The mobile space in India is crowded: 6 contenders have a national footprint. Offerings and prices are undifferentiated, and success comes from wider distribution and a preferred brand image.
Against much larger rivals like Airtel and the multinational Vodafone, Idea Cellular, the mobile service provider, decided to talk to Indian consumers who are proud of their country and believe that they can help build it and change it for the better.
This resulted in a platform called “MyIdea” – which involved the consumer in a form of participative democracy – where the Idea Cellular service empowered them to make this happen.
The online execution of this turned out to be exciting: we created a voting platform at MyIdea.co.in, and turned it over to the consumers. They fed in issues they were passionate about, and then used viral marketing tools we provided to generate support, votes and occasionally, opposition for their ideas.
The look of the website was a balance between brand identity elements: yellow and the spokesperson – and on the need for a fast voting platform.
We took care to track each vote with IP address and geo-location through latitude/longitude to ensure that we recorded and discounted multiple votes by the same person for the same idea. We also live-reported vote and idea tallies.
We embedded viral marketing tools like auto-inclusion of GTalk, MSN, Yahoo and other buddy lists to make it easy for the consumer to forward ideas to their contacts.
We tested virality with closed user groups and then opened it up for the public.
Once we saw the campaign catch fire, we poured oil on it with an integrated digital effort involving SEO, SEM, Display Advertising, Social Media Optimisation and Email.
The theme was “Be part of this Indian democracy movement by voting for what you believe in”.
Results and Effectiveness
MyIdea.co.in has had the fastest consumer activation of any online campaign in Indian advertising history, with over 130,000 votes gathered in just 3 weeks.
Over 2,200 ideas were submitted by the public, each was moderated by the agency, each was viewed an average of 150 times and each was voted on an average of 60 times.
The performance of the campaign so far is tracking at twice over what we expected in terms of usage and virality numbers. Many of the issues have become rallying points for key topics such as:
(1) Supporting the girl child
(2) Dealing with terrorism
(3) India’s superstar cricketers