For Indian consumers, speed is a key factor when deciding between telecom service providers, as high speeds are important for a good 3G experience.

When Vodafone wanted to amplify its F1-centric campaign, “Speed Up Delhi,” it turned to Hindustan Times (HT).

Working with Vodafone and HT’s radio division, Fever FM, the HT Brand Solutions team came up with a high-impact campaign to strengthen Vodafone’s association with speed using the Indian F1 race, a high-visibility event.

The fully integrated campaign event changed the newspaper itself. The campaign was launched with a half-page flap that changed the newspaper masthead to “Speed Up Times” in Vodafone colours instead of Hindustan Times. The news on the half page was about Vodafone’s involvement in F1 in Delhi and how it was speeding up the city.

Over the next few days, a blitz of print, radio, and on-ground activity helped speed up life for Delhi and delivered on Vodafone’s message of “Speed Up Delhi.” Readers then were encouraged to use digital communications like e-mails and SMS to respond.

The campaign included:

  • In addition to carrying the “Speed Up Times” masthead flap again, HT carried a special half-page section of Speed News, branded with the “Speed Times” masthead in Vodafone colours. In this section, readers could catch up on all the day’s news in a condensed format, thereby speeding up their newspaper reading time and their lives. 
  • The Speed News section was highlighted for the readers using an innovation where the newspaper was folded in such a way that the page carrying the speed news jutted out like a tab to make it more visible. The tab was printed in Vodafone red and white colours to establish a visual linkage with the brand. 
  • Vodafone and HT also launched a contest together where they invited Delhiites to send in names of traffic hotspots in the city and suggestions to speed up Delhi. Readers sent their ideas through emails and SMSes, which were then featured in a half-page reader comments section placed in conjunction with a full-page editorial feature on traffic congestion in New Delhi. 

    The editorial feature and Vodafone’s association with it was promoted to get reader attention through front-page pointer ads and usage of the Vodafone Speed Times masthead. The message was focused and clear: Vodafone speeds up your life.
  • On the main day of the F1 race, Vodafone made the closest flyway to the race venue toll-free, which helped speed up traffic. This was amplified through pre-coverage in print and ads in HT and Fever FM.

Through this brand solution with HT, Vodafone gained a high degree of association with the Indian F1. This was a great win for the brand as the official F1 sponsor was Vodafone’s direct competitor, Airtel. This high-decibel campaign neutralised the value of Airtel’s sponsorship of F1 to some degree and strengthened Vodafone’s connection with high speed.