Marketing to the youth is tricky. And these days it is even more when the largest chunk in your population is the youth. But if they are not responding to your promotions then you are not solving their problems. Hike, the mobile messaging app from Bharti SoftBank (BSB) which we had reviewed earlier, has come up with a cool idea that could attract the students of North Campus, New Delhi. The messaging app is offering free auto rides for the students to brave the sweltering Delhi heat. (right now things may be different with monsoons coming in early).


Known for the hot Delhi summers, June is also the time of form submissions in colleges. So to help the students, Hike is offering free auto rides within the Delhi University’s North Campus. The rides are only from June 13th to June 19th and the Hike branded auto rickshaws are stationed right outside Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station.

The service that has been started during the peak time of form submissions, that is 8 A.M. to 5 P.M, is one of the interesting ways to target the youth. It will definitely help promote Hike to youngsters who are busy using messaging services like WhatsApp.

The move comes after the announcement of Hike having partnered with the mobile handset maker Nokia. According to the new partnership, Nokia would be preloading the messaging app Hike on its handset. The latest agreement would be carried out on selective phones of Nokia such as Lumia 510, Lumia 720 and all Nokia Asha Full Touch phones sold in India.

In addition to WhatsApp and Hike, we have WeChat, the Chinese mobile messaging app from Tencent which is also targeting the Indian youth. The app recently declared to have 50M users outside China of its 300M user base. The international numbers of WeChat has to be credited to its ongoing push in the Indian market along with the markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia. To target the Indian youth, WeChat had integrated with recent Bollywood movies and was endorsed by the young Bollywood heartthrobs Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan.

But then the growth of WeChat could face a hurdle as post Prism, the Indian intelligence agency has told the National Security Advisor that such messaging platforms were raising new cyber threats. We are expecting to hear a decision on this. Nevertheless, the mobile messaging market is as exciting in India as it is in Asia. With 5M users already on Hike, the app which has been updating its Facebook page about the free rides, could see more spikes soon.