Chapter 26: Super Star Show
Philips India was among the first consumer durables companies to hit the rural
market with its Bahadur brand of Transistors in the 1950s. but somewhere down
the line, the rural focus was gone. However, in the mid-1998, Philips felt the need
to improve its market share in upcountry markets. It decided to launch a special
project in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh at a total cost of Rs. 5 Crore.
Rural consumers need to be seen as „different‟ and „not inferior‟. It is with this
belief that Philips approached rural buyers in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. “the
idea was to present Philips in a relevant manner to the rural consumer, position it
as a truly International brand, the way a rural buyer would understand it,”says
V.Swaminathan, Philips general manager (distribution & rural marketing) at its
consumer electronics department division. So Philips held road shows, van
promotions, merchandising etc. in villages with populations of about 5000.
The Chennai-based Anugrah-Mandison was roped in to help. Together they created
a special campaign “Enga veettu superstar” (the super star of our house) for the
Tamil Nadu market. The word “Super” is an integral part of the Tamil. Even cine
idol Rajnikant is popularly known as a “Superstar”. The campaign became a major
hit. In Andra Pradesh, the campaign was redrafted in Telgu as “Maa inti megastar”.
Popular cine actor Chiranjeevi is referred to as the “megastar” in the state.
Back in Tamil Nadu, promotions revolving around the word “super” were kicked
off. Exhibitions of Philips products titled “Supershows” were organized.
Interactive sessions such as “sit and draw” contests for children to create brand
recognition were held. The participants were asked to copy the Philips logo. They
were also asked to copy the brands “Lets Make Things Better” line English so that
Philips name is recognised irrespective of language. In a karaoke contest villagers
had to sing along with the catchy Philips jingles and win prizes.
During the exercise, Philips painted 1 lakh square ft of wall area in Tamil Nadu
1 and Andhra Pradesh. 4 ad campaigns- 2 for B&W (Black &White) TV and 1 each
of C (Colour) TV and audio systems- were created in Tamil and Telugu. These
were executed in cinemas, theatres and through video vans (68% of people in
Tamil Nadu watch films and 81% in Andhra). The electronic media ads were
slickly used. Philips did not compromise on the production values.
The storyboard was created keeping in mind the way of life. Girls in small towns
and villages often embroided the cloth which covers the television sets in the
house. The ad shows one such girl spreading the embroidered cloth waiting for her
in Dubai to return with a C TV. Of course he does not bring the C TV and explains
that Philips makes world-class TVs in India. Predictably, a Philips TV is brought
home and lovingly covered could easily relate to the story.
In the a