Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 India Online Trend Spotting

2011 was a year of BIG numbers for Internet in India. We crossed the 100million users mark, investments to the tune of $350million were made in start-ups, $3billion worth of transactions were carried out on e-commerce sites.

If industry reports and trends are to be believed, things will only get BIGGER and BETTER with Internet in India poised for threefold growth in the next 3 years. Read More
With the year now coming to a close, here is my list of Top Trends of 2011.

1. The Rise and Rise of Video and Youtube:

Users can’t get enough of online videos and Advertisers have discovered one more thing to do with their television commercials. Video is the new Indian internet darling. Need stats? Check out this Comscore PR from back in March. Youtube maxed it with display units that every advertiser was seen lapping up, special integrations (big on PR) like Ra.One and just pure play content ref. the Kolaveri rage.

2. Yes, I have an internet ‘campaign’. I have a Facebook Brand Page:
Going social and executing an internet campaign for most advertisers now is equivalent to owning a Facebook Brand page. What’s surprising is that sometimes that’s the only asset they own on the web, not realising that social media is tricky territory if not executed well and a third-party owned, time bound asset, at best.

3. E Commerce: See us FLIP(KART)!
The whole country and its brother has either started or is managing an e-commerce portal. That’s the magic of great execution. Take a bow, Flipkart!

How long before we see businesses break-even and the sector consolidate?

Here’s to another great year for all things digital in India!

Friday, December 30, 2011

On Facebook and Brand Website: Parachute Advanced

Marico started building digital assets for its Parachute Advanced range of products since the beginning of this year. I like the Parachute Advanced Facebook Page and Website (yes, both.). Here are some key highlights:

The Facebook Page has upwards of 100k fans and profiles most of the products. There are seasonal contests and interactive wall posts.

There is a Khoobsurat Monsoon Memories (photo upload) contest, which I guess has closed. Click on it and it leads you to an error page.

The Parachute Advanced Scalp Therapie tab clicks to the promo page which has a product and feature carousel for all you want to and need to know. It also has an ‘Ask the Expert’ section where users can post queries. The content around hairfall and haircare is quite deep and potentially useful, but I am not sure how many users will discover this content. It might help to associate with existing women’s content publishers and create brand integrations via advertorials – stuff that Parachute would typically do on print.

Next up is the Parachute Advanced Body Lotion tab that showcases the Love Dobara TVC and some campaign and product related details. There is a separate Facebook Page for the product too. Phew!

There is a TVC Watch & Win Contest and a separate section for Parachute Advanced Hot Oil that leads to the website.

The carousel layout is similar but this site is way deeper. Apart from the brand call-outs & TVCs they have a couple of interesting promos.
Celebrate Your Growth Moments is a photo album of growing up experiences. Users can browse through existing user & celebrity galleries or check out a demo to see how to go about uploading images. Users can also share their growing up stories.

I also liked Virtually Long. It’s a fun app that lets users see how they will look with longer hair.
The website creative and design elements can't be faulted.

Now that the assets are in place, the next logical step is consolidation. Too many promo sites and Facebook pages end up confusing the consumer and take a toll on the production budgets too.

Parachute Advanced Website:
Parachute Advance On Facebook:

Related Posts:
On Facebook: Vaseline India
On Facebook: Dove Skin

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On Facebook: Vaseline India

The first thing that struck me about Vaseline’s Official Facebook Page is that the ‘Info’ section is surprisingly well-written!

The new Vaseline Body Lotion campaign talks about 24 hour skin care made possible by a new breakthrough technology called Stratys 3. The television commercials talk about skin care for care-givers.

The Facebook page has the TVCs and a video on how Stratys 3 works. It also has the new product range with details. For user interactivity there is a ‘
Share your Vaseline Care Story’ promo where fans can share experiences around ‘moments of caring’ – not sure what that means.
Users can read existing stories on the page as well.  The existing submissions that I went through don’t talk about any ‘moments of caring’. Entries are mostly around how Vaseline helps them take care of their skin.

‘Submit your story’ promos are de rigueur nowadays, every brand is either doing it or has done it. But it is important to explain what content you are looking for, to get quality submissions from users. Unless the objective is to just go back with a number and not real stories.

Check out the Vaseline Facebook Page here:

Related Post - On Facebook: Dove Skin

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Brand Promo Site: Greenply 'Always Hoyenga'

Greenply has taken its 'Always Hoyenga' campaign digital. Unfortunately, the online destination takes us back a few years in terms of the idea and execution.

The promo page has a set of videos of the same television commercial in a few local languages and a Watch & Win Contest of the Day (which you can participate in in your sleep). The gratifications are Ipod Shuffles and Movie Vouchers. The page also has an option for users to download the ad jingle as a ringtone.

The social media leg of the campaign though, is more interesting. There are frequent snappy updates using the ‘always hoyenga’ communication on their Facebook and Twitter pages. They also had a jingle contest for users to send in fun one-liners.

I guess I should not complain. When was the last time you saw a Plywood brand online? At least this is a start and hopefully, in the future Greenply’s online presence better hoyenga!

By The Way, I loved the home page takeover they executed on If you missed it, check out a shot on the Rich Media This Week post.

Check out the Promo Page:
Greenply on Facebook:
Follow Greenply on Twitter: @hoyenga

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Brand Website: Nike Cricket

Gone are the days when Pepsi owned blue, at least as far as cricket is concerned. Nike seems to have taken over the colour with their successful Bleed Blue campaign – perfect ode to the Indian Cricket Fan.

Nike has now come out with a new and raw ‘Street View’ film to promote Nike Cup 2012 which is their annual tennis ball cricket tournament. Check out more details on Campaign India. From what I understand, this is the first of a string of films to come out.

The Nike Cricket site is a storehouse of exclusive web video content – starting from fan videos, Bleed Blue films created exclusively for the web to well-edited behind-the-scenes videos.

The site also has Galleries with the Nike collection and an option for users to buy Nike cricket merchandise from

The campaign static visuals are reminiscent of the Pepsi Blue Billion campaign which could be the JWT connection.

The website has a separate section for The Nike Cup with details around it.

The Nike 3 Star Poster on the Facebook Page is a personalised 'pride poster' for the quintessential cricket fan symbolising the 3 big Indian Cricket wins. You can upload a picture which (dramatically enough) is used in b/w, you can adjust the image, add your name, choose a slogan and then choose to share it on Facebook or download it. I guess I was one of the last ones to try this app, but what the heck! It's awesome and here’s what I created!

I am already waiting for the rest of the films.

Check out

Become a Fan of Nike Cricket on Facebook

Or Follow on Twitter @nike_cricket

Rich Media This Week

Merry Christmas to all the readers of Powering Brands! Wishing you all love and cheer and all things good.

I haven’t been able to do the Rich Media This Week post for the past couple of weeks but I’ve got quite a few interesting renditions across publishers this week to profile. I loved the Hero Impulse execution on Youtube (check the promo details here) and at the risk of sounding pompous, the Nokia Lumia Home Page Takeover on MSN India. Let me know your favorites.

Where: MSN India Home Page
What: Full Screen Takeover
When: 18.12.2011
Brand: Life OK


What: PushDown

When: 18.12.2011
Brand: Skoda Rapid

Where: MSN India Home Page
What: Takeover
When: 19.12.2011
Brand: Nokia Lumia


Where: Youtube India Home Page
What: Interactive Masthead
When: 19.12.2011
Brand: Vodafone

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brand Solution: LG Optimus My Cam on MTV

MTV India has been hosting a video blogging series on their website, for LG Optimus called My Cam. This campaign has been on for more than 3 months now. What’s interesting is that the video blogs have snippets of lives of regular people who wish to be featured on this platform.
It all started with a few videos of actress Kalki Koechlin talking about her life, post which one user is selected every month from the entries received.

There is also a Video Blogger Contest where users can create short VBlogs of their lives and share the Youtube links. Selected few videos are then put up for voting & commenting via Facebook’s Social Plugin and participants with the most 'likes' are crowned the Best Video Blogger and stand a chance to win a LG Optimus Phone.

Brand Solutions is all about leveraging existing strengths and this is displayed yet again with this execution. Getting a celebrity to kick off the campaign - MTV style and reaching out to youth.

The interface also intelligently uses existing functionalities of Youtube (video uploads) and Facebook (Social Sharing) to create a richer experience on the branded destination.

Easily something that Youtube could execute, considering their platform lends itself to a promo of this nature.

Check out My Cam at:  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to Influence Purchasing Decisions On The Web [INFOGRAPHIC]

I saw this amazing infographic on Mashable a few days back that had great insights on the Science of Sharing & Consumer Behaviour on Social media and how it potentially Influences Consumer Purchase Decisions.

Though these facts are not India specific, they are surely indicative of where we are headed. It clearly showcases why digital presence is an imperative for consumer brands. Hopefully advertisers in India who still seem to be 'testing the medium', realise this and go the distance in building digital assets. Specially brands in the FMCG, Consumer Electronics & Appliances categories.
The image here shows a part of the Infographic that I thought really calls-out critical consumer behaviour.

I highly recommend you go back to the following link to see the whole Infographic: 
How to Influence Purchasing Decisions On The Web

(Infographic Courtesy M Booth and Beyond)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brand Solution: Impulse from Hero on Youtube

After the successful and much talked about RA.ONE execution, Youtube in India has worked out a great integration for Hero Impulse, India’s First Transroader.

The platform renders itself to great brand pages dedicated to videos (which have been lapped up by most brands already), but through intelligent brand solutions, Youtube is now giving advertisers deeper integrations and options by adding another layer of engagement.

I have seen the high awareness Hero Impulse campaign on pretty much every publisher’s home page. All the rich media executions land on the Youtube branded page that plays out the TVC as an intro, with effects similar to the one we’ve seen for RA.ONE, where the page breaks down.

Once the initial animation settles down, there are various options for the user to engage.

The Transroader Challenge is a simple game where users need to manoeuvre the obstacles and move ahead using keyboard keys. They can choose the Bike Colour and the Terrain.

In addition to the game there is a 360 View of the bike and a Dealer Locator tab that leads to the Hero site. The page also has an augmented reality integration where users can take a print of the code and hold it in-front of their webcam for experiencing the bike.

All of this sits above the usual Youtube Brand Video page for Hero. Great way to leverage and monetise core assets.

Check out the Youtube Hero Impulse integration at:
And the Hero Impulse site at:

Related Post:
Brand Website: Pulsar Journey to No. 1

Monday, December 19, 2011

Campaign Update: Zoozoos' X'mas Melodies Facebook Application

After Super Greetings across categories, Vodafone has come up with ZooZoo XMas Melodies application on Facebook.

Users have the option to select from a list of three carols sung in inimitable ZooZoo style and add some musical chaos to the selected carol using keyboard keys and recording.

Users can then preview the card and share it with friends or post it on their walls.

Very Very endearing, well made and topical! Sure to bring Christmas Cheer!
Check out the application at:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Brand Website: TATA Tea Jaago Re

This is how you take up social issues, make them a part of your brand story and stay relevant.

TATA Tea’s Jaago Re (Wake Up) campaign has built quite an equity over the years. The latest from them is Soch Badlo (Change your thinking). The idea of sharing Positive Stories for a Positive India resonates deeply with the times we are living in today where it is very easy to give in to cynicism.

Essentially a simple story submission campaign, the interface is layered with Social Media integrations. Users can submit stories, share and comment on them via Facebook & Twitter integrations, as a pot of tea comes to a boil.

The site also has links to various other Jaagore initiatives.
Vote is the commendable national voter registration initiative
There is a Jaagore Blog which has consistent posts.
Users can also offer their time for causes via the deep Volunteer section that lists NGOs & Groups and has deep content around issues. I really like the creative rendition on this section with the comic strip representation.

A couple of points on execution and UI. The htmls need a QC as some of the pages render incorrectly, specially the blog. It would also be a good idea to cross link pages via a common navigation so that users can jump around content rather than losing their way and opening multiple pages.
Small blips, in an otherwise superb initiative.  

Check out the Positivity begets Positivity Campaign at:  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Campaign Update: Gillette India, Brand Promo Site

As an extension to the ‘Gillette Salutes the Soldier in You’ campaign, Gillette has come up with ‘My Soldier Parade Contest’.

The idea is to create a ‘Parade For a Cause’, to create a positive change in the world around us. 10 winners will be announced every week who will win ‘saving’ kits. I kid you not, that’s exactly what the creative on the Facebook page says. That’s either a spell check that someone forgot to run on the creative or they have figured out a kit to save the world.

On the promo site, once they’ve logged in via Facebook or Twitter, users can Create new Parades for causes that they believe in or choose to View or Join existing causes. The rendition is in the form of a soldier parade.

The idea is fine but I am not sure what the brand is hoping to achieve with all the content & support around causes they generate. Hopefully there will be a meaningful culmination and not just 50 people winning Gillette kits.  
Check out the promo at:

Related Posts: On Facebook - Gillette India

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Campaign Update: Pantene Hair Spa, On Facebook

After my brief hiatus, time to look at some quick updates on brand web promos I’ve covered on this blog in the past.

First up is ‘All New Pantene’ with a new ‘Hair Spa’ promo after ‘Break The Cycle

This time it’s not an application but initiating user conversation via voting, comments on Facebook and a Twitter Hashtag #SpaAtHome. There is traction on Facebook but #SpaAtHome hardly has any takers on Twitter. Probably it needs a concerted push via active updates from the brand on Twitter to initiate the conversation and socialize the Hashtag. Unfortunately the Twitter handle for @allnewpantene still doesn’t work. I wish someone would listen!

The page also has an interactive tiles interface that introduces the ‘Spa like hair at home’ concept. Users can also submit some information to get a Golden Ticket to the Pantene Hair Spa – there are about 100 tickets available for 3 cities.
I have an issue with the usability of Facebook applications which do not have any links back to the brand page where the user started the interaction.

Check out the new promo on Pantene’s Brand Page which now has nearly 180k followers.

Related Post: 
On Facebook, Pantene India

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brand Promo Site: Perfetti Van Melle, Happydent Wave

Happy to report, that the Happydent site is as irreverent as the brand itself! For starters, there is a ‘smile slider’ video innovation on the site, where you can get the bored model to smile by popping open the Happydent box. The same concept is being used in rich media as well (ref the Youtube Masthead innovation last week).  

Created by Digivaasi
, the site has a dark creative, depicting the night. Downloads, Products and TVCs open on a projection screen.

The fun element is provided with the Shineshah Challenge which is a game that pits Dark Devils vs Shineshah (an adorable sparkling tusked elephant). Users can select a language of choice from Hindi, Kannada, Tamil & Telegu and there is an entertaining story that is played out in the preferred language (!), which doubles up as an intro to the game. The Game itself is simple but addictive. The intro should be used as a viral across digital. It has the potential to catch on.

Very engaging, lots of fun and well laid-out. The site sticks to its theme.

The Happydent Facebook Page
has a TV Contest running for Happydent Complete, where fans need to guess What Happens Next in the TV ad. Fans can also submit their pictures and Happydent picks one as the profile pic of the day.

Check out the promo site and the game at:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Brand Website: Mia from Tanishq

It’s always interesting to see brands getting out of their comfort zones and trying different approaches to engage their Target Audience. Case in Point – Tanishq, with their online presence for Mia, fine jewellery starting INR5999. I reckon they realize that their audience (working women interested in fine jewelry) is online.

The site showcases the three television commercials and the entire collection, but the most interesting part for me was the Video Catalogue. Users can choose a model, choose the pieces of jewellery they want to check out and get her to pose. We have seen such executions before but it is a first for a jewellery brand in India, as far as I can recall.

The Tanishq Youtube Page brings together behind-the-scenes videos of the Making of the TVCs.

Check out
The MIA brand site:
Tanishq on Facebook:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rich Media This Week

This week had some great rich media across the board and it was very difficult to pick the best. My favorites were the Happydent interactive execution on Youtube, NANO 2012 execution on IBNLive and Samsung Galaxy Note on the MSN India Home Page. 

 MSN India Home Page
What: Full Screen Takeover with Interactive Personality Quiz
When: 28.11.2011

 IBNLive Home Page
What: Rich Media with User Initiated Color Skins
When: 28.11.2011

 Yahoo! India Mail Login Page
What: Takeover
When: 29.11.2011

Where: TimesOfIndia Home Page

When: 29.11.2011
Client: Omega

Where: MSN India Home Page
What: Home Page Takeover
When: 30.11.2011
Client: Samsung

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Teaser: Britannia’s Hunt for the True Snexy

The Hunt for India’s most loved Snackstar is on, at Snexville since the last fortnight. Where or what is that, you ask? This is India’s (or the World’s?) first Snack Reality Show where users vote through 5 rounds for their favorite snack – That’s Snexy!

There are 7 tempting snacks fighting for fan attention through 5 rounds. You can vote for them and rate them on a rating meter and share snack postcards with your friends or share your vote on Facebook Page.   

The site has some adorable snack characters with fun one-liners across different scenarios that form the 5 rounds e.g. on the move, at work, after dark etc. There is a blog and loads of irreverent content, posts, daily contests, poems and the works to keep users engaged.

This is a new campaign from Britannia which is essentially a digital teaser for their new range of ‘Nutrichoice Multigrain Thins’.

This is a great concept and execution from Experience Commerce
. Kudos to Britannia for trying something novel.

Very rarely do you see so much rigor going into a teaser. Super stuff! I am looking forward to the crowning of the 'True Snexy' already!

Check out the Facebook page:

Brand Promo Page: NANO 2012

I checked out the TATA Nano promo page that has been created for ‘Meet the NANO 2012’ campaign. The NANO is now getting a feature makeover with delicious new colors and TATA Motors is going all out with a digital promotion campaign.

The flash page is built as an interstitial with hotspots, that you can hover on for an overview of the new features. It also lets you discover the different colors available.
You would probably miss it completely if you choose to ‘skip’ the animation.

They also have a standalone page for booking test drives for the New Nano at

The Facebook TATA Nano page has a ‘What’s Your Colour?’ personality quiz application. They have been using this concept on rich media ad units as well.  
Yes, the application decided that I am 'calm & collected' and I deserve nothing better than THAT green K
TATA Motors also has a TATA Nano website with deep content but no standout reference to the Nano 2012 campaign, except of course for the interstitial.

Check out the new promo on: and

It would probably be a good idea to think about cross linking all the brand assets for starters.

Related Link:
Brand Website: TATA Vista Sedan Class
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