Coke, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive India win the Biggest Marketing Opportunity

Approximately 8 percent of India's population-all of billionaire Anil Ambani, brother of India's richest, peasant destitution across the River Ganges in the last eight weeks, search safety in a religious festival called Maha Kumbh Mela. Companies including Coca-Cola (I), Hindustan Unilever (HUVR), and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) made the same journey in the search for profits.Billed as the largest gathering in the world, Kumbh is expected to attract nearly 100 million people before any conclusions on the March 10. For advertisers, almost once-a-decade opportunity to reach millions of new customers. "Kumbh is an advertising happiness," said Vipul Salvi, national creative director for OgilvyAction, a unit of Ogilvy & Mather (WPPGY). "This is about 100 million people in an area, and it has never happened anywhere else in the world." Hindu Forum offers a way to reach consumers from rural India, where the World Bank estimates that about 70 percent of the 1.2 billion people country living. Explaining Espirito Santo Securities analyst Nitin Mathur: ". Here you will reach the mass of the final consumer directly "That's important because for the past two years, per-capita income of the village of India is growing faster than the urban population for the first time in two and a half decades, according to rating agency CRISIL. Rural expenditure was 12.9 billion rupees ($ 235.700.000.000) in the two years ended March 31, compared with 10.4 trillion in urban areas, a Mumbai-based unit of McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP) reported by August. Photograph NarayanCoca adi-Cola signs hanging from the bridge visible millionsUnlike TV commercial, external marketing campaigns at events like Kumbh can be done in many different dialects or languages ​​and allows visitors to "touch and feel" products, says Pradeep Kashyap, president of the Association Rural Marketing India. "Television is basically a one-way medium, and for rural communities is entirely inappropriate way are not enough to communicate," he said. Ads Rural "is a two-way communication where people can clarify their doubts and understand what the product is capable of doing." Maha Kumbh Mela is held once every 12 years Allahabad, India north of the city at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Devout believe there is a shower in the festival's most profitable cleanse every sin. A typical day starts at 4 am when thousands demonstrated Kumbh 'riverbank. Men get into the cold water in their underwear with folded hands, while women are almost completely clothed.Nearby dip, about 30 companies, including telecom operators, banks and snack makers, who operate stalls offering discounts and freebies. On a recent afternoon, Colgate-Palmolive selling toothbrushes, Britannia Industries (BRIT) pitched cookies, and local consumer goods maker Dabur India (Dabur) hair oil sold all of Kumbh steep discounts.The develop common business up to 150 billion rupees , according to ASSOCHAM, one of the largest businesses in India. Total ad spending this year will be nearly 200 million rupees, is expected to Sanjay Kaul, CEO of Impact Communications to promote the company's external marketing campaigns are easy Kumbh for 15 companies this year. A small kiosk costs about 500,000 rupees, a major campaign with kiosks, signs, interactive demos, and consumers can sample up to 10 million rupees, said business Kaul.Some use the festival as a soft-sell opportunities to polish their brands. UK-based wireless operator Vodafone Group (VOD), for example, ran the 40-seat theater featuring a cable TV program on religious story behind the Kumbh. Kumbh others use to generate leads that hard or long to assemble without a large gathering. UK-based construction equipment manufacturer JC Bamford Excavators sale backhoe loader, used to dig trenches, to the festival. Deepak Tiwari salesman said he has received at least 142 serious inquiries from contractors, politicians, and village leaders who are interested in buying machine.Coca-Cola has a stall in the Kumbh area, where he sold 150-milliliter glass of soda namesake for 5 rupees, or less coins , along with a bottle for 25 Rupees. Coke has the right to put 12 billboards under the railway bridge near the holy river. Ad for Hindustan Unilever to Close Up toothpaste and motorcycles from Hero MotoCorp, the largest motorcycle maker in the country, which hangs close. "Kumbh be aggregations of people, we want to be part of their experience there," Coke said in an e-mail.Hindustan Unilever, India's No. 1 maker of detergent and a unit of Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever (UL), also placing ads in Rotis, Indian bread. For Rotis marked with a message reminding people to wash their hands with soap before eating a float company. Salespeople who work for Unilever's advertising agency, working with participants from local restaurant chefs, using an electric iron to seal each flatbread with field marketing. Wash basin in each restaurant filled with branded jackets soap.Photograph NarayanUnilever Adi bid to buoy flatbreadsFor soap all appointments, some advertisers Kumbh find a way to sow the seeds of marketing nirvana with stones. The festival will be produced with the kind of marketers hate negative publicity. At least 36 people were killed in a stampede on February 10, when it left the Pilgrim Kumbh rush to board trains at Allahabad railway station. In smaller Kumbh in 2003 held near Mumbai, 39 people trampled.Selling Kumbh not guarantee a crowd. A coke stalls with nearly 1,300 bottles of Coca-Cola soda, mineral water Dasani, and Maaza Mango Juice Cooler is almost empty on a cold night in February. In the nearest kiosk operated by a local producer Ramesh Tea Traders, dozens of people lined up to buy a cup of tea for 5 rupees, which comes with a free packet of biscuits. "Most people here are looking for free why, and Coca-Cola lost because it does not offer anything," said shop manager coke, coke Sanjay Sharma.That not only to worry. Most of the billboards were destroyed in heavy wind and rain, and some sweepers and other workers receive living in shacks under the bridge. Thick strips of red and white material that is easy tarplike reincarnated as tents straw for workers. Almost all billboards taken coke starting in February 16, about three weeks before the end of the event, after strong winds ripped the fabric of their metal frames, said Arvind Rathod, who managed the operation for Touch Wood Admark Solutions, put up signs. Maybe yell "loot all" As one of them was destroyed on February 18, and a dozen people are looking for insulation for tents they rushed in with a knife to strip the fabric. Rathod said broken Coke billboard was removed after the peak visitor season at the Kumbh, so they are likely to achieve the goals they see bread-stamping hindered Unilever's operations in some of the "great crowd on lock." Braking force when a perennial problem in India today and difficulty negotiating with eating, says Ravi Pratap Singh, a coordinator for OgilvyAction. Restaurant owners are not paid and received with banner ads are just great jacket and the restaurant's name written in marker. Life Insurance Corporation stall India, only about 500 people have signed up for accident insurance policy worth 21 Rupees per month. Weak demand means the company has fallen behind the target to get a few thousand new customers during the festival, said assistant administrative officer SK Sharma.There is "much more" than the advertiser Kumbhs year earlier due to the new conditions imposed by the organizers, said Kaul Impact . Companies with posters and billboards are mounted at the base of this year's festival, for example, are required to devote 70 percent of their space to promote the poster Kumbh yourself, or for public service messages. (Ad bridges, such as coke, are exempt.) Some critics complaining about the commercialization of the event. Tend brand distract people from the real purpose of the festival, said Sarvabhauma Das, chairman of the festival tent camp run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Hare Krishna movement. "What good is putting a board for a cool drink in the winter, no one will buy it," Das said as he looked at the tented camp in an organization under the bridge. "It is not good for spirituality, and for the safety of the people who live here." Bottom line: The India festival Kumbh Mela, which attracts like Unilever and Vodafone, generating $ 2.8 billion in revenue for the business.

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