Gone are the days when a free “Sabun ki tikiya” or a “50 per cent more” or a “Buy 1 and Get 2” could compel the non-informed customer into buying a product. Although the metrics remain the same – every retailer wants the customer to love and buy their brand – but the ways of engaging them have come of age. As a result, a massive change can be seen in the way retailers advertise and converse with their customers. The brands today are inviting thousands of participants to generate, evaluate, and refine ad concepts.
Recently, Pepsi launched a campaign, “The Pepsi Challenge Commercial 2015” with an interesting twist in the IPL campaign, titled Pepsi Challenge Commercial which invited youth across the country to make their own Pepsi videos and submit it to the team. Co-creation is where a brand works with the customer to create engaging and meaningful ad ideas and content.
Pepsi, leading the way
Ruchira Jaitly, Senior Director, Social Beverages, Pepsi Co India, strongly believes that the youth, or in other words ‘Millennials’ have a buying power more than it ever was. “And engaging with them directly,” she continues to point, while speaking at the Retailer Congress and Awards 2015, “is extremely important since they are very group and friend oriented. Pepsi asked their customers in one of their campaigns, ‘What’s the one asset you would take from the company and mould it in your own way?,’ they said, ‘Advertising,’ and Pepsi saw an overwhelming response with more than a thousand video films received in just four weeks, because they connected with their passions. The brands need to connect with the passions of their customers.”
According to her, it is experiences that the youth is looking at having with brands today. “These experiences should be unique. I think it is about creative novel, unique experiences that will talk to the person directly,” she point out.
Coke, one of Pepsi’s biggest rivals, is in the process of putting up the best creative works of their customers on their social networking websites. This year, the brand is celebrating its 100 years and, according to a source, wants to leverage this opportunity to the full potential.
Co-creation or the voice of customer
While Co-creation as an exercise is increasingly adopted by brands in the West, as it promotes open sharing and democratising the ad space, it will take a while for its Indian or Asian counterparts to tread the same path. Coke’s ‘Energising Refreshment’ marketing campaign was one such co-creation experiment in Asia. The company invited its community to create and vote on a film, print, or animation revolving around the theme of ‘energising refreshment’.
Oreo launched a similar campaign titled ‘Daily Twist’ as part of its 100th year-long birthday in the US, and the experience let Oreo not only gather fresh ideas, but also to create an all-inclusive, almost immersive experience that left customers feeling more involved and attached to the cookie brand.
“How do you make them spend money? You are going to do that by connecting with them by their passions on the issues they think are important and on values that are important,” continues Jaitly. This can convert them to someone who simply visits to someone who actually buys. Brands need to realise that this is not the generation which is only about the ‘lowest price’, it is aware of what it wants and how.