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The consumer as ad maker

The consumer as ad maker
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First Published: Mon, Apr 13 2009. 08 51 PM IST

Updated: Mon, Apr 13 2009. 08 51 PM IST
Company: ITC Foods, the food division of ITC Ltd
Brand: Bingo Mad Angles
Campaign: Create your own Bingo Mad Angles ad
Target audience: The 16–28 age group
Agency: Contests2win.com India Pvt Ltd
What they did: ITC Foods wanted to create hype around its snack brand Bingo Mad Angles but more importantly, it wanted to come up with an engagement tool that would help it interact with consumers in a fun way.
With this brief in hand, Contests2win.com, or c2w, an online activation agency, decided to put the ball in the consumers’ court, asking them to design the campaign for Bingo using the angular shape of the chips as the central theme, and win prizes in return.
This concept, where the end-user creates the advertisement, is what the agency terms “crowdsourcing”, or sourcing a brand identity from those actually using the brand.
“The Internet has pioneered the concept of ‘crowdsourcing’, or allowing crowds to take on your work,” says Raj Menon, chief operating officer, c2w. “The interesting question about crowdsourcing is why crowds work for others and without costs.”
How they did it: ITC approached c2w in early February, and by 20 February this contest was up and running. That’s because the agency had very little to do with the entire campaign—it was all user generated.
The agency started publicizing it in its blogs and as banner ads on its website over the next two weeks. It then uploaded a message on the site which read: “Whichever angle you see it from, Bingo! Mad Angles are so muaaaah! So take off your thinking caps, get crazy with your pack of Bingo! Mad Angles and shoot your own short mad ad from any angle you like.You have to create your own ad and upload it here.”
With two examples developed by c2w to guide users in the right direction, the campaign was ready and launched.
The result: The contest came to a close on 20 March and the site boasted of 306 print ads and 63 video ads developed by users. The winners were also selected by users who visited the site and used the rating scale to pick the best ad. The prizes included 24 iPod Shuffles and 24 Bingo hampers.
“We believe that it’s a way of getting recognized and also being able to contribute intellectually,” says Menon.
“Money can’t buy this satisfaction. With Bingo’s campaign, what’s fascinating is that users are no longer just viewing banner ads on a website. The level of involvement is unparalleled,” he adds.
What the experts say: “It’s a norm in the West to do a responsive campaign online for your product or service, so this is essentially what they (ITC) have done,” says Ajit Narayan, chief strategy officer, Asia, 141 Sercon, the marketing services arm of Bates David Enterprise .
“Although the idea is good, the agency should have made it a YouTube phenomenon and not restricted it to the c2w website alone, as the participation could have been wider and the campaign more powerful,” he adds.
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First Published: Mon, Apr 13 2009. 08 51 PM IST