Product placement and marketing through content seems to be all over the place. We see more and more of this in the Digital space.

But do you think Content Marketing began recently?

Well, long before this a company championed Content Marketing for an incredibly difficult consumer, one which did not have any access to the TV, let alone data.

This is an incredible media and content innovation by Hindustan Unilever. Kan Khajura Tesan is an initiative which helped HUL crack a completely media dark territory like never before!

Read more to understand how.

What was the Business Objective: To reach media-dark parts of the country

For unlocking growth, it is imperative for FMCG giants to take its brand communication to the rural customer base but in absence of traditional media options, this has proved to be a challenge.

The objective for HUL was to penetrate into the Tier 4 and Tier 5 towns through Content Marketing. But the challenges that needed to be addressed were -

  1. How to make the content always on?
  2. How do we make it work for all categories and brands
  3. How do we users access the content on-demand?
  4. How do we make it free?

These are the villages which cannot be reached using traditional media like Television, radio or print, but where at least one member in the household owned a cell phone.

Strategy: How to make content marketing work for the brand as well as the users?

The clear insight was that for this target group, there is no way that you can charge them as they suspect everything because they have always burnt their fingers with various sorts of schemes. So, the content should be free and the only way to convince them that it is free is that the way for them to demand this content should be through a missed call.

The consumers had to give a missed call to the Kan Khajura Tesan number and they would receive a call back which would give the users access to entertainment. Kan Khajura Tesan is India's first free and on-demand entertainment and radio service owned by Unilever.

Since the company owns the content, they could integrate this with Brand Messaging very well and figure out best ways to make it work. The consumers could access 20 minutes of updated content which would be updated on a weekly basis. The content is divided into 17 minutes of Entertainment and 3 minutes of HUL advertisement.

The Campaign Activation

For the initial numbers, HUL promoted this by putting up posters and banners at places where people gathered – Railway Station, Local Cattle fares, Gas Station, and Mobile Recharge outlets etc.

They also made targeted outbound calls. They tied up with the latest movie releases, regional content, popular radio jockey to ensure that people kept coming in.

They also started building feedback loops into this and this response was helpful while coming out with mass media campaigns. The campaign has been going on for the last 5 years and remains the pioneer example of Content Marketing.

In this video, Vipul Mathur from Hindustan Unilever takes you through the strategy and execution of this campaign which was a success not just from a reach standpoint but the overall uplift of Spontaneous Awareness and purchase intent was also unprecedented.