Saturday, December 20, 2008

Online marketing a buzzword today!!!!

Contributed by Charu Gupta

I was just checking my mails and found a forwarded link from my friend.

It was an animated video where a girl was playing game of ‘Chidiya ud” with her brother which we all used to play in childhood. It was great fun watching the video but at the end it turned out to be an ad from ‘Make my”. Watching the video was fun while the company was able to send its message of “now anyone can fly with their lowest airfares” very clearly to its target market.

This is a kind of online marketing also called as “Viral marketing” that makes viewers laugh and the advertisers smile. Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increase in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes. A two-minute animated Interactive advertising agencies like Webchutney, Media2win and Virtual Marketing are shifting focus to create online ad campaigns around animated viral videos and a lot of major brands are falling for it.

Big names like Lenovo, TataSky, Cornetto and Happydent are exploring online marketing beyond placing banner ads on various sites or pasting text on social networking sites. They are eyeing potential customers, essentially through animated viral videos, to create brand equity, eventually targeting an increase in sales.

“Animated viral renders the fun element which the Indian audience is able to relate to. Also, it is something one would like to forward to family, friends and colleagues and also has a higher recall value. By using animation as a tool, we get the freedom to create favourable situations which may not be the case with film videos,” says Webchutney creative director Prabhat Bhatnagar.

An animated viral can cost Rs 50,000 to Rs 8 lakh. Since there is only one-time cost of producing the video and the distribution cost is nil, virals are increasingly being preferred as a medium of online marketing.

The one from TataSky is ‘jingalala’ campaign’, the purpose of which is to invite more people to be a part of the TataSky family and their animated virals have helped to reach across a number of target customers.

Moving one step ahead are brands like Pepsi and NGOs like CRY, who create online games to ensure interaction with the target audience and engaging themselves in such activities. Animated virals not only register forwards from anywhere between 50,000 and 5 lakh, the ad spend turns out to be cheaper too and the message is also clearly floated across making it a favourite in interactive advertising.

Daddu Ki Amanat, a viral created by Webchutney for Perfetti Protex Happydent chewing gum, saw almost 3 lakh views. Similarly, Chidiya Udi for Makemytrip and Thakur ka Inteqam for Orbit chewing gum were also circulated in lakhs.

It is claimed that a satisfied customer tells an average of three people about a product or service he/she likes, and eleven people about a product or service which he/she did not like. Viral marketing is based on this natural human behaviour. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, images, or even text messages.

Online marketing is not only restricted to this. One of the traditional ways is sending mails to the customers informing them about the retailer’s latest schemes, discounts, trends, etc. These mails are sent to the privileged customers to give them the advantage of checking out the latest merchandise and availing the special offers first than anybody else. The links to various other sites which we see on the top of our mail box or any other site per se is also a form of online marketing which the retailers are using to connect with their target market and make them aware about their offerings.

With 65 million PC literate population in India and 32 million being the active users, this virtual space can be exploited by the retailers to reach their customer base and talk to them in fun and interactive way.

So, this we say is combining Business with Fun!!!

Leaving you with some pieces of viral marketing. Check them out and see their impact. Are they able to strike a chord with you?


1 comment:

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