Posts Tagged ‘Shah Rukh Khan’

Social Media Trends to look out for in 2012

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

2012 trendsThe year 2011 has borne witness too many ups and downs and dynamism in the world of Social Media. Radical changes in the interface for two of the most ubiquitously popular Social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, Klout’s remarkable drop in the ranks, Google+ and Facebook in close encounters, viral videos being recognised as a potent medium to catch eyeballs, augmented reality entering the Social Media Space et al.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which brands could maximize user engagement in the year to come.

Social Media as a 360° Brand Promotion Enabler:

Social Media platforms would be expected to aggravate and play a greater role in enabling a 360° communication. When efficiently integrated with outdoor activation and ATL communication it could lead brands to have a much enhanced user engagement with their potential consumers.

This could have a twofold approach. One, a campaign solely triggered on the social media platform supported by an ATL medium could be a building block to establish a much larger audience base. Two, campaigns initially launched on the mass media vehicles and later on reinforced by the social media. There are enough and more examples of brands that have been practicing these two strategies internationally. In India, the scope is huge considering that not many players are either not aware of the potency of combining SM with ATL or they are plain wary.

A look at Aviva’s ‘the big picture’ campaign where Aviva highlighted stories of their customers, partners and employees and brought alive the brand promise of individual recognition, gives us the idea of integrated campaigns that can be done. Entries were invited through Facebook where interested people could submit their photos and get a chance to feature on building facades of 6 big cities of the world. A classic campaign that that got triggered through the social media and supported by outdoor activation.

Aviva’s ‘Donate a Picture’ Outdoor Campaign

Another interesting campaign took place post the inflammatory tweet made by English cricketer Michael Vaughan about Vaseline. Vaseline spawned a campaign in defense of its brand identity and reinforced the message through facebook, where supporters were asked to tag themselves on the page. Needless to say, the campaign did steer in favour of Vaseline’s brand identity and generated a lot of positive reviews.

Vaseline-print-ad       Vaseline-print-ad-2 
             Print                                          Facebook Ad

                                                                                                                                                  Google+ Hangout:

Although relatively new in the arena of Social Media, Google+ Hangout, in all probabilities is a great platform that Google+ could provide brands to create a niche user engagement. Brands, businesses, movies, musicians etc. are always on a lookout to grow their fan base. Internationally Dell and Macy’s have already used Google + hangout successfully to provide customer service and engage with their target audience base face to face. The Muppets (movie) had collaborated with Google+ hangout to create a pre-release.

Characters from ‘The Muppets’ on Google+ Hangout with the makers

In the Indian context, Google+ hangout is still at a very nascent stage. Barring a few popular incidences like Shah Rukh Khan doing a Google+ hangout for his, cricketer Virender Sehwag catching up with fans etc., for many brands Google + hangout is still a gold mine waiting to be explored.

 Screenshot at 2011-10-20 12-06-50
Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor on Google+ Hangout with fans

Google+ hangout provides 2 options for hangout: private and public. Although it has limitations on the number of people in a group who could participate in a hangout (10), if carefully planned out, a brand could really build a relationship with its customer/potential customer/stakeholder.

Viral Videos as an Attraction Enabler:

Viral videos have been a talk of the town for many years now, including the year gone by. 2012 will only see it emerging further up the ranks of a marketer’s favourite way to garner attention.

Again, looking closely into the aspect of how many brands are actually doing it and creating enough buzz in the local scenario is important. Internationally brands have been using viral videos to develop pre-launch, launch time, post launch videos at regular intervals and provide exciting content for their consumers that can further grow with the word of mouth.

For example, T-mobile did a pre-planned flash-mob invade Liverpool St train station in London and made a crowd groove to some funky beats. The sheer number of views on their official channel itself were in the tune of 15 million+. Let alone other social networking sites. Closer home, HUL’s Dove evolution’s stop motion video that talks about having self-esteem and keeping it real went viral and in the first year itself it got around 12 million+ hits.

Click on the image below to check out the video:


The point is, there are many brands in India that have still not recognised the potential of a

video in either directly or subtly present the brand to its audience. The recent success of an

Insanely popular video, ‘why this kolaveri di’ is a proof how the film makers of the south Indian film, ‘3’ utilized social network as a pre buzz marketing tool and are soon to set the cash registers ringing.

Location Based sites as a Market Research tool:

Much has been talked about the efficacy of location based Social networking sites like Foursquare, Gowalla, BOOYA, Google Latitude etc. The year 2011 has seen a steady rise in the number of ‘check ins’ happening across platforms. In fact, despite not being able to take off as expected by all, Facebook places has also had a decent number of people checking in through this feature, introduced not so long ago. The point being, geosocial networking is growing fast and is expected to go full throttle in 2012 in all likelihood.

Considering that there is an ever increasing footfall on these LBSN sites, the possibility of using such platforms as a market research tool is quite huge. Tracking the usage and the check in patterns of users and the titles that they win when they check in is just the start. Recognise people’s check in patterns at various locations and earmark them to do related brand promotions.

For e.g.: Considering the demographic profile of a group of users who checks in at a TGIF at regular intervals could be potential customers for say an energy brand like a Red Bull or Cloud 9. Triggering a promo campaign at the POS could be one of the things that could be done. Organising contests, quizzes with a definite brand agenda in mind is just some of the other things what associated brands could look into.

Foursquare Check In

Augmented Reality integration into Social Media:

Augmented Reality has been quite a buzz word in the advertising circles lately. A lot many premium brands have already jumped on to the band wagon recognizing it as a key driver to brand communication and customer engagement. And coming from the understanding that most of them would mostly be live on mobile space in delivering relevant targeted content in a contextual environment, it makes more sense for us in India to tap into that.

Augmented reality has already been here in India and brands like Nike and Ford Figo have already demonstrated the use of quick response codes in their various print campaigns. AR essentially brings alive the dormant senses that usually are not quite active for traditional mass media dissemination channels.

AR for social media is to soon see a rise in 2012 based on the ever increasing presence of the target audience on various social networking sites. A simple .jpeg could contain coded information which when integrated with mobile applications could provide a much engaging experience for users.

For example, Volkswagen’s all new Beetles’ ‘Juiced up’ campaign where Augmented Reality was used to bring alive the spirit of car that was all over the hoardings. All one had to do was point their mobile devices enabled with a decoding app and see the all new Beetle do what it does best. Thrill.

Click on the image below to check out the video:


Although it cannot be said with surety how successful the aforementioned trends are going to be, riding high on the waves of last year’s success stories, they seemingly hold promise. A meticulous and timely dissemination of the message at the right time could spell wonder for brands.

Has social media made us Bold & Gutsy?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

It all started gaining proportion with continuous onslaught of protests against President Bush’s war with Iraq under the pretext of finding Weapons of Mass Destructions. Apart from taking to the street, several individuals got vociferous with their protests in the social media space. Twitter, blogs, networking sites all become mediums of protest. Unfortunately the republicans didn’t believe in building their presence online (which become more evident during the election campaign between Obama and Mc Cain) and hence couldn’t gauge the mood of the people which costed them the election!

Let’s take the Iran Elections. A country that doesn’t support freedom of speech and which finds it fair to order 100 lashes to anyone reporting against the ruling party. In a state like that too, Iranians openly protested about how elections were conducted in an unfair manner in various parts of their country. Iran elections was a trending topic for a very long period on Twitter. For the first time the world got an inside perspective of an election process in Iran! The tweets and messages were bold, provocative and most times anti-establishment. This was unheard off for a country like Iran. What was surprising was that People commented through their real online profiles. They didn’t mince words.

Move to closer home. The current war of words between Shiv Sena (a local party which enjoys a reputation of hooliganism most times) and various other parties of the country. Shiv Sena insisted that Mumbai belonged only to Maharashtrians (local people from the state of Maharashtra). This was countered by all stating that Mumbai belonged to all Indians and that everyone was free to stay wherever they wished. The protest was more evident on again social media. Apart from blog posts and status updates on networking sites, twitter was used extensively. Several Bollywood stars started trending their thoughts with #MyNameIsIndia saying that Mumbai belongs to all.

The hash tag was in conjunction with the forthcoming film of Shah Rukh Khan (a popular Bollywood star) that was titled My Name Is Khan. SRK and Shiv Sena too had got into a verbal dispute to the extent that Sena refused to let his film get released in Mumbai. The support for SRK grew immensely online but not on ground. The irony, however, was that none of their stars protested on other media like print or television. A leading television critic observed that several news channels contacted those bollywood stars as their panelists to talk pro SRK but they all declined. Even the press journalists haven’t been able to get direct quotes from anyone who would criticize the Sena’s veiled threat openly.

This behavior leads me to question what happens to us as individuals when we are using social media platforms to express our opinions. Why is it that, barring few exceptions, the individuals becomes politically correct when confronted on the Television show or leading Daily but fiercely inflammatory on social media platforms. Reading some of the tweets against Shiv Sena ( a party that has fierce grip over the city and its people) astonished me about this bold and gutsy attitude. The nature of tweets were earlier seen only during anti-national activity!

Anonymity? Hardly. Most individuals have an updated twitter or facebook profile clearly revealing out their identity. Most of them have pictures with their real names and even links to their blogs or websites.

Misinterpretation by mediaperson?  Not really.  Most television shows follow a debate format so there is no room for misinterpretation. The individual can express his or her point of view just as clearly as on social media.

Safety in numbers? Maybe. The individual’s tweets or updates are one more in the sea of protest so the chances of being singled out are drastically reduced. As a panelist on TV, you are isolated and conspicuous and more likely to face ire of individual or body whom you are commenting against.

Tweet not as impactful as TV Remark? Possible. A remark on TV has more visual impact or lasting impression that a series of tweets or updates! Again raising the case of being easily identified and singled out!

These are just few of the reasons that I could delve on. I am sure that there could be many more – after all the human mind plays up its own share of permutations and combinations and doesn’t always take the logical route. Whatever it is, it sure has provided an outlet to all to pour out their concerns, feelings and above all else their opinions!