UK mobile operator Vodafone is launching in India today and it has tied up with STAR India for an exclusive 24-hour advertising spree.

The Vodafone brand will be replacing Hutch. The brand change over the next few weeks will be unveiled nationally through a high-profile campaign covering all significant media.

As is known, Vodafone, the world۪s leading mobile telecommunication company, completed the acquisition of Hutchison Essar in May 2007 and the company was formally renamed Vodafone Essar in July 2007.

Asim Ghosh, MD, Vodafone Essar, said, “We have had great innings as Hutch in India, and today marks a new beginning for us. Not as a departure from the fundamentals that created Hutch, but an acceleration into the future with Vodafone۪s global expertise.”

One of the first exercises seen in this brand change is a re-branding campaign with STAR India, whereby Vodafone will use all of the commercial airtime across the STAR India Network from 21:00 on 20th September to 21:00 on 21st September, to run TVCs, transition bumpers and contest spots to promote the Vodafone Essar brand.

The deal enables Vodafone to reach viewers across 13 channels in five languages of Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and English. The 13 channels from the STAR bouquet include STAR Plus, STAR One, STAR Gold, STAR Movies, STAR World, Channel [V], STAR Utsav, Vijay, STAR News, STAR Ananda, STAR Majha, National Geographic Channel and History Channel.

Uday Shankar, COO, STAR India, said, “This is an idea whose time has come. It takes a mobile company and a broadcasting network to change the way communication solutions are offered to clients – that۪s exactly what Vodafone and STAR have done. This is going to kickstart dynamism in broadcasting advertising that۪s been lacking so far. This partnership has also shown that when it comes to game changing requirements and innovation, the STAR Network is the clear choice.”

Ajit Varghese MD, Maxus, which is Vodaphone۪s media agency, added, “Conventionally, awareness for a new brand takes some time to build. However, Vodafone wanted to achieve this task at the shortest possible duration. Maxus and STAR Network worked closely to address this challenge and came up with the idea wherein during the day of the launch, a complete roadblock on the STAR Network channels was conceptualised. Considering that the STAR Network is the lead network in India, this was the most apt platform for the Vodafone launch.”