Jeep Compass helps voters reach remote polling booths
By Bhawana Anand - May 16, 2019
The brand helped people reach inaccessible areas to cast their votes by mapping these difficult regions and arranging a convoy of Jeep Compass vehicles to transport voters
With high-voltage excitement surrounding the election in the country, brands are seeking to leverage the opportunity by defining their social relevance and reach. This includes initiatives that go beyond direct marketing push and sales figures.
FCA Group’s Jeep Compass has come up with a unique CSR initiative this election wherein the idea was to simply position themselves as a nationally responsible brand.
In keeping with the mantra of 'Go anywhere. Do anything', brand Jeep mapped out some of the most inaccessible areas in the country based on the distance, landscape and accessibility, and identified a few villages whose inhabitants had yet to vote in full capacity owing to the long and difficult walk to the nearest polling booth.
After almost a year of research, mapping and planning logistics, Jeep arranged for a convoy of cars to ferry the residents to their closest polling booths. After multiple trips negotiating challenging terrain, several people were able to cast their vote for the first time ever.
To understand better the brand strategy, which went beyond direct audience connect and sales target, Media4Growth spoke to Rahul Pansare, CMO & Head of PR, FCA India. Presenting excerpts from the interview.
Q: Could you throw some light on the whole idea behind this initiative and how it was generated?
For nearly 8 decades, Jeep has been embodying the spirit of freedom. Right from giving you the ability in your hands to “go anywhere, do anything” to being around when history of global significance was getting made.
The Indian Election is the largest festival of freedom and democracy. 900 million + voters spread over 6 weeks, in one of the fastest growing economies. Yet there are those for whom going to exercise their fundamental rights is next to impossible. Challenging terrains, extreme temperatures, tiny toddlers, the reasons could be innumerable.
What better occasion than this and who better than Jeep to lead the way. The team reached places across the length and breadth of the country for over a year, leading up to polling day.
Q: What marketing push do you expect from this?
There are somethings you do without numbers in mind. While this is one of those. You do it because it’s the right thing to do. I believe it has earned us priceless good will. Jeep Compass is the first made in India Jeep SUV, and since its launch Jeep Compass has been the most awarded and loved SUV in its category. This was the perfect occasion to be become a part of the Indian cultural fabric and lives of the people.
Q: Which regions were covered for the activity and for how many days?
Officially we covered 12 settlements in the interiors of Maharashtra on the 23rd of April. Subsequently many more Jeepers have come forth and volunteered over the other phases in several districts across India, we don’t have the official number on these yet; we are just happy it’s catching on.
Q: What challenges did you face while working on this concept and execution?
The biggest challenge was to stay apolitical. Democracy and voting is about putting power in the hands of the people and we wanted to do just that. It was purely about enabling people to execute their rights.
Identifying a place, which were very remote and convincing locals to participate was another big challenge. But this was very important because there are fellow citizens who are extremely eager to stay relevant, vote and make a positive change for their villages and in their lives.
Q: The automobile is a necessity at today’s times. So how do you see FCA going forward with more such CSR initiatives?
We have set an example for the nation to follow; we hope this continues within the Jeepers community and also inspires other auto manufactures to do something meaningful. Besides this, we also support locals in Kerala through CSR activities like Project Shelter, where we provided new houses to families who lost everything during the disastrous floods last year.