This year, Fastrack, the fashionable youth accessories brand from Titan was at it again, reinforcing its quirkiness and defining its TG while at it. I was in for a reality check recently when I happened to stumble upon the brand’s latest campaign – ‘Never Have A Never Have I Ever’ moment. By the time I could manage to say all of it in one go, my tongue was severely twisted, and let’s not make a mention of that ‘feeling out of place’ syndrome.
I was assured it’s old age creeping in, but a little birdie told me it’s one of the coolest drinking games. Well, it wasn’t a birdie, our team needed to ask the Marketing Head at Fastrack, Ayushman Chiranewala to know more about the concept behind the unconventional campaign.
I googled it, so here goes: “Never Have I Ever” or “Ten Fingers” is indeed a drinking game where all the players get into a circle. Then, the first player says a simple statement starting with “Never have I ever”, anyone who has done what the first player says must drink. The game continues around the circle. Like with ‘Truth or Dare?’ these games are often sexual in nature, help ‘reveal interesting things about the players’, and also ‘help build friendships’. Source: Wikipedia, I’m a teetotaller!
The concept of the campaign comes from a drinking game but there’s an interesting twist here. Youngsters are often told to do “something worthwhile” and “something different”. So in the spirit of staying true to its quirky image, Fastrack rolled out ‘Never Have A Never Have I Ever’ – a fun, unpredictable and absolutely unapologetic campaign that “redefines heavy, dull topics and social causes in the language of today’s youth and encourages us all to chill out and lead more interesting lives.”
A series of TVC’s for the campaign star young protagonists living up to these expectations in their own cheeky way. Rolled out in February, you can’t help but be shocked by what the young folks in the commercials do to completely turn around the tables.
These guys save water in a unique way. This is their idea of ‘supporting a cause’:
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) February 25, 2016
Never have I ever ‘believed in recycling’ features this guy making best out of waste:
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) February 26, 2016
I figured out I wasn’t the TG. Then the campaign was extended on digital with an interactive platform. The microsite let visitors create customized content and support a cause. You can choose from a variety of causes and share GIFs on recycling, fitness, saving the environment and reducing waste, on your Facebook and Twitter pages.
I dared to enter and was convinced I wasn’t the TG after all, the quirkiness went over my head. I was reaching a dead end every now and then, because I was expecting things to happen after I chose my way of supporting a cause. But, it was only about defining ‘me’ and my ‘hatke‘ idea of supporting a social cause with my social connections.
So, we asked a few youngsters to visit the microsite and share their experiences with us.
“I think it’s brilliant! And it does appeal to those who will understand it,” shared a 28-year-old girl. So, that’s the TG Fastrack is talking about! Shared here are some of the interesting ways in which you can support a cause:
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) March 6, 2016
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) March 4, 2016
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) March 7, 2016
I support a cause, what then?
A 30-year-old guy had a similar experience like us when it came to confusion; besides, he had a point to make about the campaign too. “It definitely is not something which is not confusing. It took me a couple of tries to understand (and realize) that there’s nothing after selecting one or the other option, apart from the options to share it. And no real message about ‘helping a cause’ was being promoted either, at-least not one I could see. I for one, would share something (talking in terms of a campaign) only if I enjoy or like it. In this case, I did not.”
He summed up his experience in one line: To me it seemed as if it ended even before it started!
To me it seemed as if it ended even before it started!
Another 24-year-old guy also admitted that it took him many tries to understand the campaign. He thinks “they put all most common habits of my generation, so that they can relate to it… there is nothing that seems like it supports a cause… nothing feels like fun… neither display of cool watches…just bunch of fancy graphics and tag lines.”
Young folks from digital agencies – people in their 20’s and early 30’s -also echoed similar experiences. One said it seems quite similar to the decade old ‘Pledge’ campaigns.
“As a concept it sounds strong. However the user experience/journey is not thought through well enough. I’m not able to associate the overall campaign theme to a brand like Fastrack and what it’s trying to achieve after two steps. Just clicking on a button doesn’t mean, I decided to save the environment or recycled something today.”
It seems quite similar to the decade old ‘Pledge’ campaigns.
He suggests ‘a concept note (apart from the campaign tagline in the home page) would have helped understand better.’
Another young agency mind liked the concept too, but was unsure about the navigation design. “Sexual pun works well for youngsters. It will work with today’s generation. Not sure about site navigation and what does it finally leads to…”
Sexual pun works well for youngsters. It will work with today’s generation
We asked Fastrack’s Ayushman to clear the confusion about the microsite, half-expecting there would be some hidden thing we didn’t notice earlier. But, there wasn’t. He informed:
The objective is simply to allow the audience that resonates with the message and tone/language to customise and share it with their respective circles. It’s out-an-out a brand campaign with no specific linkage to a product/category.
To make his point, he shared some numbers from the last 6 weeks. ‘Never Have A Never Have I Ever’ microsite saw 350,000+ sessions resulting in over half a million page views. Also, 17,000+ customised gifs have also been created so far. A look at some of the customised gifs shared by a few influencers:
— pnkj (@AskThePankazzzz) March 30, 2016
— Manasi Scott (@ManasiScott) March 30, 2016
Ayushman believes the campaign theme is a reflection of the way the youth lead their lives in the face of constant pressure to do ‘something worthwhile’ and ‘something different’. “They don’t take setbacks or themselves too seriously and handle the lemons that life throws at them, in the best way they know how: By being completely themselves,” he said about the TG it is targeting.
Good concept meets confused execution
The concept is an interesting one, and aligns well with the kind of brand perception Fastrack has strived to build over the years – a young, spirited, bold brand made for youngsters that live the ‘Move On’ life. I specifically liked the save water ad, quite a controversial way to save water but only something that Fastrack could pull off. The problem, however, lies in the execution, the digital extension of the quirky new campaign.
The ‘Never Have A Never Have I Ever’ interactive microsite is a tad confusing in its navigation and purpose; a note could have helped, but as the brand would argue: it was meant only for those who ‘resonated with the brand.’ Moreover, customised gifs seem to be made by influencers and not the regular social savvy guys. Some people expected a seriously ‘worthwhile’ social cause, others were disappointed at not seeing any new watches at the site!
On that note, we’d like to sum this up as an ambitious imitative by a youth brand to cater to a niche TG, while confusing/alienating all others.