Hindustan Unilever: Action Wheel's Lo Kar Lo Baat

 

Client: Hindustan Unilever
Brand: Action Wheel
Category: Consumer Packaged Goods
Country: India
Year: 2016

 

Campaign Summary

In the later half of 2014, sales of Indian laundry brand Active Wheel had declined by 5.3 percent. In 2015, the challenge was to reconnect with Indian housewives, deliver the message that the product had changed formulation, and regain top-of-mind awareness in a noisy and crowded category.

 

Objective and Context

Active Wheel needed to go beyond just delivering clean, fragrant clothes by helping consumers kindle long-distance romance, by making communication  easier and putting a smile on the faces of couples having to live apart. The entire media budget was used to create and fund Lo Kar Lo Baat – a mobile service which offered couples a free three-minute mobile phone conversation that wouldn’t use up their mobile phone credits.

The fact that the consumers were based in geographies with little or no access to traditional media apart from mobile phones meant that the best medium to communicate messages was the product pack itself. Hence, Wheel distributed 10 million packs in key UP, Bihar and Jharkhand markets.

The target audience for Active Wheel belongs to lower socio-economic strata across the length and breadth of the country. These are the people who live their lives on a shoestring budget and hence have to make a lot of compromises.

 

Creative Strategy

While looking for an interesting way to connect with consumers, a trend emerged: men moving away in search of work and women running the households. This meant 4.2 million married Indian couples living apart with only a mobile phone connecting them. However, this created issues of putting an additional burden on these families' scarce weekly household budget. Wheel saw this as an opportunity to go beyond just delivering clean, fragrant clothes to give them something much more valuable.

Lo Kar Lo Baat had a free-to-dial phone number on the pack with the promise of a call back from the superstar actor (and housewife favourite) Salman Khan, who played cupid by acting as their personal telephone operator, connecting them to their loved one. What’s more, to make sure that Lo Kar Lo Baat was accessible to one and all, there weren’t even any terms and conditions that required the caller to have even bought the product. The process was designed to be as simple as possible. No registration or code redemption was required.

Once connected to a pre-recording of Khan, all the caller needed to do was read out the phone number they wanted to call and he would connect them to their loved one, with the help of a specially-created voice recognition software which was developed to recognize 19 different Indian dialects -- making it user-friendly for a semi-urban population with limited literacy levels. Whilst this connection was happening, a 30-second ad for Active Wheel’s new formulation would play on both ends of the call.

 

Results

Here are the campaign's results:

  • With no purchase required, even in the least-connected regions of India, news spread fast, making it one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the brand, with consumers using the service even six months after the packs with the campaign message sold out.
  • Today, it continues to receive 200,000 calls per day, despite the packs only appearing on shelves for three months through July 2015.
  • Active Wheel witnessed a 145 percent increase in top-of-mind awareness, and 14.5 percent growth in sales volume. Finally, Active Wheel connected 8 million Indian couples and won a place in all of their hearts.

 


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