Mumbai : One of the country’s biggest FMCG companies, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), plans to open its mobile-based marketing platform Kan Khajura Tesan (KKT) to external advertisers. KKT, the fully advertiser-funded, entertainment-on-demand initiative helps HUL brands like Lux and Fair & Lovely engage with rural consumers in media-dark areas.
These are villages that cannot be reached via traditional media like TV, radio and print, but where at least one member of the household is a mobile phone owner. “These consumers are still significant (more than 200 million in total) contributors to the sales of FMCG brands. They also happen to be key growth markets for Unilever. Reaching out to these consumers with our brand communications and offerings remains a big challenge,” an HUL spokesperson said.
The KKT initiative was first piloted in Bihar, followed by Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The mobile-radio channel, which is telecom-company agnostic, has since been extended across India.
In fact, KKT is the most popular radio station in the northern state of Bihar. Here’s how it works. Callers give a missed call on 1800-30-000-123 (the call disconnects automatically after two rings) and in return the caller receives capsules of entertainment that includes primarily local and Bollywood music, with a strong preference for 90s movie hits, and comedy shows.
Besides entertainment, HUL has also added a devotional section. Of course, item numbers and devotional content are interspersed with brand communication from HUL. In the coming months, however, the channel will also air brand messages from other advertisers. But the company is keeping under wraps advertiser profiles, the exact nature of media deals and just how it’ll affect programming, if at all, in the future.
“In the journey of taking Kan Khajura Tesan forward as an ever growing marketing platform we are now opening it up for brands beyond HUL’s own. This will allow the platform to grow and help marketers reach out to media dark consumers who were difficult to reach before,” the company spokesperson said.
“The nature of the tieups will be on a case-to-case basis as per the requirement of the partnering brands. We have had a similar approach similar approach internally through which we have helped our brands like Lux, Closeup, Fair & Lovely use Kan Khajura Tesan to connect with consumers and make a positive impact on their equity.”
The campaign, if you can call a veritable radio channel that, was conceptualised and executed in collaboration with media agency PHD India and creative agency Lowe Lintas.
Kan Khajura Tesan now has the capability to push personalised content as per the user preference in addition to voice recording and voice recognition technology. HUL’s decision to throw open up the marketing medium to brands other than its own could spell the beginning of a new era for the FMCG behemoth — one that takes it from big-ticket advertiser to a media owner.