Reliance blows happy blues on Twitter

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With digital medium gaining momentum, social media has clearly emerged as one of the favourite marketing tool of the blue eyed corporate boys. Reliance Communication (RCOM) is not much behind in this social media race.
The brand has been quite gung-ho about its two year collaboration with Google to exclusively market Android devices in India. But that’s not all; RCOM launched a very interesting Twitter campaign to brag about this partnership amongst the 140 character generation.

Riding on the feeling of Monday blues
RCOM was running its “Be Blue” campaign on traditional media and decided to take the idea forward on Twitter with feeling blue sentiments. The day long campaign was activated on Monday by MEC in partnership with Mindshift Interactive. The idea was to catch attention as every individual comes across many #FeelingBlue moments on Monday mornings. So the hashtag, #FeelingBlue was used as it also resonated with the brand’s ‘Be Blue’ campaign. RCOM aimed to shift mindsets about feeling unhappy and blue, converting the emotion for feeling blue into a happy one and further create a brand connect with ‘Be Blue’.

Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO, MindShift Interactive, digital research and Outreach firm

Zafar Rais, Founder & CEO, MindShift Interactive, digital research and Outreach firm

Interestingly, unlike most of the brand campaigns on Twitter this one did not use the brand handle and instead used #feelingblue. Commenting on this, Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive (the agency that created this campaign in partnership with MEC) said, “Mostly brands use Twitter hashtags to populate communication on Twitter. But these hashtags tags become forced. Feeling blue is more of a generic word and very popular on Monday mornings. It created lots of curiosity and made the campaign work.”

Feeling blue in a good way
The brand’s #FeelingBlue tweets started at 10:00 a.m, and within less than an hour there were 800 tweets that carried the hashtag #FeelingBlue. The reasons people used for feeling blue were many: right from the petrol price hike to sad songs being played on the iPod to reaching office on time on a Monday morning, all were being addressed by individuals as creating a #FeelingBlue moment. Brands like Radio Mirchi, Fast Track, JaagoRe, Hard Rock Café amongst others, participated using the hashtag. RCOM also roped in key influencers (Key thought leaders on the platform) as their partners to further push this campaign with more tweets around #feeling blue. Some of the key influencers who were a part of the campaign include VJ Ranvijjay, Channel [V] India, Miss Malini, TheTanmay, Twilightfairy, youthstaryuvi amongst others.

As part of the strategy, at 12:00 pm, to turn the sentiment around blue, the influencers started tweeting positive sentiments with the #feelingblue hashtag sharing what got them happy and how it was great to be #FeelingBlue. Leveraging the buzz, RCOM announced a contest where participants could win Android Smartphones by tweeting their happy #feelingblue moments.

T Gangadhar, Managing Director, MEC, commented on the initiative, “This is a smart, intuitive way of bringing alive Reliance’s ‘simply better’ proposition. The innovation cleverly turns the expression ‘feeling blue’ on its head – in a manner that is both, simple and relevant to the digital native.”

The campaign announced the contest winners’ names at 6 pm and that’s when for the first time the RCOM brand name was mentioned in the campaign. At this time the RCOM Android partnership was also announced on Twitter.

The results
This social media marketing initiative did create a huge buzz around #FeelingBlue and RCOM. The campaign got 7,755 tweets by over 930 tweeps, using the hashtag, and #feelingblue became the No.1 trending topic in India for over 24 hours and No.2 worldwide and a record outreach of 8.1 Million users on Twitter. The campaign was also able to successfully turn around the #feelingblue sentiment with 98 per cent people using it to send out ‘happy’ tweets. The total impressions (via tweets) were 72,12,150. The audience reach via accounts was over three lakh and via followers over six lakh.

Shivani Suri Dhanda, Deputy General Manager - Brand & Marketing, Reliance Communications

Shivani Suri Dhanda, Deputy General Manager – Brand & Marketing, Reliance Communications

And what was the buzz for RCOM? Well, after the announcement of partnership at 6 pm RCOM also trended on Twitter for three hours giving the brand the additional kick. Shivani Suri Dhanda, Deputy GM, Brand & Marketing, Reliance Communications shares, “Our campaign objective was to amplify the Reliance Android ‘Be Blue’ campaign in a fun, engaging way and the creative and daring approach of turning the #FeelingBlue sentiment on its head did just that. We successfully raised curiosity, gave Twitteratians an experience to enjoy and achieved our campaign objective too.”

Experts feel that the strategy of not using the brand handle really worked well for this initiative as it created a lot of curiosity amongst consumers at the same time being a generic word it flowed easily in conversations on the medium resulting in larger reach and bigger buzz. Social media veterans are of the view that generic but curious hashtags always work better for brands than their regular hashtags. Early this year, Maybellene’s #WTF campaign created a huge buzz and there too the brand hashtag was used in the last phase of the campaign. Well, seems like marketers are all geared up for the 140 character challenge!




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Abhinav Mohapatra

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