By Malay Desai
By: Happy Creative Services
Cab aggregator Ola has introduced a new promotion in select cities, Prime Time. On pre-announced dates and times, it picks lucky customers, who are surprised to find a celebrity as their chauffeur. Last week, the campaign began with Formula One racing driver Narain Karthikeyan, accompanied by stand-up comedian Abish Matthew. This was followed a few days later by athlete Milind Soman picking up Ola Prime customers in Bengaluru.
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It isn’t easy to pick a David and Goliath in India’s point-to-point cab aggregator market. Uber is the global giant which has raised 1 billion dollars for its India playground but on the other hand, Ola, the first mover, has a presence in 100 cities and has diversified into food delivery and grocery orders. The game now, besides of course expansion and betterment of logistics, is visibility. Ola, with its branding of cabs and an aggressive marketing campaign launched earlier this year, has trumped in this department too, and is now fortifying this strength using time-tested tactics.
The cab aggregator here has only focused on Ola Prime, its business class service that’s only in Indian metros. ‘Prime time’ the activity sounds grand but requires just a little effort on-ground. Sign on a celebrity, get a stand-up guy to moderate stuff, take a few rides and shoot a feel-good film. The first outing was spot-on – who better than our F1 man Karthikeyan to be associated with the brand (even though he ran into people who couldn’t exactly place him)?
Comic Abish Matthew, of AIB fame, is of course the buffer because celebrity rides with strangers can get awkward and boring. Matthew did a fine job and made for a watchable shareable video. Next, he got together with Milind Soman, who despite his greying moustache can charm any unsuspecting cab customer. Besides the element of surprise in the city and the online buzz this provides, the larger visibility is worth it – the message goes out that Ola is doing cool stuff in your city with hip people. With a large, young, under-25 customer base that’s loyal to Ola for its debit card and cash payment system,this can work really well.
That said, the surprise element isn’t new, and Uber has in the past used it effectively to ferry customers for free to music gigs and other such events besides treating them with passes for the same.
Last time I wrote about Indian celebs chatting in a car, it was the fabulous Ford Figo campaign with Farhan Akhtar. This one is almost as cool.
(To watch this film, feed this link in your browser –bit.ly/OlaPrimeTime)
YOUR REGULAR DOSE ON THE SHIFTS IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA UNIVERSE
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