and setting the context for intercity bus travel this summer. Travel is resuming in a big way after a long hiatus and our campaign showcases how travellers can travel like a king if they choose to travel with redBus. As an established enterprise in the bus transport sector, redBus is at the forefront of the industry’s return to normalcy after the pandemic and is bringing in Allu Arjun to draw the attention of travellers to the brand and the sector as a whole, riding on his popularity as a sensation among the masses. redBus is targeting all intercity bus travellers in India with this campaign.

Allu Arjun is a strong actor from the South. How will he connect with the national audience and what brand qualities he has to be the right brand fit for redbus?

Allu Arjun’s popularity today is not just in the South, but across every part of the country as he has witnessed manifold growth in his fan-base over the last few months, thanks to his blockbuster, ‘Pushpa’. Social media is abuzz with his dialogues and moves being imitated and recreated, not just in the South, but across the country. We firmly believe that people will strongly relate to the icon star as he is already a sensation outside of his traditional strongholds. His image resonates strongly with that of the redBus brand and its TG as he commands appeal from a very wide base of audience, cutting across categories and age groups. Allu Arjun was also the brand ambassador for two years from April 2017 and has worked very well for us, with our research also indicating a strong association between him and the brand among our audiences, which led us to believe strongly in this association.

Could you elaborate the idea of this new TVC and where did you draw the insight from to create this film?

The TVC draws inspiration from our proposition of offering choice of seats and the best prices under one roof – the redBus app and web platform, which are user-friendly and reliable. Viewers witness their Icon Star, Allu Arjun travel like a king, in comfort and style with the choice of his seat, compared to a fellow traveller who takes the traditional route and is left disappointed. Shot inside a bus, the narrative is simple and relatable to all audiences, making it a part of an impactful campaign this summer.

How do you plan to measure the effectiveness of the film and what kind of expectations have been set to evaluate the impact of this new TVC?

We are rolling out a full-fledged 360-degree integrated marketing campaign to grow our customer base, which will be measured on the basis of new transacting customers coming to our platform. From a business perspective, our objective is to register strong demand for travel during the season, surpassing the pre-pandemic levels by a large margin.

What’s the media mix looking like? What will be your engagement strategy to get the maximum mileage from this campaign?

We will be present across TV, cinema, digital, social media, OOH platforms and the redBus app, for this campaign. While existing customers get notified about the campaign on the platform, new customers will engage extensively through other mediums. Being on digital, social and OOH simultaneously helps in reinforcing the message to a wider audience and Allu Arjun’s mass appeal increases the probability of engagement tremendously.

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