NEW DELHI: India's Independence Day is attracting a host of promotions, as brands and services seek to grab consumers' attention during what is expected to be a major shopping weekend.

A relatively recent phenomenon, the Independence Day sales now sit alongside Republic Day and Diwali as a key period for retailers. According to The Hindu, hypermarkets which normally see 1,500-3,000 customers a day can see up to 6,000 on sale days, while individual's spending rises from Rs 600-1,000 to Rs 1,500-4,000.

Banks and retailers, both physical and digital, have linked up with a range of cash-back offers, while several brands have created advertising material with a patriotic angle specifically geared towards Independence Day.

Exchange4media reported that "from to TV to digital, all mediums are abuzz with ads to make most of this annual break", and highlighted the best examples, including an attempt by FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever (HUL) to set a world record for missed calls.

HUL's Cannes Lions-winning Kan Khajura Tesan campaign, which sees consumers call a toll-free number and hang up before being called back with free entertainment content interspersed with advertising, is aiming to get as many missed calls as possible in 120-hour period. In addition, for every 100 missed calls it will make a donation to the National Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau.

"With this initiative, we want to use this powerful platform to drive a social change," declared Priya Nair, HUL vice president.

Public service broadcaster All India Radio took the opportunity of Independence Day to launch a toll-free number linking to a one-stop shop for advertisers, particularly those on a limited budget, looking for an easy way to advertise across all its 413 stations.

According to a senior official, "as we are essentially working for the betterment of the country and public at large, so our charges are basic and coverage is the best". All India Radio claims to cover 92% of the country and to reach 99.19% of the population using 23 languages and 146 dialects.

Data sourced from The Hindu, exchange4media, ANI News,; additional content by Warc staff