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Thursday, October 5

New Age Brands Are Wired Differently

Many of you must be aware of the Google Word Master Challenge 2006. A creative writing contest held across 9 cities last Saturday!

I spotted the contest in the print ad on one of the infrequent days that I read the TOI( mental post-it: read TOI more often!). And was among the 400 odd people who participated at the National College venue at Linking Road.

It was like going back to college. Google - the brand whose only(and now inseparable)presence is the minimalist web-site that we use 50 odd times a day, every day, was present as a campus brand. Young, scholarly, smart. There were no in-your-face banners. Just few young guys sporting Google tees. No announcements. No messy registration. It was quick and helpful like the online version of the brand.

There was a brief power-point presentation. More visuals than words. Again the presentation template was clean and clear much like the brand. The contest itself was great fun and quite challenging. One had to construct a story/ scenario on one of two topics with 20 key-words each. The topics were 'Innovation' and 'Anger Management'(something similar). You had to use the 20 words just once and the word boundary was between 150-200. If one strayed either ways, marks were deducted. I think I fared quite well:-)

An hour of intimate interaction with this new age brand, No taglines. No USP. Just a broad territory of creativity + knowledge + fun + play.

Well before and after the event, WOM was in action. Google across its centres actively roped in about 2500-4000 tuned-in audience. They got an equal number(pages) of user-generated content, potential employees and a further boost to their knowledge/ creative brand status.

Well, there is a message for the old world, talent-starved and mostly-clueless agencies in all of this. A low cost particpative event for consumers as a brand-building-cum-recruitment strategy! Maybe I will discover my next planner and creative partner through a SchoolOfDavid event!


pooR_Planner said...

What does this tell us:
New age Brands are creating Talk Zones for themselves, a business model based on both online and offline methods to gain maximum mileage and bring more consumer under their fold ... recent examples of Ebay setting up an auction house in Peru and Egypt ... Shaadi.com setting up Shaadi Points in Tier 3 cities of India ...
Talking remains the basic form of human communication ... new age brands have realised that creating Talk Zone does help!!

jigs said...

In August this year, Royal Enfield (the makers of my first love, my bike) organised a peace trip from Mahim station (where the first bomb went off on 11/7) to borivli. And all this was done thru orkut! Now i knew this was more of a marketing stunt than an attempt to announce a peace message. But i went anyway. Fifty bikers participated in all. Now imagine this. 2 files of 25 bikes each, with their loud thump, roaring away in broad day light thru mumbai's crowded SV road. The riders all wearing white and carrying peace flags. I believe Royal enfield easily got more than 30000 eyeballs to not only notice the brand but also to admire its spirit on that single day. Not to mention the free media exposure later. Cost of the entire exercise - Tees for each participant and pillion with the message 'peace trip 2006'.

Cool, aint it?

I don't know which zone to call this one, but whatever it was, it did work!