Consumers are actively co-creating advertising ideas for brands on invitation. Is this creating genuine consumer connect for the brands?
Many brands are inviting consumers to actively co-create their advertising ideas and messages on television and the internet.
Brand are now reaching out to the consumer, for their advertising ideas. They want to tell your story to the world, with their brand wrapped up somewhere in the storyline. They are coming on prominently on television and the internet to invite your appearance in their brand’s communication space. Brands being about the consumer, directly, seems to be getting popular, with many prominent brands inviting consumers to tell `their’ story of the brand in their lives, their way.
Maggi did it a couple of years ago, telling consumer stories about Maggi experiences in their lives in its TV advertising campaign. Now, however, there appears to be a deluge of such advertising, which is going beyond the occasional contests to full-blown consumer participation in creating the brands’ stories.
Hero MotoCorp is inviting videos from people in India singing its new signature anthem created by AR Rahman, “Hum mein hai hero“, which it is featuring in its television ads. It expects this to be a long campaign with many ads, showing different people across India singing its tune.
Tide Plus, from Procter & Gamble, is inviting people to tell their Tide Plus stories that will feature in the brand’s TV advertising, for a lifetime’s (50 years) free supply of the product. So far, it has featured the Romeo and the Pandey Ji ads.
Vaseline Body Lotion from Hindustan Unilever is inviting consumers to tell their Vaseline stories.
Knorr Soupy Noodles, also from Hindustan Unilever, after featuring actor Kajol Devgan in its TV commercial with the signature song “Kha ke peeyo, pee ke khao“, has introduced an animated fork and spoon duo inviting people to sing this song in different Indian languages and submit the recordings to feature in its advertising. “Khao, peeyo, gaao. TV pe aao“, the TV ad says.
Airtel has extended its “Har friend zaroori hota hai“ TV advertising to an online drive to first get people to identify different friend `types’ and then submit such friend videos. It has 20 online films featuring these consumer submissions by now, selected from among thousands of such submissions.
The brand says it may consider extending such videos to its TV advertising, going forward.
Dabur Amla hair oil is using its brand ambassador, Rani Mukherjee, to invite women with great hair to feature in its advertising, with herself. In its announced Dabur Asli Aamla Star Ki Khoj, the brand will go across 13 towns to hunt for the lady with the most beautiful hair in each town, all of whom will then feature in its advertising. The Lucknow winner has already been announced.
Colgate Dental Cream has a TV campaign on air, which invites people to come up with their dental concerns for it to address, with the closing question in the ads: “Toh aapka sawal kya hai?“ Why are brands so keen to feature consumers and their stories in their advertising?
Collaboration in the brand’s message by including the voice of the people is part of a much larger movement. The idea of a consumer’s sense of ownership of and comfort with the brand -connecting with it and talking about it -is going to be a long term trend.
Word-of-mouth has always been more credible than any kind of sponsored communication. Over the years, it has proved to be acceptable by consumers way above any other form of communication. Till now, it was not possible for a brand to harness such word of-mouth and reach it to people. Today, thanks to the digital space, it is possible.
Consumer-Participatory Brand Communication is the way forward.