Ever heard of a missed call bringing a smile on someone’s face. Hindustan Unilever has successfully done this. HUL turned to mobile innovation to connect with the hard-to-reach audiences in the media dark areas of Bihar and Jharkand states, where the large chunk of the population is rural. 180030000123 is the mobile number it uses to entertain lives of million of rural Indians and advance its business operations in the areas.’Missed Call Dijiye, Muskurate Rahiye’ is the tagline of HUL’s nine-month-old Kan Khajura Tesan or KKT, the entertainment channel on mobile phone.
KKT can be translated as "ear worm radio channel". KKT is the first ever fully advertiser-funded mobile-based entertainment initiative in India. The service was brought to life by creative agency Lowe Lintas and media agency PHD India. With 3 gold lion awards, HUL’s Kan Khajura Tesan is India’s star idea of the year.
When Jyoti Kumar Bansal, Managing Director of PHD, was asked about the motivation behind the advertisement, she says, "Kan Khajura Tesan is a platform to reach out to masses who are difficult for us to reach through traditional media. The genesis of the idea was a business issue.All that a person needs to listen to KKT is to give a missed call. Soon HUL will call back and start playing music." www.hungama.com is the official content provider and programmer of the initiative. If a caller hangs up, say after five minutes of listening, the next time he or she tunes in the entertainment will pick up where it left last. Every week a caller has access to an 18-minute ‘capsule’ of entertainment. Once exhausted, a fresh ‘capsule’ can be availed of in the following week. The main reason behind this campaign is the fact that a large number of HUL consumers are in the media dark villages, and cannot be reached by other forms of media like TV, radio and print. In these areas access to traditional media is limited due to shortage of electricity. KKT has left a great impact on the lives of millions of rural Indians.
Jyoti further stresses, "Within less than a year of launch, Kan Khajura Tesan has more than 13 Million subscribers. There are millions of them calling in regularly to listen to the content being reached to them through their mobile phones. There is the human impact, where this brings a little bit of joy into their lives and a smile on their faces. And there is the brand impact, where brands are actually benefiting from being able to reach their communication to people who we could not reach earlier."
Anaheeta Goenka, Executive Director of Lowe Lintas, says, "When we realized that there is a huge population that stay in media dark areas without exposure to entertainment of any sort, it got us thinking as to why is it that so many of them are not being reached out to? With the new innovative medium in place we were determined to ‘Drive Missed call’. The communication strategy was built around making them remember a 10 digit number, and call this number, again and again and again. And the good thing is that it works on each and every mobile."
At present, HUL is promoting brands like Wheel, Surf, Lifebuoy, Lux, Dove soaps, Clinic Plus, Sunsilk, Fair&Lovely, Pond’s white beauty and Vim. Its main target audiences are the rural Indians. Anaheeta adds,"When the Kan Khajura Tesan campaign was launched, the brief that we received from the client was that it was to be targeted towards the women populace living in Bihar and Jharkhand. But who doesn’t like entertainment in India? Kan Khajura has now crawled into everyone’s ears-be it men or women, and has become the largest media channel in Bihar and Jharkhand." With over 13.5 million subscribers over the last 9 months, this is one media channel that is aiming to grow at lightning speed, as it continues to lead people out of darkness to connectivity.
Today, KKT has touched 60 percent of the non-TV households in these states. The consumer base is growing and this mobile-based channel has become the biggest platform for entertainment in the rural areas of both the states.