Author Archives: Anandan

About Anandan

I am presently employed as Associate Director (Paid Media) at Performics.Resultrix, a Publicis Groupe company. Prior to this role I was employed with HCL Technologies as Senior Manger (Digital Marketing). My earlier digital marketing assignments were with ZenithOptimediaIndia (Publicis Groupe) and AdGlobal360. You can follow me on Twitter @anandan22 for all conversations on digital marketing.

Star Plus Nayi Soch

#NayiSoch Star Plus Campaign

One TVC that struck my mind and emotions while watching the first ODI between India and New Zealand, was the #NayiSoch TVC by Star Plus. The obvious reasons were – 1) It featured M.S.Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, 2) It had a very emotional message that an individual derives identity as much from one’s mother, as much from one’s father, 3) Simple campaign hashtag to remember – #NayiSoch. A quick search on Google led me to this article on Business Standard that detailed out the reason behind this campaign by Star Plus. The timing of campaign is absolutely bang on with the India vs New Zealand cricket series. And not to ignore the agenda of the campaign, which emphasizes that ‘women are today opening up endless possibilities for themselves and for generations to follow’. 

Digital Campaign of #NayiSoch

If I keep aside my digital marketer hat and empathize with a TV viewer who just encountered the TVC, I believe 9/10 viewers would first search Google with search terms related to ‘#NayiSoch’. I did the same, as I myself wasn’t aware about the purpose behind this campaign. The Google Search Trends also, prove the same.

Star Plus Nayi Soch Campaign #NayiSoch

Google Trends

Surprisingly, Star Plus wasn’t running any Google SEM campaign on such a high potential campaign. However, there were couple of news articles that covered this campaign. Then, I moved to Twitter (my ideal destination for research!) to find out what was going on. Well, this time I wasn’t surprised to see a Promoted Trend (paid Twitter trend) on campaign hashtag – #NayiSoch by Star Plus, leading to the campaign video.

While I proceeded to YouTube to search for other videos of the campaign, noticed the YouTube masthead. So, Star Plus backed their TVC with two high impact properties, one each on Twitter and YouTube.

Star Plus Nayi Soch Campaign

YouTube Masthead

Twitter Campaign – #NayiSoch

I was super impressed with the campaign concept and branded content. As I tweeted about it, I instantly received the reply from Star Plus. We have many a times seen such automated reply featured adopted by brands in the past.

The major Twitter integration comes into picture once the user clicks on the above link in the reply tweet from Star Plus. The first click on the tweet, diverts to the campaign landing page that explains the details about the future steps.

Star Plus Nayi Soch

So, it asks for user’s mother name, which will be featured in the customized Profile Picture. The user’s cover image would be changed to the one featured here. Also, the user can choose a jersey number. The next step is of Twitter authentication, post which user’s Profile Image and Cover Image gets changed.

If you would like to try it, you may do it here. Now, did I like the Twitter campaign?

My thoughts on #NayiSoch Campaign

The combo of Twitter Promoted Trend, a branded video and an innovation by leveraging Twitter API was all brilliant on face of it. However, I am not sure if users would end up flaunting mother’s name on the Profile Image and Profile Name. Twitter is a semi-professional platform for many professionals and a change in Profile Name would be considered as a potential risk in losing one’s identity (or being found when people search by their regular name). The campaign concept is well appreciated, however our identities won’t change overnight with such campaigns. Hence, even I revoke access to the #NayiSoch Twitter application and corrected my name from ‘Anandan Vasanthi’ to ‘Anandan Pillai’.

My digital identity or otherwise that is established as ‘Anandan Pillai’ for last 34 years can’t be changed with couple of clicks! I wouldn’t have thought twice using the same on Facebook, but Twitter at least to me is a professional platform, where I see a huge risk in such change of identity even for a short duration. Even if some people in the heat of emotional moment stick to their changed Profile Name and Profile image, it needs to be seen to what extent it lasts. For me it lasted not more than 5 minutes!

But, if you ask me did the campaign do well in garnering word of mouth, I bet, it did to a great extent. And the below metrics speak for themselves. Also, here is another campaign that establishes the fact that this generation is active on mobile, while they are watching TV! What are your thoughts on the campaign?

Nayi Soch Star Plus campaign

Keyhole Stats

However, few other ways in which Star Sports could have made this campaign come alive are the ones discussed in below tweets 🙂

Move Forward Campaign by Uber India

We all are now accustomed to encounter couple of full page newspaper ads on weekends. But, this Sunday (25th Sept), at least some of us would have felt bit emotional after reading the long copy by Uber India, titled ‘Move Forward’ on the first page of TOI. Unlike other front page promotional ads, there was something unique about this ad. Before I go on to share what I felt about this ad, it would help if you go through the copy that you probably missed noticing and/or reading!

Uber India

Front Page Ad in TOI-Bangalore

So, after reading the above copy, what did you feel about it? Here’s my take on it.

The three paragraphs in the long copy clearly have been highlighting the three key stakeholders of the Uber India ecosystem – Uber drivers partners, riders and the community as a whole. The message was loud and clear for all stakeholders. I felt it was a great effort by Uber India to knit all three stakeholders and express their gratitude to each one of them.

Well, the story doesn’t end with just the front page ad. It follows up with a beautiful story expressed in first person (in the voice of a Uber rider) on the 2nd page. The story highlighted how a Uber partner could choose to not stretch at work and be with his family addressing their needs. This could be understood well with this video shared by Uber India on their Facebook Page.

And the end call to action of the two page ad was to share Uber story on Facebook or Twitter with hashtag – #MoveForward. A quick search of hashtag on Twitter led me to a sorry timeline with very few tweets. Couple of tweets highlighted the print ad. However, came across a tweet by Uber India, that reflected the story that was published on the 2nd page of the TOI. This tweet revealed the typo that Uber India’s long story had – girl’s named mentioned as ‘Natura’ instead of ‘Nathura’. Not sure if it was a deliberate move. And if it was one, I wouldn’t have made it to hide the identity of the girl, if her story was to be published on Twitter on same day!

But, why there weren’t many tweet around #MoveForward hashtag? Or did I miss them? I can’t digest the strategy that many brands tend to apply by choosing a common hashtag, viz. #MoveForward, #Chapter1 (by HCLTECH). There is a high chance that the content, brand is trying to crowdsource would get lost in the crowd of highly active hashtag. Either the hashtag has to be branded (with the inclusion of brand name) or should be unique to be noticed well by the audience.

Overall, I feel it was a great attempt by Uber India to match each media channel – Print ads, Tweets, Facebook posts etc. But its sad to see crowd not participate as much in the initiative. I have always found at least 8/10 people claim cheap rates, better Uber partners and so on. But, then where did Uber India fail to drive conversation? Does it mean the Indian crowd needs to be incentivized everytime a brand wants to run a campaign? Should the brand always take help of ‘social media influencers’ to get the hashtag trended or drive more conversations?

Leaving you with these questions to ponder upon!

Got some insights on this episode? Feel free to share in the comments section 🙂

A joint crowdsourcing Twitter campaign by #OlaOutStation and Wandertrails

Ola Cabs and Wandertrails jointly conducted a crowdsourcing Twitter campaign to build a list of little-known destinations in India. Joint Twitter campaigns by two brands are rare to see. More often there is an argument about benefit that each brand might reap from such joint campaigns. But, here’s an example of a joint crowdsourcing Twitter campaign that seems to have helped both Ola Cabs and Wandertrials.

What is Wandertrails?

Personally, I had heard this brand name for the first time. I reached their website through the website mentioned in their Twitter bio. So, Wandertrails offers ‘Experiences’ and ‘Experiential Stays’ at some of the most destinations like Wayanad, Coorg, Pondicherry, Goa, Munnar, Bengaluru etc.

crowdsourcing Twitter campaign

Wandertrails Website

Synergy between Ola OutStation and Wandertrails

Ola Cabs recently launched the OutStation service. And, as I understood Wandertrails was looking for some good visibility. Hence, there was a synergy for sure from marketing objective perspective. However, whether going by the traditional debate of having a brand of equal stature for joint campaigns, I can’t comment what made Ola go for this proposition.

What was in it for the audience?

A vague bait of ‘sponsored trip by Ola OutStation and Wandertrails’! Generally, such campaign do require a detailed T&C for audience to refer and understand the outcomes of the campaign. However, I couldn’t find any such explicit mention on the timeline or the contest tweet.

What were the little-known destinations?

Quite a few people responded to this contest tweet made by Ola Cabs. Some of the names that sounded new to me were – Cancer Hills (Gwalior, MP), Barog (Solan, HP), Mokokchung (Nagaland), Nubra Valley (J&K), Kunti Betta (Karnataka), Sonapani (UK), Nohkalikai Falls (Meghalaya), Mandarmoni (WB), Munsiyari (UK), Zuluk (Sikkim) and many more.

What was the outcome of campaign?

Lot of questions bothered my mind:

  1. Who gained more from this campaign? – Ola Cabs or Wandertrails
  2. How will Ola Cas and/or Wandertrails plan to use this crowdsourced information?
  3. What benefit do respondents get by participating in this campaign, apart from being promised a vague offer of sponsored trip?

What are your thoughts on this campaign?

Amosta Solutions Tab for Rs.8 on Paytm! – Who will own the mistake?

The first thing that greeted me in office on otherwise Monday morning was an ecstatic WhatsApp message from a close friend. I or rather no one could have believed that a 4GB dual slim Android tablet from Amosta Solutions, with 2 MP camera, 4 GB internal memory and 512 MB RAM was available for just Rs. 8/-. Yes, you read it right, Rupees Eight only! Many had a merry time booking them in loads!

Amosta Solutions

Paytm soon (but not before 6,000 orders were placed) de-listed the product from website. The repeated searches throughout the day didn’t yield any Amosta Solutions product on the Paytm website.

Who is at fault?

  • Was it Paytm’s fault in updating the product list / feed on website?
  • Did Amosta Solutions make a mistake while updating the product feed (in case they had access to the product console)?
  • Or was it often sacrificed ‘technical glitch’?

Who should have owned this error?

    • As a customer if I have made a purchase on such a reputed ecommerce platform that keeps shouting ‘Paytm karo’ at every nook and corner, I would definitely hold them responsible for the ‘technical glitch’ or ‘human error’. Did Paytm clarify anything about this issue? The answer is big NO!
    • Some might argue that Amosta’s team could have committed this error. Assuming that they too are partner in crime (err glitch!), should they have come out and given any clarification? They did! Here’s what they had to say on their Twitter handle.

How did consumer react on Twitter?

Though there were no hashtags floated against Amosta or Paytm, buyers did once again vent their anger on Twitter. Let’s see how some of the buyers reacted on TwitterMost of them cornered Paytm and accused it for the goofup. But all complaints fell on deaf ears. Paytm, otherwise that claims to be an empathetic brand, kept silent on this entire fiasco and didn’t take any effort to pacify / clarify the buyers. 

Recent Case

The first thought that struck me was the recent Snapdeal case where a youngster’s purchase of iphone 5s 16GB for Rs. 68 was honored valid by Sangrur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. How many of us would have even thought of filing such case and holding our patience?

Is there a solution for this situation?

Though the situation is serious, probably the vendor this time isn’t a big banner brand, that could have attracted the eyeballs. Hence, the damage has been limited compared to other social media fiascos by brands in the past. But, is there a solution for this situation? How will buyers get justice?

  • Should Paytm honor and execute the order as they were the first touch-point for buyers? Most of the buyers are expecting this from the reputed Paytm! Technical glitch might be a genuine reason behind this fiasco, but definitely it isn’t a satisfactory reason to pacify consumers in this digital savvy and informed world. Paytm could come up with some sweet offers just for these buyers to win confidence back.
  • Should Amosta Solutions leverage this situation and build a place in hearts of buyers by compensating with an alternative solution? Though the monetary margin of error is extremely huge, an unknown brand like Amosta could win hearts by actually delivering the product. Imagine spending an equivalent amount on some print advertisement versus gaining confidence of so many users who could potentially spread positive word of mouth about this situation.
  • Or both Paytm and Amosta just get back to work, as memory of people is fairly less in this country? This is probably the last decision both brands should take. However, its very likely that this is what would happen in due course of time!

It’s easier for brands to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship and make the most of it during best times. But, its equally important for brands to exhibit that synergy during tough times. The blame game is good for defending oneself, but not what customers would entertain.

Yet another crisis situation and a worth learning case study for brand managers on how to approach online reputation management for their brand.

What are your thoughts on this?

International Women's Day Campaigns

Know why Capgemini India’s Twitter handle was taken over by its female employee

Capgemini India came up with an innovative Women’s Day campaign. We did come across various women’s day campaigns by brands across the World. However, very few would have registered in our mind for long period. Here is one campaign, which I can’t forget for a long time. The campaign was so interesting that I was glued to their Twitter handle for almost entire day to capture each moment, so that I could pen down this blogpost (ya, finally I got time to pen this piece!). Let’s go through the entire campaign. I recommend to read it one go from the beginning to understand the entire story, else you would lose the context! Here we go!

On this International Women’s Day, I woke up to a surprise when I noticed a personal content from Capgemini India’s Twitter handle on my timeline. The first impression I had was, “Shit! Has someone tweeted this by mistake?”. Quickly, I scanned the handle and learnt that a beautiful campaign was to unfold throughout the day.

Capgemini India showcased how they empowered their female employees through this women’s day campaign. They allowed Vaishali Wanchoo to tweet about a women’s life by showcasing how her day look like on daily basis. There couldn’t have been a riskier proposition for a women’s day campaign. However, all kudos to the top management who went ahead with this campaign. Let’s see how Vaishali showcased a working women’s life through Capgemini Twitter handle.

Announcement of Campaign

This is very much needed when such high risk efforts are carried out by a global brand like Capgemini. Vaishali rightly announced that she would be tweeting about her day through the Capgemini’s corporate Twitter handle.

Capgemini Women's Day Campaign

She also ensured that the bio section was updated to avoid any confusion for Capgemini followers and others who would come across the tweets.

Capgemini Women's Day Campaign

Early Morning at Home

Vaishali started tweeting about how her days were busy in early morning at home. She highlighted in a subtle manner how working women have other responsibilities at home before they start their work at office.

Capgemini Women's Day Campaign

Off to Work

Then came the tweets about how her work started. Vaishali tweeted about the hearty greeting by a women helper, her colleagues at work and captured the lighter moments during her breakfast with colleagues.

International Women's Day Campaigns

Women’s Day Campaign at Capgemini

Then Vaishali tweeted about Women’s Day celebrations at Capgemini. She also thanked other important women in her life – mother, kid and colleagues.

International Women's Day Campaigns

Work at Capgemini

Vaishali then showcased her work life through these tweets. After all how can you miss work from all fun!

International Women's Day Campaigns

Wrap at Work

The day comes to an end at office with some cake cutting and thanking her male counterparts. Did it over here? Nooo! The day continues for all women at home.

International Women's Day Campaign

End of Day at Home

These tweets clearly showcased how women have additional responsibilities at home even after tiring day at work.

Capgemini International Women's Day Campaign

So, wasn’t it a beautiful storytelling women’s day campaign by Capgemini? What do we take away from this campaign?

Here are few of my takeaways from this campaign:

  • It’s easier to speak about organization’s philosophy on website and ppts, but you got really put in your effort to practice it and showcase it to the world
  • Organizations sometimes should take that calculated risk to differentiate themselves from their competitors
  • Storytelling need not be just in the form of a video or a GIF image, sometimes such live action conveyed through static images too hooks the audience
  • Enough training and precautions should be taken while conducting such real-time campaigns. I am sure Capgemini trained Vaishali well and prepared her for this additional responsibility of the day
  • Employees should volunteer themselves and should come forward to support their organization’s social media team. Enough has been said that social media is no more ‘just a marketing team’s job’.

I truly loved this campaign and hence was motivated to blog about it even after three months of its execution. Did you like it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.