The advent of social media has brought forth a unique contribution to marketing. Conversations with consumers need not be the one-sided one, typical of those laid out by traditional media. Marketers could now also listen and take inputs from their consumers, with the help of social media. Brands could now shape and influence consumer opinion with the help of this new tool.
While empowering brands, social media also gave a voice to the consumer. The consumer was no longer at the receiving end; she created shareable content and spread it with her connections. Brands entered this space and with the help of social media conversed with large groups of consumers sitting on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and other popular social networks. The engagement evolved further to mark the first instances of co-creation between brands and consumers.
Social media marketing was no longer restricted to high quality visuals, exclusive content or user generated content. Brands began experimenting with co-creating content. “We have seen in the past that ‘content push’ has its limitations to what it can achieve, “ points out Sindhuja Rai who is VP, Media at Cadbury India.
The chocolate brand initiated an adorable campaign for Silk, its premium sub brand on the Valentine’s Day month. It asked the community to share what ‘first love’ meant to them and surprised them back with a personalized doodle shared in real-time.
“On social media, it is important for any brand to ensure 2 things – 1. Create value for the community and make them feel special and important for the brand, and 2. Have a two -way communication to ensure that the community is inspired and motivated to engage with the brand in a meaningful way,” Sindhuja shares on why Cadbury Silk opted for a co-creation campaign.
She views content co-creation as a tool to measure the success of a brand online, as well as bring in engagement between the consumers and the brand.
Consumers loved the personalized doodles in #FirstLoveIs campaign. It resulted into a massive 6.1 million impressions on Twitter, while trending for two days including Valentine’s day and 44 personalized doodles sent out in real time. While Silk’s Facebook page saw an increase of 76K+ fans, the Twitter handle added 1K+ followers. 23K users downloaded it on their mobiles.
While the idea of a co-creation campaign looks tempting for a brand, “it is quite a monster to execute”, shares Rohit Raj who is the Co Founder at digital agency, The Glitch. The agency executed a Valentine’s Day co-creation campaign for the ice cream brand, Cornetto. The objective was to have Cornetto create a memorable recall in the consumers’ mind.
It created the Cornetto cupidity call centre where people could dedicate song lyrics to their loved ones and see them being sung by professional singers. The agency had close to 10 singers for 3 days adhering to the requests sent in by the users. The average turn around time per song was 2 minutes for the singer to compose and sing it.
“We faced everything from logistical nightmares of shooting and editing the videos to internet nightmares of uploading close to 5GB of footage an hour, “ Rohit shares on the challenges of running the cupidity call centre.
Close to 3650 videos were generated within a record time of 3 days. In fact, the campaign had to stop social media spends earlier to contain the requests and deliver the videos to all those who requested.
Despite the challenges, there are many advantages to a co-creation campaign. Apart from consumers thanking the brand for the initiative, now Cornetto has crowdsourced content that can be used across their digital platforms. The co-created songs have now been added into playlists for people to view and enjoy.
Rohit believes this to be the time for personalised content. “We have been experimenting with personalised tweets, pictures and now videos. The volume will be key to this. No point in doing a small activity where it dies before the buzz catches up”.
Opting for a co-creation campaign requires big budgets, are brands willing to open their purses? Rohit is of the opinion that the campaign idea and the target group will define brand willingness. For a brand like Cornetto that associates itself with love, Valentine’s Day is the most important day in the brand calendar, demanding Cornetto to carve a niche on a day where every brand spoke of love.
The Cornetto cupidity call centre found itself listed as the third best Valentine’s day activity after the Google doodle and dumb ways to Valentine, in an International blog.
On the other hand, Cadbury’s #FirstLoveIs helped the chocolate brand to humanize and get closer to consumers, apart from creating value for both the brand as well as the fan. Co-creation certainly gives the edge for a campaign to stand out, but the platform of co-creation is also vital. “The challenge is to ensure that the platforms of co-creation are meaningful and enduring,” Sindhuja concludes on the challenge faced by a brand in a co-creation initiative.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons