Finally the F1 madness is knocking at the doors. One will admit that F1 is another sport that has been catching up with the youth of India and businesses too have not been behind to see this growth and cash in on it. Social Media has been the choice upfront but Renault India has derived an exciting campaign online as well as offline. I am not a great F1 fan but I have watched Renault’s Facebook community build up. So I got in touch with Ashish Dhayal, Brand Manager at Renault India, to understand more about the ongoing initiatives.
The telephonic conversation that we had for near to an hour is shared below:
Hi Ashish! Can you tell us a bit more about Renault India and what’s keeping you busy in Renault?
Thanks Prasant! Renault has just entered the Indian market. Strategically we have moved away from the Logan image as we thought that the brand needs more classy and stylish look. Apart from that we did have a web presence but we wanted to give value to our fans on social media. So we thought of building our content around F1 majorly for two reasons. First no other company in India has the guts to talk about F1 as we can. Why I am being so confident here is because of Renault’s long history of association with F1. The second reason is to tap in the F1 madness that is slowly influencing India with the first F1 happening in India. Primarily these two things have kept me busy as the Brand Manager at Renault India.
Renault is driving fans crazy with F1. Would you like to share the initiatives that you have taken up?
At Renault we thought of building a 360 degree presence around the F1 frenzy. We thought of showcasing the F1 car but the challenge was to connect the offline and online community as well. So the various marketing initiatives online and offline that we did and we are doing are as follows:
1. We created two Facebook campaigns. The first initiative that we started on Facebook was calling F1 car to your city. We asked fans that if they would love to see F1 car in their city. We created a dashboard where we asked fans to vote for their cities. The response was amazing and we had to cover cities like Pune and Ahmedabad just on fan demand.
The second initiative that we have started on Facebook was to catch the youth by creating a unique contest and rewarding them with free F1 tickets. The idea is mocking the noise of F1. So if you are a mad fan of F1, then go ahead record, upload it at our site and if you really mock well then you may stand a chance to win free ticket to F1. We are not only organizing this on Facebook but also at shopping malls and we are doing a radio spot for the same contest.
2. Along with the Facebook initiative, we tied up with Yahoo India. Yahoo developed a game, Digi Racer which lets you drive a Renault F1 car. So play the game, score points, submit them and you can stand a chance to win free ticket for the F1 event.
3. Having only Digital campaign is not enough so we thought of connecting to the offline community too. Renault today wants to be a car that should be loved by the younger generations so we thought of reaching out to the youth. Keeping that in mind, we approached 200 campuses in India with Yahoo. We installed computers in the campuses and provided the youth to play the F1 game. The winner obviously got the free F1 ticket but we also distributed Renault merchandise and along with that Yahoo provided free internet at internet cafes for an hour to the winners.
With Yahoo approaching the internet cafes we thought it should be a great place to connect with the untapped community. So we tied up with 500 cyber cafes in India and we reserved two dedicated seats for people to enjoy the F1 madness. So play and win tickets was the reward for contestants in these internet cafes.
In short, this has been our all round initiative which has been developed in such a way that the online and offline campaigns remain in sync.
Apart from the contest all your content has been F1 centric and they are being appreciated by fans. What are your thoughts on it?
Renault, a 113 years old company has some amazing facts and history that we proudly share with our community on Facebook. For e.g. Renault was the first car to be filmed and similarly there are many such unique facts shared on Facebook which creates a woah! factor. Apart from this we make sure that the content that is shared is unique and hasn’t been shared anywhere else. Would also like to mention that the Renault Sports F1 team based out in France helps a lot in the content. The team shares great snaps, facts, etc. with us which are then shared with the community.
So our team at Renault and our agency believe in sharing refreshing, engaging and non-repetitive content on Facebook.
How has the response been and as a brand how do you see such engagements?
The responses have been really good particularly on Facebook. The Facebook community that we started initially had evolved as a huge community due to our F1 initiatives that we started with. To share some of the numbers, we gained 30,000 plus fans in mere 15 to 20 days. So the results have been fabulous and we would like to carry on with our initiatives and engagements in future too.
Every Campaign has both sides. So what has been the learning’s for you as a brand so others can keep it in mind?
When we started we had a big question on how brand Renault will be considered by Indians. Will they consider us a technology brand plus a classy brand? We must say the results have not been disappointing. We are getting more than 18,000 visitors on our website daily. Initiatives on digital and on social media have been quite appreciated by fans. As brands we have delivered what we are good at and that has clicked with our fans. It’s been a great learning experience for us and we want to take this further.
Thanks Ashish for talking to us and I believe that the all round initiatives that you have started will create lot of awareness in India. The Facebook initiative and connecting with youth offline are really cool and we need more of such 360 degree campaigns. What do you think of Renault India’s digital and social media campaigns? Do you think brands should have a social media engagement only or should they look for all round initiatives?