CEAT Tyres Wants You To Download Its Mobile App To Participate In #CEATStrategicTimeout, Lame Idea?

To promote it's mobile app CEAT Tyres is asking users to download the app to be part of #CEATStrategicTimeout contest, but is it helping the brand on digital?


Right now apps for the Apple Watch are the most talked about topic but having a mobile app isn’t out of fashion yet. The growing demand of smartphones and the increasing internet consumption  has made brands go berserk on building apps. Almost every brand today has a mobile app with the strong belief that users would download it. But the missing link here is that brands are yet to answer the pertinent question - why would someone download a mobile app?

Like social networks, a mobile is a very private device and a user is really picky about what apps she downloads. While this debate is an ongoing one, CEAT Tyres, the flagship company of RPG Enterprises is another brand that has launched a mobile app. The app which might be useful for a CEAT customer, is also running the #CEATStrategicTimeout contest, users are being asked to download the app and be part of the contest.

Earlier this year CEAT Tyres  signed a three-year strategic timeout sponsorship deal for the Indian Premier League (IPL) for an estimated Rs 12-15 crore per year. Along with offline activities, CEAT recently came up with a campaign to increase awareness and benefits of their range of tubeless tyres.

CEAT in association with Ogilvy & Mather, aired the TVC during the ongoing IPL 8. The first TVC shows a wife applying first aid to her husband, who claims that he got into a fight to save a girl from some street Romeos, while the truth is that a puncture in his tube-type tyre has caused the accident. After a while, he reveals the source of the accident, when his kid mentions about the puncture in the bike’s tyre.

The second TVC shows a teenager landing up in a hospital, where he is being treated by a pretty nurse. The ad progresses, integrating dual communication, where the teenager lies about the accident to the nurse to impress her and avoid embarrassment, while the visuals reveal the truth behind the incident. For now the brand is yet to release the second TVC.

Both the TVCs highlight the human nature of lying to hide their embarrassment. At the same time, the campaign also highlights how tube-type tyres are prone to accidents and how these hassles can be avoided by switching to tubeless tyres. The campaign has a 360 degree approach with media mix that includes television, digital, OOH and more.

On digital, CEAT has uploaded the TVC and has shared it extensively on its Facebook and Twitter page. In addition to promote ‪#‎CEATStrategicTimeout the brand started with contests. The brand asked questions and fans had to guess the answers, more of a prediction quiz game. Winners got free tickets to upcoming IPL matches.

While the brand - with no clear cut strategy for digital - went ahead a step further by launching a mobile app. The deal was that fans needed to download the app to play the contests.

The app which boasts of real-time interactivity is beyond my understanding, why would someone download it in the first place? If I am a CEAT customer and if I want to know about a deal in a certain area, I have Google to save me.

Anyways the app has a section Pepsi IPL Strategic Timeout which is further divided into two major categories: Strategic Contest and Leaderboard. Strategic Contest that works with a Facebook login provides a list of questions to be answered under a time limit to win IPL passes. Leaderboard shows the points tally of users. Beyond this there is nothing exciting in the app for an IPL fan.

A tried and tested strategy by brands to increase their app downloads, nothing unique about it. Even the user experience gives a feel that the brand just wanted to release an app rather than focusing on the design and experience. Cardekho, another IPL sponsor had implemented a similar strategy for its mobile app, run contests with the sole aim to increase the app downloads.

Before having a mobile app, brands need to ask a question - what problem will it solve and will the customer be really convinced to download an app only to play contests. The brand might be happy that by running this innovative campaign it is fetching app downloads but will it also try to find out how many of them uninstalled the app post the contest period. Does the brand really need such contest playing users?

Contests or gratification work well when they are tied to a campaign with a well defined objective. Here in CEAT’s case the digital strategy is really not defined. The brand has trusted contests and believed in sharing posts from IPL pages. This really shows the lack of intent by the brand even to have original content on social media.

Just because everyone is talking about mobile doesn’t make it a strong reason to have a mobile app, and expect users to download it to play contests. Maybe CEAT can take some inspiration from its competitor MRF which had launched a mobile app during the recent ICC World Cup to bring the second screen experience during the games. The app acquired users as well as motivated them to engage with its content in real time – truly a second screen experience.

CEAT has thoughtfully positioned itself on TV and other offline mediums; it needs to invest in the same way on digital.