Rural marketing Case study img

National Steel Bullock Cart Race in Rural Geographies


National Steel has been at the forefront of manufacturing and distributing quality steel products for a long time. Having a strong presence across central India, they wanted to promote their corrugated steel sheet product in the rural market. The brief had instilled emphasis on projecting National Steel as a partner in the celebration of rural masses. 


Rural sports are not just game events but a great way to reconnect with culture. They provide an opportunity to celebrate rural life in its raw form. Thus, Ascent proposed conducting a Bullock Cart Race that integrated other BTL components to achieve the task. 

Bullock cart race is a popular sport in rural India known for its frantic action and instigating adrenaline rush. It showcases the strength, control, and power, and as these are at the core of our client’s philosophy, we clubbed them together and created a bullock cart race with an attractive cash reward. 

The whole campaign was centered on increasing brand visibility, and an integrated approach to branding was put into action. It involved retail branding, van engagement for publicity, and an event-based activation. 

Bullock Cart Racing

We picked up two villagers for the bullock cart race to conduct the event. A pre-publicity campaign was conceptualized to create buzz about the event, which started 15 days before the main event day. Fully decorated vans were deployed at catchment villages around these villages to promote the event; a house-shaped van made with National Steel was specially designed to promote the race. 


Pre-publicity Van


It went from village to village and informed the villagers about the event. Posters and banners were put at various catchment areas to capture villagers’ attention and create WOM, and the media hype was created through ad placements in various newspapers. During the pre-publicity campaign, the names of interested participants from villages were noted.

The lucrative cash prize for the winners further piqued the villagers’ interest and created more buzz.

The Racing Event

The bullock cart race was a one-day event. We chose a large arena to conduct the race, where a stage was erected to seat the dignitaries. The whole venue was branded with the poster of National steel to attract the crowd. The crowd thronged the venue, who gathered in numbers to be the spectator of this unique event. 2 events were held at two different venues where villagers of these catchment areas became part of this whole show. The villages where races were held were Satwas and Pipariya.

For the race at Satwas, 24 villages were covered during the pre-campaign phase. The van deployed to promote the event traveled throughout these villages and generated participants. A total of 16 participants competed in the race. On the race day, the crowd thronged the race venue, which was extensively branded and decorated. The event witnessed 7000 villagers who turned up in excitement to be a part of it.

Crowd at the Venue at Satwa

For the race to be held in Pipariya, 8 villages were covered for the pre-publicity campaign. These villages were covered by the van that moved in and around these villages and placed banners and posters. Through the audio announcement, the villagers were sensitized about the upcoming event and the cash reward. The promoter registered the names of the participants. 

On the event day, a massive crowd was registered from far-off villagers to witness the race. 4000 villagers were part of the event.



Additionally, heavy merchandising and retail branding was done across the M.P belt to build the brand presence and create hype about the event. 



The success of the whole campaign reflects in the crowd that gathered in numbers to witness the whole event. The event gave national Steel soaring visibility, resulting in people turning up for the event. The press coverage that followed the event made the brand even more popular. 

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