MRF started as a rubber balloon factory with a funding of Rs.14, 000 way back in the 40’s and is now a multibillion legacy that produces quality tyres used all around India & internationally along with a presence in paints & coats, toys, motorsports and cricket training. MRF’s origin traces back to the humble shack in Madras that housed its first makeshift toy balloon manufacturing unit set up by KM Mammen Mappillai in 1946. It was not until 1952 when it changed course and turned to tread rubber manufacturing. Thus began its glorious reign as the undisputed leader in the tyre making industry.
Experience Commerce is one of India’s top Digital Marketing agencies connecting Brands to Digital Consumers, since 2006, lending us deep understanding built over a decade’s work on digital consumers. As an organization, we are a melting point of Business, Art & Technology, transforming Data into Insights & Insights to Emotions. We believe in the Belief>Business>Behavior model where we first immerse & evaluate the brand belief then influence consumer behavior to ultimately accomplish a business goal. We lead by strategy, backed by the ability to execute state-of-the-art creative technologies.
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MRF Tyres joined hands with International Cricket Council as a Global Partner for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. As a part of their marketing initiatives, MRF tyres wanted to reach out to cricket fanatics across the country by providing something unique for the fans to be a part of during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Following were the identified objectives that were set –
- To highlight MRF’s expertise in cricket owing to its involvement with sport for over two decades
- To uniquely to reach out to as many Cricket fans in India while the World Cup matches were being held in Australia
- To activate MRF’s Digital presence as the Global partner of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
Campaign for MRF’s Digital Activation around the ICC Cricket World Cup was aptly named ‘Ride Along With MRF’ which was in sync with the Brand’s communication of “There’s a lot riding on us”.
Before we started off with the campaign here are some of the Background information and insights that were taken into consideration at the time of strategizing.
- MRF‘s involvement with Cricket began way back in 1987. Be it through setting up of Pace Foundation to sponsoring iconic cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Virat Kohli, MRF had just taken their association with cricket to the next level by partnering with ICC.
- There was huge enthusiasm among cricket fans in India, especially thanks to the fact that the Indian team were the defending champions.
- A deeper analysis on the behavioral pattern of an average cricket fan showed us that the consumption of cricket content though primarily happens through the TV but fans actively engage on a second screen platform to show their interest, passion and opinion on a real time basis.
- Since the World Cup was hosted by Australia and the match timings were early in the morning, viewing Live matches were considered to be a problem as majority of the digital users would either be in their schools/colleges or offices.
The main thought that drove the campaign was to create a platform where cricket fans could engage real time while the matches were being played in Australia. Thus came the campaign “Ride Along With MRF” which literally gave the fans a medium to engage real time and win big.
- Launch Ride Along With MRF Fan Engagement App
- Extensive use of Social Media platforms to reach out to more cricket fans to download the App
- Real Time content creation during Live matches to engage with fans
- Team of Opinion Leaders to engage with App and seed App based content on Social Media
- Conduct daily challenges and contests to keep the fans energized and motivated
A Social Media and content creation team was drafted to execute the project. The content creation team was responsible for creating In App real time content ranging from polls, trivia, score updates, memes, quiz etc. The Social media team was responsible for propagating the concept, platform and was given the task to get more and more cricket fans to join the Ride Along With MRF.
An extensive Launch campaign was executed with the use of Social Media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Vines. MRF Brand Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar formally launched the App. Videos and call outs of Sachin Tendulkar inviting fans to join the Ride and cheer for team India was pushed out across all Social Media platforms.
Indian cricket team’s Matchdays used to be the tent pole events for the campaign duration. Team of content creators would engage in creating Live content to get the fans engaged via the App. Type of content would depend on context and situation of the match. For example if Indian team is not performing well a call out for “Pray for your team” would be pushed for fans to click and button and join other fans to pray alongside. In case any particular player showed great skills in turning the game, a real time meme using caricatures of the player would be pushed out absolutely real time.
A team of Social Media Advocates was formed. This team had a fair mix of Cricketers, journalists, twitteratis, parody accounts, Sports content leaders etc. This team of Social media advocates would engage with the App on a daily basis while an India match was on and would share Live content on various Social Media platforms for more and more fans to discover the App.
These Advocates would also open doors for discussions around the match by using Live Polls and situational trivia. With cricketers and key opinion leaders from Cricket open doors for discussions, lots of fans all across the country would engage real time on social media using the #RideAlongWithMRF.
- The central platform for the MRF Ride Along campaign was the Fan Engagement App. By the end of the World Cup, this App was successfully downloaded by more than 57,000 people across the globe, with more than 1.4 Million screen views and an average stay time of more than 6 minutes.
- This App became hugely popular during the ICC Cricket World Cup and rose to 6th spot in Top Free Sports App on Google Playstore.
- On Social media the campaign managed to gain attention of genuine cricket fans all across the world. While there was natural growth in popularity of both Facebook and Twitter pages of Brand MRF, specific content on both the platforms reached out to millions of people. Of the noteworthy content Sachin Tendulkar’s Video message inviting fans to download the App reached to more than 1 Million people with more than 16k views.
- Overall the campaign received more than 2.3 Million impressions across Twitter and Facebook. There was a total of 14,592 interactions on across all social platforms with the #RideAlongWithMRF. Few external agencies rated MRF’s brand campaign as one of the top 6 campaigns executed by Sponsors and Partners during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Though second screen phenomenon had arrived in India, we tried it out effectively for a campaign exclusively for cricket for the first time. Due to audience consumption pattern it was realized that only India matches got good traction.
The launch campaign centered on Sachin Tendulkar gave a massive push to the campaign. Many hardcore cricket fans immediately joined the app moments after Sachin’s personal video inviting fans to join the App.
Effective usage of Social media influencers like RP Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Fake IPL Player, Gautam Bhimani, Sportskeeda etc helped to reach out to more and more cricket fans who would be looking out for interesting content around the World Cup.
Contextual and situational content really helped fans to stay engaged with the App, real time content as per situation of the match appealed to the fans and a high stay time on an average points out to effective communication strategy.