How The Glitch Got 1000 Storytellers For The #Endless Center Fresh Comic & Achieved A Unique Reach Of 1M+

Case study by The Glitch for Center Fresh in which the agency created #Endless storytellers out of people for a crowdsourced comic, thereby bringing alive the gum's endless freshness

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The Brand

Center Fresh was launched in India in 1994. At the time, India was a market previously unexposed to any innovation in gums, and it was at this juncture that Center Fresh came into the market with an exciting new proposition – mint flavoured, liquid filled gum. It was an instant hit! It is the market leader in the Gums category in India. With a strong equity and loyal consumer base, the brand is well entrenched in the Indian consumer’s mind and synonymous with freshness, liquid filling and a balanced mint taste. It is seen as a quirky & humorous brand given its iconic advertising campaigns.

The Agency

Founded in 2009 by Varun Duggirala and Rohit Raj “The Glitch” has delivered several innovative campaigns over the years. Managing close to 50 accounts across industries and platforms including Lakme, Whisper, Puma, Hyatt, Pears, Cornetto, Set Wet amongst others. Today, with offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, The Glitch is a name to reckon with in the creative arena. We are a fast-evolving creative consultancy which has grown impressively in the digital media sphere.

Problem Statement

Center Fresh was launching a new product variant in the market called Center Fresh Endless. The accompanying TVC campaign (conceptualized Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai) comprised of 3 films, each emphasizing the ‘endless’ refreshment offered by the product by showing the protagonists getting stuck in a comical endless loop. For instance, one TVC showed two men come face to face in a narrow doorway, trying to move aside for the other to pass, but instead mirroring each others’ movements and thus blocking themselves each time.

Our digital mandate was to emphasize the key proposition that the new product’s flavour hit was indeed endless and engage users in such a manner that helps them experience this ‘Endless’ feeling. Being a launch, while it was imperative that the product be central to the campaign, we had to find a way to demonstrate it digitally and in a way that would be engaging to users.

The key challenge was to see what could be enduring and yet not boring, because when it came down to it, what would users really want to be truly ‘endless?’

Identified Objectives

The one thing nobody can get enough of is a good story. So we decided to make #Endless storytellers out of people. We began with a simple post that showcased the new Center Fresh Endless and a single line: ‘It all started with a chewing gum.’ From here on, we asked users to give us the next line of the story through Twitter and help build a truly #Endless story.

Users went wild with their imagination, tweeting whacky plots that took the story forward. Every hour, the funniest tweet was chosen to extend the story, thus keeping it ‘endlessly fresh’. The chosen tweets of the day were then illustrated in comic book style overnight and posted the next day with due credit to contributors. At the end of three days, we had a magnificent, crowd sourced comic book and till date, we have users still sending tweets to continue the #Endless story.

Strategy/Execution

DAY 1- Center Fresh kicked off the contest by sharing the opening creative that had the product and read- “It all started with a chewing gum”. Fans started tweeting continuations and every hour for 6 hours, a tweet was chosen to continue the story.

The story began with Gollum from Lord of the Rings holding his “precious” Center Fresh gum and hiding it on Mars, while the Avengers and NASA launched a mission to recover the gum. At the end of the day, the story was in cliffhanger mode, with Gollum waking up from a dream involving Ram Gopal Verma and Rajinikant, only to realize that his Center Fresh is missing.

DAY 2- Picking up right where it left off, the story was flowing in full force. Users introduced Batman into the story, who teamed up with Gollum to take on Rajinikant, who was now in possession of the Center Fresh gum.

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DAY 3- On the last day of the campaign, the story hit its climax. Fans started a battle between Rajini and the team of Gollum and Batman. The battle and the story ended when Rajini threw the chewing gum, causing it to break the speed of light, enter the future, and be discovered by Gollum’s son.

Results

The campaign was met with overwhelming response on Twitter. Fans latched on to the zany concept, and bought into the proposition of co-authoring the world’s first completely crowdsourced story. Gollum, the star of the story, and his “precious” Center Fresh, skyrocketed in popularity in just a matter of hours, and became one of the top 10 trending topics across India for 2 days.

The statistics were no less overwhelming –

  • More than 1000 participants in a 3 day period, with conversations crossing 15,000
  • A total of 100 million impressions driven as a result of the conversations
  • Unique reach of the tweets with the #tag #Endless is more than 1 million

Observations/Lessons

As our mandate was to play on the word ‘Endless’, we made sure that we come up with an interesting idea that could hook our followers. To have a fresh take on the much beloved concept of ‘comic strips’ and make the consumer the owner of this worked fabulously well. What followed was that, while we enabled our followers, it was they who did all the heavy lifting for us and took the campaign forward.