Angry birds – the game that ‘turned tables’ on the way we knew computer gaming before it. Other than creating a created a splash among casual gamers and inciting addiction among the serious ones it went on to become the next sensation after Facebook (at least by my own measure). The near sight is a nicely done up game that is cute and fun. But from a distance a marketer can see few lessons to learn. So here are four things that I think every marketer can learn from this game.
Create love: Ask anyone who has played the game and they would unanimously say they love the game. Sure, there came other games along the way but the Angry Birds made heads turn. I have heard people say about other things like Marmite – ‘You either love it or hate it’ but with this one it is love all the way. . I read somewhere –the best marketing means is ‘Word of Mouth’; and a successful brand rides on it.
Four popular characters in the game each creating enough enthusiasm around the game before launch
Talking point: The success of the game was not just limited to an increased number of downloads but also how the game became viral. In a short span of time Angry Birds was the talking point on everyone’s wall, a community built overnight and friends playing each other. The hype that got created just before the Angry Birds Space launched could be likened (in my opinion) only to the launch of iPhone.
Keep ‘em coming back: You never get bored of playing the game over and over again- do you? Ever-lasting love did you say? The game never tires nor do you – you just keep going. That’s what your brand and product should do to customers. The game remains fresh and new with each release refreshingly different from the previous one. The toil and passion behind the creation is apparent. The company even collaborated with NASA to develop the latest version – Angry Birds Space (talk about marrying geeks and gamers).
Rabbit hole: One never knows how far the rabbit hole goes when it comes to markets. What started with mobile gaming on iPhones extended to Android and then to PCs too. Markets change, expectations grow and competition evolves. A well thought out product normally does the trick but more importantly the marketing strategy should be ‘guerilla like’. Angry Birds created affection the characters featuring in the game with tees, soft toys, stationary and a whole gamut of other cool stuff. Creating a rage among your fans – that’s the trick here.
So go ahead and play Angry Birds. Gaming does offer a fun way to re-learn marketing.
Few brands manage to create path-breaking campaigns. FlipKart is right on top of that list today. FlipKart caught my attention when they launched their first campaign (reviewed here) by getting people to start shopping online. India has yet to take to online shopping with open arms. The habit of using credit cards made people flinch then and still does. Nudging this bunch with the option of ‘pay on delivery’ was a sure shot way to clear all stumble blocks in getting people to click and shop.
Screenshot of the Mr. Forgetful ad. Click to watch it
They gained the ‘first mover advantage’ and by far (based on self-experience) enjoy the highest brand recall in online shopping. Their challenge then was to get people to develop a habit of shopping online. With a slew of more players who have jumped in the band wagon, they now face the challenge to keep the brand right on top of everyone’s mind. While the essentials to do this are offering a wide product range, attractive pricing and quick delivery, the differential is created by the experience the shopper has at the portal and outside of it. Their latest campaign aims to deliver exactly that – an unparalleled experience on and off the website. The campaign continues with the (kids playing adults) theme that they started off with. This time around the campaign gets right down to the nerve of the problems one faces when shopping online. Be it delayed delivery, range of products to choose from or even setting right expectations by the customer care. The campaign humours the viewer while playing two characters – Mr. Impatient and Mr. Forgetful.
The characters may be a wee bit exaggerated but they emulate what most customers expect from an e-com portal. The campaign extends to the ‘Shopping ka naya (new) address’ positioning to show the wide range of products available. Both campaigns in tandem create a sticky campaign which in turn delivers high brand recall. The poster boy of Indian ecommerce (allegedly cash-strapped) raised an additional round of funding of $150 million lead by South African media group Naspers and by existing investor Tiger Global according to a report here. With four acquisitions (WeRead, Mime360, Chakpak and LetsBuy) FlipKart is growing to be a successful e-com business and with additional funding, this theory may will be sealed.
Rating: The campaign delivers what a campaign should. It creates high brand recall while nudging customers to shop online making it seemingly simple.
I have always admired Cadbury’s ad campaigns. Remember the one with the ad with the jingle Kuch Khaas hai, zindagi mein (there is something special in life)? Yes, the one where the girl wallops from the stand onto the field dodging the security guards celebrating her boyfriend’s six on the cricket field. Even now when I play the ad on YouTube, someone invariably stands next to me to watch along and we end up humming the tune. That to me is what an ad should do – draw the viewer to the brand so close that it becomes almost impossible to break away. The ad was released in 2007 and five years later it still has the impact. I am not talking about nostalgia in the way we would think about the good old Hamara Bajaj’ or the Frooti ads but about the ad itself becoming the brand epitome. Even if the ad were to be aired today as if it were a new ad, it would still run to become a success. From that ad to the Pappu Pass Ho Gaya (Pappu finally passed!) with Amitabh Bachchan was a step forward. However, the latest campaign in the current avatar – Shubh Aarambh (Good beginnings) is a step down from its predecessors.
The campaign plays into different scenarios such as hostel ragging, wife waiting to tell her husband that she is pregnant and a reception party where two strangers meet over a table. The ads all have a feel good factor no doubt but they do not build the platform to engage the viewer.
Cadbury’s latest ad campaign in the three avatars. Visit http://www.youtube.com/BrandsIndia to watch all of them
Viewer engagement does not necessarily stop at putting a smile on their face or an emotion that tingles. It goes on further to get the viewer up, close and personal with the product in a way that viewers think of the brand on every occasion possible. Cadbury today commands strong brand equity in the market. The brands that come closest in comparison would be Coca Cola and Vodafone. The latest campaigns of both brands (reviewed here and here) are what a brand like Cadbury needs to do. Take the market by storm and aim to be the talk on everyone’s lips. Even till date, Pappu pass ho gaya is a phrase that I have seen people using in many a time. Cadbury should build campaigns that stretch far beyond just the product and tactical strategies.
Rating: The campaign does little justice to Cadbury that has come to become a brand that other brand measure themselves to. It’s time that Cadbury builds bigger than life campaigns.