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Published on November 24th, 2008 | by Saurabh Pandey

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World’s 1st NRI Video Talent Hunt!

 

I came across this idea in October 2007 when I was heading Internet Marketing in Airtel-International Calling Service.

I believe that whenever we target a niche set of audience, we should observe what binds them together.

Each Niche community is sensitive about certain core and common issues and as a marketer if we could understand them, recognise them and represent the niche community, then, half the battle is won!

NRIs (Non Resident Indians) also have a latent need to express and share their Indian attributes, this being one of the things that binds them together in a foreign land.

And I thought that given the high internet penetration, high need for communication and community building, we must do a social media activity-completely online, and since bandwidth will not be an issue, let’s make it very interactive by building a video element into it.

And hence the idea of launching a video contest program where NRIs share their views about being an Indian…it could be funny, it could be nostalgic or it could entail any hidden talent!

The second challenge that I had was how to seed this program… and how to create buzz out of it.

I thought of organising this Video Contest in a very simple fashion without too much of Airtel branding.

(The moment you make these community programs branded, and splash your logos and brand colors around- it will loose it’s charm).

Hence I thought of doing it on YouTube. I thought this has great buzz value, and had the potential of getting good PR across the world. I could almost visualise a headline in a news portal/magazine: Airtel Launched world’s first NRI Video Talent hunt on YouTube!

While it took over 4 months to conceptualise, to do a test run on YouTube and convincing the management…but in the end it was all worth it’s while when it went live in March 2008 (we had to use rediff ishare instead of YouTube- http://www.ithappensonlyinindia.net)

More than 300 videos uploaded at the last count! And I feel proud because of 2 reasons on this:

1. It’s the first of it’s kind of a program in itself.

2. Despite Airtel not being no.1 in international calling (in terms of market share or product features)-

it is ideas like these that will take Airtel closer to it’s prospects and customers.

* I left Airtel in mid-Feb, and thank my team for doing the last mile finishing work. Great work Guys!


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