Monthly Archives: January 2015

LinkedIn MTV ‘Get A Job’ Campaign

As usual while browsing through my Twitter timeline, I came across a tweet by Intel India about some internship position. The hashtag, #GetAJob drew my attention and the curiosity within me went after researching what it was. It might be that I am the last person on the Earth to know about this campaign. In that case, just feel free to stop reading this blogpost and move on! Else, just keep reading and get to know what I experienced and think about this campaign.

I landed upon a campaign website and was spell-bound to know that LinkedIn and MTV have joined hands together to provide a ‘cool summer internship’. Now, that sounded unusual as how can a music / entertainment company join with a professional networking website to run such an intern-hunt. So, this further fuelled the curiosity. And, I finally got to know that both these diverse but leaders in their industry have come together and involved 10 other organizations for this campaign. The branding and other technical details which I will discuss below clearly indicated that the campaign was a brainchild of LinkedIn and their objectives were either all or some of these – 1) Increase penetration of LinkedIn in India, 2) Make youngsters realize the importance of LinkedIn as part of their career ladder, 3) Drive awareness about cool new jobs that are available and that are getting created day-in and day-out by top brands and 4) Set a sound case study on social recruitment in a country (India) where still resumes / CVs rule the hiring manager’s desk etc. I would be eager to know from LinkedIn / MTV team if I missed any of the objectives.

Campaign website

Campaign website

The campaign website is very attractive and clearly lists the 12 internship positions that are available in diverse organizations like Pepsi (Platform Marketing Intern), Reliance (Social Media Intern), Rolling Stone (Editorial Intern), Tata Consultancy Services (Enterprise Game Design Intern), Flipkart (Management Trainee), Mercedes-Benz (Security Analyst Intern), Intel (Circuit Design Intern), Loreal (Brand Marketing Intern), LinkedIn (Product Marketing Intern), Universal Music (Digital Media Intern), MTV (Show Production Intern) and Grey Group (Copywriting Intern). Virtually the campaign has touched upon all industries that would be of keen interest to youngsters of 2015! A very convincing campaign video was also made available on the website.

Eligibility

18 year old candidates with Indian citizenship (read: campaign was restricted only for Indian audience) were required to be enrolled for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.

Application Procedure

How to Apply?

Here came the trick! Candidates were required to apply only through their LinkedIn profile. If the candidates didn’t have a LinkedIn profile, they were asked to create one and then apply. A user-friendly guidance video with to-do list for candidates to create their LinkedIn profile was made available.

LinkedIn MTV Get A Job selection procedure

What happens Next?

The shortlisted applicants would be asked to send a short video highlighting why they are best suited for the job. This would be followed by Group Discussion / Skill Test for top five applicants and finally interview by hiring manager for final 2. Eventually one applicant would manage to get the dream internship.

My views:

1) This campaign would help LinkedIn establish the fact that their platform is crucial for today’s employment scenario. I think this would also ease the efforts of LinkedIn to come closer to the Indian corporate fraternity. LinkedIn would use this campaign as a leverage to touch base with few other organizations who haven’t tried LinkedIn’s products so far.

2) This would be a one more stepping stone for social recruitment space in the country, hence forcing hiring managers to think seriously about this space for their hiring needs

3) I struggled to a large extent and yet didn’t manage to find the timelines for the campaign. There was no end date for the applications to be submitted or some tentative dates for the next rounds. However, it is clearly mentioned that the internship could be for four months and would be between April and July.

4) Though it would have an intentional strategy, I feel both LinkedIn and MTV should have made explicit for this courtship which to my mind looks confusing. On the first sight I felt as if the campaign is for MTV and LinkedIn is sponsoring it. But, once I browsed through the website it was clear that many other brands have joined for this cause. The association of MTV still remains a mystery to me at least!

5) Some element of gamification for each of the roles on this campaign website itself would have further increased engagement scope for the applicants and would have driven word of mouth (through social sharing) much faster and wider. Moreover, this gamification step in itself could have acted as an intermediary step for evaluation.

Overall, I felt this was a great initiative specially targeted towards the youth!

#OwnTheJersey campaign by @StarSportsIndia during India vs Australia match in Carlton Series

Leave apart the hype that was involved in the India vs Australia match in Carlton Series, the major attraction of the match for Indians was the new jersey for the team. Most of us already got to know about this new jersey that has been designed by Nike specially for Indian team’s foray in the upcoming World Cup’15. The key attraction of the jersey is that each jersey is made of 33 recyclable bottles. Craze amongst Indian fans for the World Cup’15  jersey is needless to mention, which Star Sports India capitalized upon.

Star Sports India came up with an interesting contest. You may wonder what was special about it. Right at the beginning of the cricket match it was announced that ten questions will be asked throughout the match and fans need to answer them on Twitter by replying to @StarSportsIndia with hashtag #OwnTheJersey. All these ten questions were spread across the match (five per innings) and announced by commentators at respective time. During the innings the five questions were spread across each major stage of the innings – 1) PowerPlay-1, 2) Middle Overs -1, 3) Middle Overs-2, 4) PowerPlay-2, 5) Slog Overs.

The key highlight was these questions were repeated on Star Sports India Twitter handle, so as a fan if you missed watching TV at the moment when question was being asked, you would lose the opportunity to know about it. This I think was a smart move by Star Sports India to make fans glued to the TV sets across the whole match. However, the excitement was built on Star Sports India Twitter handle.

Carlton1

Carlton2

Carlton3

Carlton4

Carlton5

During the innings break Star Sports India ensured the excitement was well maintained with the below tweet.

Carlton6

Unlike other brands who in the recent past were splurging money to get that first spot on Twitter trendlist, Star Sports India thought through a well-integrated contest which in no time ensured that the campaign hashtag started trending on Twitter within few hours of the match. As and when this blogpost was written, the hashtag had already gained over 750 tweets contributing about 1.97 million impressions (Source: Keyhole) since morning.

OwnTheJersey

Takeaways:

1) We have often discussed at length about integrating multiple devices during key events to get the word of mouth reach distance. Efforts like these should be a good learning opportunity of other brands.

2) No need to always depend on paid initiatives if you have strong attraction. Just leverage the occasion to the best

3) Integrate the key service offering with the campaign

Excerpts from my interview published with CareerBuilder

In the cut-throat competitive industry of job-boards in the country CareerBuilder is the new entrant. Each of the player in the industry Naukri (still enjoys the market leader position), Monster, Shine, Timesjobs etc. have come up with unique marketing campaigns. Specially the famous Hari Sadu TVC by Naukri has been talked at length and wide cited. In recent times, Shine has come up with few interesting TVCs. CareerBuilder is a very strong brand in the US, very similar to Monster. However, they have joined the party late in India. Recently, they came up with a content driven campaign – #KnowTheProfession. As part of this campaign they interviewed experts from various professions to highlight the details about the particular profession, recent trends, skill sets required for the profession etc. The various professional skills covered as of this blogpost was written were – Hospitality Consultant, Modeling, PR and Events, Data Analytics, Shooting, Singing, Journalism, Theatre, Photography, Entrepreneurship and Car Racing etc. CareerBuilder conducted my interview for Social Media as a Career section. A few excerpts of the interview is mentioned below, while the complete interview can be found here.

     How can a fresher kick off with your career option?

     Ok, I would here address 4 different avenues that would help every fresher to make a kick start. These are:

  • Understand the functionality of each platform
  • Understand how users interact with each platform
  • Have some empathy towards users be it any product category you deal with
  • Treat human beings as ‘human beings’ and not just as customers, who pay few bucks for your products/services.

      What advice would you like to give to the newbie who wants to make a mark in this domain?

      My advice would be:

  • Respect fellow human beings as ‘human being’ and not as my client’s customer or my end customer
  • Empathize with the end customer and you will be able to deliver the best
  • Invest your efforts to learn the functionality of the platforms to the best
  • Try to map the functionality of the platform with the human behavior
  • Tie the marketing objectives with the social media objectives

     Would you like to share some thoughts on the pros and cons of social media/digital media censorship?

     Pros:

  • It will help in avoiding certain crimes and will seed further confidence in people to participate in this medium
  • The ecosystem will have good quality content
  • Communication can happen in a seamless manner and with much better reliability

      Cons:

  • It might curtail the basic motivation (and Right!) that users have to share information
  • The digital divide might increase to a greater extent, hence harming the social ecosystem at large

      Any funny/memorable/fandom moment you encountered? Would you please like to share?

      Two of my last three jobs were due to my presence on Twitter. I can share both memorable moments –

      a) I am approached by the HR team of an organization for a vacancy at their place and I end up having unfavourable experience with them. I tweeted about it and was surprised to get a call from the co-founder of the organization. I am invited for a talk and I end up joining that organization.

       b) I participated in #CoolestInterviewEver Twitter recruitment exercise conducted by HCL Technologies. Over 88,000 candidates across the World participated in this two month long recruitment process which was held on Twitter and I managed to emerge as the only winner with a package of USD 75,000 and a year, long contract with HCL.

I hope youngsters who are aiming this profession as their career choice would find this interview useful. In case you have any further doubts or queries, feel free to interact with me here or on Twitter!

Flashback of 2014!

Generally people write this kind of blogpost either in the last week of December or in the first week of January. Though, I intended to wrap this one in the last week of December, my busy work schedule delayed this. It is always fun and moment of deep breath when we look back the 365 days that we traversed. Some moments would be cherished for lifetime, while we wish to forget some. Every day we learn, unlearn and relearn some or other aspects of life / profession / society etc. We easily incorporate some of them as part of life, while fail to even possess slightest of memory regarding some. Here is a sneak peek of how my 2014 went by. Its actually tough to list down each and every event / activity. I have just listed down the ones I remember and I think made an impact to me as a person or to my profession.

January: The year started with a bang on professional front. I was lucky to work on Teacher’s India social media project. We helped them launch their new TVC through social channels in a big way. It was my first exposure to media planning and truly this would go down my memory lanes for long time. Thanks to my then team member Praveen, who played a crucial role in ensuring this campaign went well.

February: This month made me realize value of life and the nature’s command over human life, on a real adventure trip to Rishikesh. It was an absolutely fun-filled trip with my entire ZenithOptimedia gang. Someone rightly said, ‘fortune favors the brave’; I was terrified of getting drowned as I have a severe water-phobia, but was pulled in by the other members. And guess what? Our raft toppled! Those 60 odd seconds under the raft would make any one realize the value of one’s life and how helpless are we against nature’s power!

Rishikesh trip

March – April: What to say about these months! Cracked the #CoolestInterviewEver campaign by HCL Technologies and was offered a one year assignment with the company. Never expected to win this campaign, in fact started off very casually. But, once I entered the top 100, I thought I had a chance and gave my best. The innovativeness of the campaign was the true motivator for me to participate in the campaign.

#CoolestInterviewEver

During my last few days at ZenithOptimedia had the opportunity to launch Viber in India. We ran some beautiful campaigns to launch the brand in India and I cannot forget those 48 hours when I was almost glued to laptop screens and single-handedly was running customer support for the brand through their Twitter handle. Just the love for Twitter platform kept me going on and on for those two days.

May: Finally the D-day arrived on 12th May when I stepped into HCL Technologies with heaps of mixed feelings. I was super excited to join such a huge company for the first time in my life.

HCL Technologies

June: At work I was through a grueling time busy preparing the annual plan for the forthcoming year. But personal life had something special to offer. It is a proud moment for every parent when their child is all set for school. Jeevan joined school and like other kids gave a tough time to Pheba. But, it was a sweet sense of achievement for both of us as he started going school.

Jeevan

July: A special month as I successfully roped (trapped!) Abhinav as my team member at HCL. We both worked together on a project at AdGlobal360 and he amazed me with his sense of commitment, presence of mind and restlessness! He is such a busy guy on floor that every manager would feel proud of having him in the team. I am sincerely thankful to him for joining me and initiating the Spartan army 😉

Abhinav

August: Always a special month as both I and Jeevan celebrate our birthdays in this month. Jeevan turned three and for the first time I was away on his birthday. But, my birthday was made special by my young, shy team member  – Arpita Das. I was shocked to see my desk decorated and almost for a second felt as if I reached some other floor. Never in past received this kind of treatment, thanks to all hard work that she put in.

Birthday Collage

September: My first campaign at HCL on its culture #ideapreneurship went live. No matter how experienced you are, its always a new day. Started off the campaign with my own tweetchat and gradually it picked up steam.

#ideapreneurship tweetchat

Thanks to HCL, we all went for an offsite to Goa. Though a short trip, it was a welcome break for everyone. The key event of this month was my shift to Noida. It was a tough decision to make after staying at Gurgaon for last five years. After months of debate finally had to take this decision, but it definitely helped me in focusing on next few month’s work.

October: It was a satisfactory month as our initial efforts on HCLTECH career page revamp saw the light of the day. Our hours of hard work in the previous three months was getting noticed and the preparations began for largest media plan I ever worked.

November: HCLTech launched an innovative recruitment campaign – #HiralVideos. This campaign would be close my heart and I am sure Abhinav would too feel so. We had put in everything we had for this campaign and ensured it resulted into resounding success. Those 30 days comprised of – hours of discussions, hard negotiations with media partners, endless follow-ups with various teams and sleepless nights all just for this campaign to be recognized. We not only over achieved our targets by over 100% but also earned heaps of recognition in the media.

December: In short a travel month! For last ten days I literally traveled across the length and breadth of the country – Delhi – Jamshedpur – Delhi – Ahmedabad – Delhi – Chennai – Delhi. The professional achievement that got encapsulated in this travel itinerary was 10th guest lecture of my career and I am thankful to XLRI, Jamshedpur for the same. The Chennai trip happened after two years and helped me connect with my young nephew, sister and grandmother.
South India trip

Overall it was a fantastic year on professional grounds. On academic front I had two opportunities to teach at XLRI Jamshedpur, once at Great Lakes, Gurgaon and once at IMI, Delhi. Moreover, I managed to submit the thesis, which was one step ahead towards the ultimate milestone of earning the degree. Hoping 2015 will be fruitful from academic perspective too and I get to complete my long pending FPM work!