A 43ft football stadium on the move and online games that help you win real money. Surprised? Don’t be, this is just the beginning of new-age marketing. In today’s frenzied and hypercompetitive market, marketers and brand managers are on the lookout for out-of-the-box ideas which can create excitement, ensure a lasting impression and widen the brand’s reach.
Brand managers are going beyond the traditional media of brand promotions, print and electronic, to promote products. The latest is “the direct interaction revolution”, which touches the heart and head of a consumer.
Recently, Budweiser beer promoted the Budweiser football cup which was to be held at Old Trafford, Manchester, UK, through a medium that was an experience in itself. A 43ft trailer was transformed into a lifelike football ground where spectators registered themselves for the cup. Spectators were spellbound by the stadium-on-wheels, the performances, the football match and a chance to win and play at Manchester.
Changing gear: Budweiser beer made use of a 43ft trailer to promote the Budweiser football cup.
With increasing exposure to foreign markets and media, consumers have become more demanding. They wish to experience the product or service that is being offered to them. Companies have understood it is the brand experience that drives a consumer to own or be associated with a brand. Hence, marketers are ready to provide experiences that create an emotional bond, have strong recall and satisfaction value with their consumers.
Marketers are experimenting with traditional media, utilizing them differently to achieve magnificent upshots. Mobile marketing is the latest buzzword; companies are using this medium to advertise and promote themselves through WAP (wireless application protocol) banners, games, etc., aggressively. There are more than 25 million mobile users and the database is still increasing.
Online marketing is another tool that is taking marketing to a higher level. Promotions through networking sites are rising as these sites provide a direct platform for marketers to associate with their target group. Also, companies feel that this medium helps them connect to the target group (TG) faster and the contact percentage can be captured. For example, YouTube is allowing brand managers to experiment and interact with the user base so as to leave an imprint on the target group’s mind.
Nowadays, brand managers are also using a media mix. Above the line (ATL), below the line (BTL), online and mobile marketing are all used to launch or promote a product. One of the finest examples in recent times is TVS Flame, the latest bike launched by TVS Motor Co., which was aggressively promoted through radio, television, on-ground and online mediums.
On-ground activation through a hunt for the hottest flamer was activated in the top 51 towns in India. The hunt invited youth to experience the Flame and give their feedback. A dedicated Flame website was prepared for the audience to register. Online networking sites had uploads of pictures and information about the winners during the road show. Scratch cards, contests, data collection, enquiry generation and response management activities were undertaken through the road show. Web mailers were sent to a huge database and winamp (a type of media player) downloadable mailers in the shape of the bike were also a part of the promotion.
We have recently seen reality TV game shows and movies using diverse platforms to launch themselves. Mega star shows such as Kya Aap Panchvi Paas Se Tez Hai n? (KAPPSTH) and Dus ka Dum were promoted through on-ground activations as well. KAPPSTH Express, a lifelike classroom on vans, covered several cities. People were invited to play games on board and win a chance to be on the show. Similarly, the Salman Khan starrer Dus ka Dum used a mix of ATL and BTL to communicate the launch of the show. Companies have realized that it is imperative to use different mediums and innovative ideas to capture consumers. A media mix can help them achieve the desirable outcome by maximizing their brand presence and influencing the consumer’s mindset along with creating an impression through an emotional connect. Brands are allocating budgets for these activities and, to make a significant mark, they want ideas that are exclusive and will put them ahead. This is just the beginning of newfangled epoch marketing. In the coming years, we will see this as a part of every marketing plan.
Priya Monga is business head, RC&M Pvt. Ltd, an experiential marketing company.