Case Study: Mobile Roadie Hunt at Idea

IndiaSocial Case Challenge – edition 2

Category: Best use of Platform

Winner of Position #2

Tittle – Mobile Roadie Hunt at Idea

Share a little about your organisation/ brand

IDEA Cellular is India’s 3rd largest national mobile operator, with 92 million subscribers. With traffic in excess of a billion minutes a day, Idea ranks among the Top 10 country operators in the world. Using the latest in technology, Idea provides world-class service delivery through the most extensive network of customer touch points. Idea is listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in India. IDEA Cellular is an Aditya Birla Group Company, India’s first truly multinational corporation. The group operates in 26 countries, and is anchored by more than 130,600 employees belonging to 40 nationalities.

Executive Summary

Idea Cellular was a brand that positioned itself in bringing simple but great ideas through the power of technology and the mobile phone. To bring alive their partnership with MTV Roadies they had to transcend to being a cult brand and they decided to deliver the same promise and offer the chance of a lifetime to every one of the shows thousands of fans through the power of social media. A chance to live the Roadie experience through a live interaction with the hosts of the show, the twin brothers Raghu and Rajiv, who were responsible for turning it into the cult brand it was.

Nature of the programme/ activity/ campaign

Business to consumer

Duration of the said programme/ activity/ campaign. Start date-end date

10/12/2010 to 10/1/2011


Idea Cellular partnered with MTV Roadies for the fourth year and while the show had evolved into one of the rare mass cult brands, the benefits weren’t being reaped to its potential by Idea Cellular. Idea Cellular was a brand that positioned itself in bringing simple but great ideas through the power of technology and the mobile phone. To be a cult brand, they decided to deliver the same promise and offer the chance of a lifetime to every Roadies fan through the power of social media. A chance to have a live interaction with the hosts of the show, the twin brothers Raghu and Rajiv.


To the thousands of fans of the MTV Roadies reality show, Idea Cellular was just a brand name associated with the show which could change the next year. This time around, the brand didn’t want to just ride on the laurels of the show but instead wanted to earn the respect of the fans and the right to be associated as the cult brand that the show deserved and through this, sell the Roadies VAS pack. This was the story of most Brands as sponsors of content Sponsorships have long been a fruitful approach taken by brands to gain the visibility that would have more impact than a big budget media campaign. It wasn’t enough for brands to speak the brand lingo to the customer who no longer cared. They wanted to be entertained and participate and sponsorships were still missing out on that element of engagement.

Idea was a rare brand which connected to the consumers in a meaningful way with the message of “What an Idea” and also partnered with properties that managed to whip a frenzy. The three year partnership with MTV Roadies was the biggest of these. MTV Roadies was one of the pioneer reality shows where contestants rode around the country on motorbikes and along the way perform tasks with an elimination attached to each task. The final standing contestant was crowned the winner. The reality based adventure show has over the years captured the imagination of audiences who have taken in every aspect of it and turned it into a mass cult. The heart and soul of the show were the hosts Raghu and Rajeev, who tormented every aspiring Roadie during the auditions stage as well as during the actual show. After a year of absence they were returning and this meant the expectations were bigger than ever.

But Idea Cellular worried that the benefits it reaped from the Roadies platform were limited to just awareness. While this was useful in making the brand more visible, the sponsorship could be better used to drive engagement and actual sales. We wanted to put more into the show – and get more out of it. Idea Roadie Mobile Challenge had to answer to this need. We wanted to stop just being a sponsor, and start being a part of the show. We wanted to add an extra dimension to the show itself, adding opportunities for inspiration and participation that the show had never seen before. But, by investing in Roadies to make the show more engaging, we didn’t just want to impact our brand awareness; we wanted to impact our sales.

Our Objectives – Deepen the connection with MTV Roadies – Use the deepened connection to sell 10000 of the Idea Roadies Vas packs which were priced at Rs 49 each.

Strategy and Planning

There were two big disappointments faced by our audience when it came to Roadies, The Participants disappointment where they couldn’t make it to the audition or the final due to failing to make the cut or for just not being brave enough. It was simply the shows basic nature to disappoint and the reason why it was a success.

The user experience: Flash websites and designs just didn’t cut it anymore and social media was doling out the same contest after the other which didn’t excite people We had to combine these disappointments and arrive at a solution which brought alive the Roadies experience. We therefore came up with our big Idea We gave every user a true Roadie experience through a live interactive game with the hosts Raghu and Rajiv. We made this chat ‘personal’ by using the power of Facebook.


Our target was simply the thousands of aspiring roadies who made the effort year after year in the hope of living the roadie experience dealt out by the hosts, Raghu and Rajiv.

Choice of channel/s

Facebook: Facebook was not harnessed to its potential yet. While tabs and wall posts were exciting, we chose to focus our efforts on using the power of Facebook Connect to bring the WOW factor to the overall experience. Through Facebook Connect we could make the interactive game with Raghu and Rajiv personal by bringing in the user’s friends We also reached out to Roadies fans through the MTV fan page as well as the dedicated Roadies groups on Facebook.


Viral:  To build the anticipation we first launched a viral video that shocked users. Users watched a regular video of Raghu and Rajiv who then got out of the screen and took control. Once the user started to view the video, the brothers would pause the video. The user then had to click on the play button to continue viewing the video. This again would lead to the brothers taunting the user some more and taking control of the video and finally dragging the slider to the end leaving the user helpless. This innovative video set the tone for the experience to come on the microsite as well as boosted the awareness levels of the Mobile Roadie Hunt. The viral then took the user to the microsite where Raghu and Rajiv welcomed them to the Mobile Roadie experience with one question “How well do you know your Facebook friends?”

Microsite:  The idea of bringing alive the idea was through the window of a microsite where the challenging and incredible experience of the interaction with Raghu and Rajiv was hosted Users had to login with their Facebook accounts. After logging in, Raghu and Rajiv started analyzing the user and user’s friends on Facebook and the user would have to choose his/her honest friend, hot friend, potential lover, admirable friend, avoidable friend and more. After the user selected the type of friend, the brothers gave them their opinion, Roadies Style.

Users could then publish the analyzed video on their wall and their friend’s wall. If the user got through the analysis, they were through to the final stage which was to receive mobile tasks by downloading the Roadies VAS pack. Thus we seamlessly integrated the product and making it part of the overall experience. How successful this was would be decided with the bounce rate of how many people chose not to download after analyzing their friends. Users had to download an Idea Mobile VAS pack to receive the mobile tasks that would give them the opportunity to be among the Idea Roadies finalists. These included tasks like calling a number at 3.00 a.m and screaming as loud as possible, which were in line with the nature of the show. The winner would be eligible to win a Hero Honda Karizma Bike which was the same model as used in the show as well as a direct entry into the Roadies Battleground where participants could fight for a spot on the show next year.

Impact and Outcome

  •  To deepen the connection with MTV Roadies and keep the users engaged. A total of 40238 users visited the website to play the game (Source Google Analytics) The first stage was compelling enough for 38735 of these users to pay Rs 49 to subscribe to the Roadies pack and take part in the next stage. That meant only a 9% bounce rate and meant our product integration was successful.
  • To sell a total of 10000 of the Idea Roadies Vas pack this was priced at Rs 49 Against the objective of getting 10000 packs downloaded which meant Rs 4,90,000 in revenue, we achieved a total download of 36735 VAS packs and generating a revenue of Rs 18,98,015. All this was achieved at almost zero media spends. An increase of more than 250%. (Source: Client Data)


In short, ‘Making sense’ Making sense to the audience Being a large and powerful brand isn’t enough to be associated with a show that has managed to create a cult through its execution. To be truly remembered, the brand must be able to speak the same language and offer the same experience as the show itself. Through the Mobile Roadie Hunt, we realized this truth and only when you spoke the language the fan base understand will they listen to you. Making sense of Social Media Only when Facebook makes ‘sense’ is it the most powerful medium. Every aspiring Roadie vied for that mental trauma of being verbally abused and shamed by the hosts on national television. Through Facebook, we were able to offer the same experience where they insulted the user as well as his friends. Thus, Facebook made sense. Making sense in buying a product Blatantly pushing a product through emailers and microsites will generate almost zero dividends as opposed to creating an environment where it makes sense to the user to buy your product. This environment was our game.

What next

The Roadies format has been the same that last two years and this has proved to be most successful: Interactive experience and then mobile gaming. We intend on following this system next year if our partnership continues and will look to using social media as VIP pass for more content on Roadies.

External Agencies: Any partners who helped you with strategy

Tribal DDB India

External Agencies: Any partners who helped you with implementation.

Tribal DDB India

Suitable Tittle

Mobile Roadie Hunt at Idea: A cult show deserves a cult social media experience


Name of the Company – Idea Cellular

Category – Telecom, Business to consumer

Case Submitted By: Sandeep Balan