The deal, which goes live today (24 June) will see all the Heathrow Express trains wrapped in Tata Communications branding. Outdoor panels in walkways at the train stations and digital screens inside the trains will also show Tata messages, looking to tell stories about the brand and how it works with businesses as well as its sponsorship of Formula 1.
The partnership also introduces the brand campaign ‘We’re the connection” which will tell people facts about Tata’s role in mobile and cloud computing that it hopes will trigger interest.
The tie-up initially lasts for a year although CMO Julie Woods-Moss said if it proves successful Tata would be open to making it a multiyear deal. She already has ideas for phase two of the partnership including how it can use its data to offer benefits to its customers for example by offering a VIP programme that would offer a “better experience” when using the Heathrow Express.
Tata Communications is one of the biggest companies in the world, supporting 25% of the global internet and working with 50% of the Fortune 500 however Woods-Moss admits its brand awareness is still low. The company did some research in the UK on its brand, finding that the company had positive brand equity and that people trusted it but that the fact they didn’t know much about the business stopped them doing business with them.
The Heathrow Express deal made sense, said Woods-Moss, because 80% of the passengers are business people and it has scale – 18,000 passengers a day. When the company found out Vodafone had decided after five years not to continue its deal, Tata moved within days, she said.
“We wanted a scale platform that would be weighted towards business targets as opposed to a generic mass. Do you know how hard it is to get those B2B platforms? We had to move very fast, in days, to secure this,” she told Marketing Week.
“The Heathrow Express is also seen as a high quality, modern means of getting very quickly from one place to another. There is a linearity there in terms of how we’re known for moving bits about the world super fast and super efficiently. It is actually perfect for our profile.”
Woods-Moss said this is Tata’s first integrated brand campaign although it follows some out-of-home, digital and media work it did in the US. That increased prompted awareness by 30% in 3 months, she said, convincing Tata that a wider campaign would bring real benefits to the brand.
Its success will be judged on whether it can increase prompted awareness and consideration although Tata is also hoping to show some brand personality and establish what the brand stands for.
“There will be a qualitative aspect as well – the smile factor. We’ll be the first thing people see when they come to London and we want to capture their imaginations with the campaigns we have coming up, especially on digital. It allows us to be more playful,” she said.