The much successful Hindustan Times (HT) campaign last year - ‘No TV Day’ is back again in season two on 28th Jan, 2012. And this time it is bigger, much more organized and might just give you the right incentive to stay away from the idiot box. No TV day is all about creating your own day with family and friends and in a way discovering life without TV for a day. Hindustan Times has planned out a number of activities that could encourage you to go out that day. For e.g. all shows at Nehru Planetarium will be free that day. There’ll be food discounts, painting competitions, nature trails, dance, writing, yoga and craft workshops around the city of Mumbai. In addition to the offline contests, there are exciting contests running online over HT Facebook fan page with even exciting goodies to be won such as mobile phones, helicopter rides and digital cameras.
The campaign has been well-publicized in the digital medium with a dedicated website and an engaging Facebook Page. The site gives a live countdown of the number of hours remaining till NO TV day and the number of Mumbaikars who have joined the movement which at current count is a whopping 270,426! The Facebook community is also a massive one with 2,34,045 fans and 68,320 talking about it. The sheer number of contests and activities lined up for the day can be seen in the number of tabs on Facebook.
I was particularly attracted by the ‘101 Priceless experience’, wherein you can share memorable stories of fun, laughter and kindness. Going by the comments, you can see how such little contests can connect with fans. Another exciting activity would be the ‘Mumbai Treasure hunt ‘and it is certainly going to pull large crowds.
I have liked this campaign running on Facebook and really wish to see more of such extensive campaigns being run by. When I saw this campaign, some first thoughts that crossed my mind were:
1. For a media/news/publishing company, Hindustan times has done excellently in adoption of social media unlike its other popular counterparts.
2. Tying an offline activity with a bunch of online engagement methods on Facebook is cool. Not only do you create buzz but you can also build a long term relationship.
3. The objective of the campaign has been well-aligned throughout – to encourage you to get away from the idiot box. Nowhere does it force you to ‘like’ its Facebook page though some may debate that HT lost the opportunity to increase its fan count; you can participate in the various contests even without liking the page.
4. Winners of the various contests have been announced on a separate tab in keeping with the Facebook promotional guidelines.
However, some things can be worked on for the next season to make it even more user-friendly and engaging:
1. The videos tab shows some funny videos around ‘No TV Day’ concept but I was looking forward to videos put up by fans and couldn’t find any.
2. As there are an array of activities lined up for the day, it is difficult to really bring it up together. And this shows on the Facebook page. There are so many tabs that I didn’t know what to see first and where to navigate next.
Nevertheless, this campaign is built upon a great idea but it could have fine tuned its execution and has only improved from the last season. So it sure gets my vote. I pledge to stay away from the idiot box on NO TV day and read about some more wonderful uses of social media. What about you?