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Airtel 5G Launch

In 2023, India's 5G networks went live. All the leading telcos launched at the same time and the race was on to sign up as many of the half billion 4G users to the new technology. However, consumers were not convinced. Outspoken 5G skeptics took to social media to voice concerns and raise questions about the relevance and perceived value of 5G in their daily lives.

Sector: TechnologyBrand:Airtel

Territories this campaign runs in

  • India
Campaign image for Airtel 5G launch in India


Airtel needed to find a way to get consumers excited about 5G and demonstrate its benefits in a way that was relevant and engaging. The brand also needed to narrow the 5G preference gap with its competition.


The creative idea was to use Airtel's 5G network to create a world-first fan experience during the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's biggest T20 cricket league. The brand selected 10 5G skeptics, one for each IPL team, and used Airtel's 5G network to teleport them live on TV as lifelike avatars. These avatars interacted with their favorite cricketers, experts, and hosts in real-time, showcasing the power of 5G to transform media experiences.


The campaign was executed through a partnership with Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the IPL. The avatars were created using photorealistic technology and appeared seamlessly in the Star Sports studio, interacting with real human experts and hosts. The interactions were broadcast live during high-engagement IPL gameplay, creating a huge impact and demonstrating first-hand the disruption to the sports viewing experience that 5G could unlock.


The campaign was a huge success, turning a nation of 5G skeptics into evangelists for Airtel's network. The experience reached more than 30 million cricket fans live on national TV and more than 8 million on social media. In total, the campaign delivered more than 2 billion minutes of viewing time, every second enabled by Airtel 5G. Earned media delivered millions more impressions and was worth US$ 1.5 million.

The campaign also had a significant impact on Airtel's business helping to narrow the 5G "preference" gap and helping to drive a significant increase in its active 5G user base.

Campaign results

30 million

Cricket fans reached live on TV

2 billion

minutes of viewing time