I led the teams that strategized and executed the digital launch of some noteworthy companies and popular brands in India. Most of this work happened back when I was working with a digital marketing agency called Windchimes, and some of it continued in my next job with a digital solutions company called Cinemarkets, that targeted only entertainment clients. Here’s a summary of all the launches that I managed.
2013 – National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)
As a heavily regulated body, NSE had stringent restrictions on indulging in marketing or promotional activities. We launched the social media presence with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube making financial literacy and investor education our primary content pillars.
We utilized the social media opportunity to create visual content for financial literacy, as opposed to verbose articles and blogs that were common at that time. We started with interactive Facebook applications and slowly moved to videos, in line with consumption patterns. Regular content on social media was also interactive and we often posted mini crosswords and puzzles that the community loved to solve, even when there were no prizes.
We also publicized the launch of NSE Emerge to support SMEs and used digital advertising to collect leads for educational courses offered by NSE, like the NCFM certifications and MDP programs conducted in various cities.
2013 – Reliance Energy (now Adani Electricity)
Reliance Energy was a subsidiary of Reliance ADAG that distributed power to about 2.7 million customers in Mumbai. Since 2018, it has been acquired and merged with Adani Electricity. I led the digital launch of Reliance Energy to generate new channels for customer service.
We started with real-time grievance redressal on Twitter and Facebook, averaging 3-5 hours to close any queries or complaints. Next, we enabled automation of service alerts and outage information by building an application using the Twitter API. This made Reliance Energy one of the first brands in the country to use such an innovation on a commercial scale.
ORM was another focus area, especially during power outages. The most memorable incident was the 11-hour outage on Sep 02, 2014 that affected 8.28 million people in Mumbai, almost 40% of the population of the city. Caused by the tripping of a Tata Power unit, it affected some Reliance Energy customers as well. However, with proactive tweets carrying minute-by-minute status of restoration, which was amplified by popular influencers, we recorded just one negative tweet and achieved a social media win for the brand.
We promoted energy conservation with creative posts and even started a comic strip called Bijli-Conservekar, translating to ‘you should conserve electric power’. The strip was named after the lead characters, Mr Conservekar, a responsible Mumbai citizen who tried his best to conserve electricity, and his careless maid, Bijli Bai.
2014 – World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) India
WWE identified India as a priority market and we launched the digital presence with a dedicated Twitter handle for WWE India, targeting localized community building. The launch coincided with the India visit of Superstar Big Show, after which we ran regular contests themed around weekly programming (Raw, Smackdown) and Monthly Specials, gratifying winners with merchandise.
Next, we started working with their USA team to accommodate geo-targeted posts on the official Facebook page and expectedly, fans went crazy when they saw the global page talking to the Indian fans, especially on festivals like Holi and Diwali. Growth of Indian fans was explosive and overtook USA numbers in just 2 months after the launch, with zero ad spends.
With simple ideas like polling Indian fans to uncover the most popular Superstar, we flew down Bad News Barrett to India, giving people meet-and-greet opportunities. Social media also aided the collection of useful data about WWE consumption in India, leading to programming updates including the live-airing of RAW and launch of Indianized shows like Raw Sunday Dhamaal.
2014 – Palava City by Lodha Group
The first Smart City by Lodha Group, Palava had roped-in Mr Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador. Publicized as the First Citizen of Palava City, he owned the first residential property. We ran a pre-launch social media campaign, themed around the city of opportunity, where winners would get a chance to meet Mr Bachchan himself.
After the launch, Lodha complained that most Mumbai residents were hesitant to travel a long distance just for prospecting Palava. So, we came-up with a solution to let people experience Palava without physically being there. Since trust on advertised images in real estate is low, we got panoramic pictures of the entire city clicked, including sample flats, and then stitched them into a virtual walkthrough embedded on Google Maps. We also aided lead generation using digital advertising.
2014 – Mumbai Metro
Soon after Line 1 of Mumbai Metro became operational from Versova to Ghatkopar, we created the social media assets and disseminated information about amenities, security features and real-time service delays. We also contributed to increase ridership by launching hyper-targeted mobile campaigns covering a radius of 3-4 kms around each Metro station.
We executed the Majhi Metro campaign, a photography contest where participants submitted entries in DSLR, point-and-shoot or mobile categories, following the given theme. Special permissions were sought to allow photography during the campaign duration. Winning entries received cash prizes and were displayed in a ‘Metro Museum’ created at Ghatkopar station. The campaign later evolved into Majhi Metro Festival where video entries were invited.
Post this, the Above it All campaign was launched to highlight the superiority of Mumbai Metro over other forms of public transport. Since Line 1 was entirely elevated, ‘Above it All’ was a smart choice of words to convey that a Metro commuter enjoyed reduced commute time by literally being ‘above’ the notorious traffic created by buses, autorickshaws and taxis.
2015 – Purple Pebble Pictures
Regional cinema was the focus area of this production company started by actress Priyanka Chopra and her mother Dr. Madhu Chopra. I worked closely with Dr. Chopra and the core team, launching the website and social media presence of the production house and managing the role of Digital Marketing Head on the first few movies produced by PPP.
The first project was a Marathi movie called Ventilator, which went on to win several awards including 3 National Awards, 5 Filmfares and was the Best Film at Maharashtra State Film Awards. This was followed by a Punjabi movie called Sarvann, where I was involved right from the pre-production stage and used digital and mobile marketing to drive ticket sales in Canada and India. I also worked on some pre-release campaigns for Kaay Re Rascalaa, another Marathi project and Pahuna: The Little Visitors, a Nepali language movie set in Sikkim.