Invoking the local in you: IDEA Mumbai launch

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Mumbai is a city of migrants. Despite the diverse backgrounds the one thing that unites all Mumbaiites is a sense of oneness with the city. By and large you will find that the residents take up to the city and identify with it passionately. Other cities like Delhi, Chennai & Kolkata too have its believers, but none to the extent of a Mumbaikar, I feel. And the diversity of the residents makes it that much more unique.

The recent launch of IDEA Cellular in Mumbai attempts to capture this spirit. Dubbed as the word’s largest single-city launch, the campaign seeks to strike a chord with Mumbaikars using a single premise – if you have a Mumbai number (cell number) how can you be from anywhere else? Given the backdrop of hatred towards ‘migrants’ in the city, the idea is topical. During the teaser phase, hoardings and bus shelters pictured images of people from different cities and walks of life with tagline that read – ‘Yeh Delhi ki hain, Mumbai ki nahin’, or ‘Yeh Hyderabad ka hai, Mumbai ka nahin’, or ‘Yeh Punjab Ka hai, Mumbai ka nahin’, or ‘Yeh Calcutta ki hai, Mumbai ki nahi’, stressing the Mumbaikar’s identity. The reveal includes outdoor featuring Abhishek Bachchan and other Mumbaikars. The bigness of scale was established with a laser show on the Air India building on August 23rd.


I think this is a big idea. Local brands, local idioms and local lingo are all guaranteed to make the consumer feel closer to the brand. On their website, IDEA is implementing the Rapchik Mumbaiyya Test (I love the name!). In Chennai, despite the presence of several multi-brand consumer durable outlets, the power of a local brand like Viveks or VG Panneerdas is immense. National brands like e-Zone may offer a standardized experience but the local touch that is brought by brands like Saravana’s or Nallis can be powerful differentiators. Regional & national brands can fine tune their message delivery to suit local tastes. Brands likeBig Bazaar and IDEA are successfully doing it.

As an aside, is IDEA’s claim merely an advertising message? Is a Mumbai number enough motivation to feel closer to IDEA? Or is their something intrinsic in the product that makes it local? I guess IDEA can now plan several products that cater to the unique needs of a Mumbaikar – they must certainly walk the talk. I came across this effort from Absolut that illustrates what I mean -identifying with a city through a product and not merely through advertising claims. The Absolut Cities series were legendary. Now Absolut vodka, is bringing out limited editions of flavored varieties that celebrate spirited cities.

Any other examples of brands localizing a message? Any local brands that you think strike a chord?

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