Airtel Leveraged Digital Marketing For Its Campaign ‘Har Ek Friend Zaruri Hota Hai’

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airtelAbout Airtel

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 307 million customers across its operations at the end of November 2014.

After a tough year of 2010, Airtel set out with an objective to make the brand more contemporary and youthful.

They wanted to create a ‘ Friendship Brand’. The insight used was that everyone has a different set of friends at a particular time in life, and technology and mobile phones connect a person to all of them.

Airtel-confused friend

“Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai” – Airtel

“This is a thematic campaign, where we are not driving any product proposition per se, but looking to push brand preference” – Mohit Beotra, Head of Brand & Media, Bharti Airtel.

Business Objective:

Brand reinforcement and positioning by reaching out and engaging with customers, mostly youngsters.

Medium Of Digital Marketing used:

Social Media marketing (Facebook and YouTube) and Mobile marketing.

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What prompted Airtel for the change?

Airtel had ended its fouth quarter of 2010-11 with a 31% fall.

Inspite of spending 300 crores in rebranding , complete with new logo and signature tune, Airtel had failed to match the buzz that Vodafone’s Zoo zoos, pug and Idea’s ‘What an idea, Sirji’ had created.

So, why did they choose to go Digital?

India is amongst the top 5 Internet users in the world. It is growing at a rate of 14% year on year.

India also has world’s largest youth population and is on course to become the youngest country on earth by 2020.
Current generation of youngsters share their lives with their friends and most of them are more close to each other than their own families.

Friendship is enabled by technology and the Internet. We share, connect and rekindle the same through the various social platforms via the Internet, constantly. Today’s youth share a ‘relationship’ with their families but they share their ‘life’ with their friends. Thus, the communication as well as the service has relevance for today’s youth, first time adopters of technology and all digital natives at large.

How did Airtel do it?

Firstly, they hired a young team called Taproot, which had a reputation of engaging youngster like no other agency could.

During the year 2011 and in the month of August, on the eve of Friendships day, Airtel came up with a masterstroke, a friendship campaign that brought Airtel back in the limelight. ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hai’ advertisement is clearly the best Airtel had expressed itself in a long time. As a part of its strategy to target youngsters, words such as ‘joke buddy, poke buddy’ and ‘gaana buddy, shaana buddy’, which were relevant to the youth were used.

As a part of their digital campaign, they invited people to create different friend types and tag their companions appropriately. The person who tags the most number of friends stands to win a trip to Las Vegas in the US with his or her group.

This created a rage amongst youngsters and they were addicted to it like a moth to a flame. Soon people started liking the video, commenting, sharing the fun and all of a sudden all seems to work for Airtel. They succeeded in unleashing the power of youth, only to the envy of its competitors.

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The outcome was phenomenal! It not only achieved its objective but also won a lot of accolades from the corporate as well as the general public. Airtel, went on to win top accolades at the Effie Awards 2012, under the Digital Advertising (Online/Mobile Communications) category.


  1. Importance of digital medium for marketing.
  2. STP concepts.
  3. Collaboration of various mediums in digital marketing to get a unified result.

Credits: airtel, Economic Times

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