The 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches are on which means nearly every fan in this cricket crazy nation is watching the games. This also is an opportunity for brands to connect with fans via the sport. Every year IPL the money spinner attracts a lot of brands with sizable marketing investments in all mediums.
In today’s digital age, social media forms a big pie of the marketing budget of all these brands. With time most forward thinking brands are investing on creating their own platforms, Telcom brand, Vodafone India has been doing the same by building its community on social media around its very popular animated characters – the Zoozoos.
Zoozoos – humans in animated costumes were launched during the second season of IPL in 2009. Since then the characters have become so famous that every year fans wait to see what more the brand can bring out of these adorable characters. This year they were back with a lot of excitement before the commencement of IPL 2014.
These characters have created a strong brand recall for Vodafone offline as well as online. The telco has a separate Facebook page for Zoozoo madness, which has more than 18M fans at present and stands at the top of the ladder in terms of number of fans by brands. The engagement on the page is nothing short too.
According to Unmetric, the social media monitoring product, the page on Facebook has added 652K fans in the period from 1st April – 21st May, 2014. The fan base has grown faster than the average telecom services on Facebook.
During the same time the brand posted 74 posts which fetched 945K likes, 12K comments and 43K shares on Facebook. The below Facebook post is the most the engaging post in the said period.
#VodafoneFanArmy and #VodafoneSuperFan
The IPL started from April 16th 2014 but the Vodafone Zoozoo Facebook page was at IPL work from the first week of April. This year the initial phase of IPL is being played in UAE and the first thing the brand did was to give its fans a chance to watch live matches at UAE. The twist was that Vodafone wanted you to watch the match along with a friend of yours.
Fans were asked to show their crazy side along with 2 cricket loving friends. The craziness could be shown via a group selfie (the most preferred way) or shoot a video in your favorite team’s jersey, face paint or anything. Users were asked to tweet their pic along with the hashtag #VodafoneFanArmy. This also led users to be part of the Vodafone Fan Army while wining tickets to T20 match, Vodafone jerseys and other merchandise. Twitter shared the excitement of #VodafoneArmy along with Facebook.
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) April 30, 2014
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) May 15, 2014
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) May 18, 2014
This initiative was also powered with #VodafoneSuperFan where fans were asked to nominate their friends and if your friend got selected, you also get selected. The prize of wining was big for the Vodafone Super Fan and the friend as they got to meet the winning captain at the stadium and appear live on TV.
In addition there are more goodies to be a part for the Vodafone Super Fan. The Twitter account has also been busy promoting the Vodafone SuperFan 2014 initiative and is one of the successful campaigns.
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) April 15, 2014
From 1st April to 21st May 2014, the brand posted 114 tweets driving more than 1342 retweets. The tweet that got the most engagement score according to Unmetric was related to promote #VodafoneFanArmy.
The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the frequency of Vodafone’s hashtag. While the brand has been pushing #vodafonesuperfan and #vodafonefanarmy; #vodafonesucks has been quite dominant with fans complaining about the service. In fact the #VodafoneSuperFan campaign is an extension of the telco’s Vodafone Super Fan campaign last year. The campaign from Vodafone has got a good response according to Unmetric. The brand posted 11 posts related to the #VodafoneSuperFan and received 106K likes, 1402 comments and 3896 shares.
The most engaging content on Facebook in the campaign was a fan video who lived her dream of appearing on a live T20 match, meeting the winning team players and getting a signed ball in return. The video received more than 40K likes and another 143 shares. The video shared below also became a big motivation for fans to nominate their friends for the activity.
Meanwhile the very popular Vodafone Zoozoo ads had made their way and were being pushed along with other content. From 1st April to 21st May 2014 the brand uploaded 24 new videos and garnered 10 million views along with 4,953 subscribers. The growth can be visualized in the below snapshot: While it becomes difficult to choose one video but according to Unmetric the Zoozoo dare show is the top video for the above mentioned period. The video uploaded on April 23rd has fetched more than 1 million views and is also at the top three in the all time section. In fact the next three top videos in the period have been grabbed by the latest Zoozoo videos launched during the ongoing IPL.
The latest initiative that the brand is running is #VodafoneFanPhoto where fans can win exciting prizes if they can spot a Zoozoo in the virtual stadium. While you can win goodies by finding and tagging Zoozoos, you also win if you can find a SuperFan from the last played game. The Vodafone Fancam initiative gives you a chance to tag yourself in the stadium along with creating personalized postcards.
#VodafoneFanPhoto is another extension of the telco’s Vodafone Fancam campaign last year. Fan Photo or Fancam captures the live stadium scenes from the IPL matches, and allows you to tag yourself and your friends in the photo. The feature has been enabled on a dedicated website ‘Vodafone Fancam’ where you can revisit the match day experience on the next day. Last year the experience continued till the finals and it will build up as the IPL excitement moves ahead.
With IPL 2014 returning to India in the last phase, Vodafone has some more time to connect with fans along with Zoozoos. There has been no dearth in fan engagement on social media but the campaigns are a repeat show. Nothing wrong in it at a time when its giving positive results but one would certainly like to see more innovations from a forward thinking telecom brand.
Disclosure: Unmetric is an advertiser at Lighthouse Insights