Monthly Archives: January 2012

Are Flash Mobs the new Facebook of Advertising?

[Flash Mob: A large group of people who gather at a public location to perform a pre-defined action, typically a brief dance, and disperse rapidly after the event has concluded.]

Flashmob, the latest talk of the town, isn’t a new phenomenon. The world saw its first Flashmob demonstration in the year 2003 in Manhattan organized by Bill Wasik senior editor of Harper’s Magazine. However, it all began, like Facebook, as a playful social experiment – meant to encourage big gatherings, humor and spontaneity. Organized secretly through social media, viral emails or websites, these flash mobs gained immense popularity courtesy their element of surprise.

Like everything else, that becomes a rage amongst masses, takes to becoming the next marketing tool for the brands of the world. This phenomenon too didn’t get past the big brands unnoticed. It awestruck brands with some power performances across the globe and what followed was a flood of flashmobs.

However, a majority of these manifestations failed – just like what we saw for brand pages on Facebook – they came, they saw but they couldn’t conquer. Closer home in India, the brands and individuals got so enthused by the successful demonstration at Mumbai CST that it became the most overdone activity of recent time thereby leading to death of its charm.

This is not to say that Flashmobs have failed in India or that the brands should avoid using flashmobs but to make a point that howsoever interesting the tool may be its application has to be grounded on a solid premise.

Be it the Flashmobs or the Facebook, brands must remember these:

1. Consumers (as we are known) want to be ENTERTAINED, ENGAGED and LET FREE and not BOMBARDED with irrelevant communication. Hence, usage of social platforms or tools should be to engage people and not hard sell products.

2. TOO MUCH and TOO FREQUENT spoil the fun. Too much of branding makes it look like a marketing gimmick and too frequent activity kills interest and thus brands must keep it alive with relevance and surprise.

3. You don’t HAVE TO do it just because EVERYONE else is doing it. We saw this on Facebook – some brands credited their Facebook presence to being “early adopters of any new technology”, some did so to the “consumer centricism” while a lot others just exclaimed “We have to be on Facebook because EVERYONE is on FACEBOOK!” that’s quite honest I would say. However, a lot of brand efforts eventually died down all thanks to their aimless hunt for fans/likes.

4. Don’t follow the herd. INNOVATE. American comedian Charlie Todd, once had a group practice synchronized swimming in a public fountain in New York. Another time he had some 50 people enter an electronics store wearing the same type of clothes as the store’s employees.

Some super successful flash mob acts –

1.      Frozen Grand Central Flash Mob, Jan 2008

2.      T-Mobile dance, Jan 2009

3.     Central Station of Antwerp, Mar 2009

4.      Michael Jackson Dance Tribute Stockholm, Jul 2009

5.      Black-eyed Peas Major dance Mob, September 2009

6.      Bristol Lightsaber Flash Mob, Feb 2010

7.      Flash Mob at the Ohio Union, May 2010

8.      Opera Company of Philadelphia, Oct 2010

9.      Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Nov 2010

10.     Mumbai CST, Nov 2011

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Our Desk


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Volkswagen: Once in a lifetime

Volkswagen has come out with a new commercial for Polo, the ‘Once in a Lifetime offer’ which fiddles with the idea of reincarnation.  The commercial shows a Parsi man, obsessed at keeping his vehicle, the old Polo, tip top, neat over the years.

“The Polo. You’ll come back for it” goes the super, while the voiceover concludes that with the ‘Once in a lifetime’ offer on the Vento and Polo, one will be induced to check their nearest Volkswagen store to know more.

“While Polo does have a rich heritage, this campaign was not about playing it up. It was our aim to create intrigue and excitement about the carline and thus followed the creative idea around the fact that the offer is so tempting that one comes back for it even across lifetimes – thereby showcasing the different generations of the Polo,”  Lutz Kothe, head, marketing and public relations, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India said.

Read reactions from across the industry in the full article on afaqs

Let us know your thoughts on the commercial in the comments below.

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Feed Spot


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How Cadbury celebrated 1 million Facebook fans

Cadbury has always associated itself with celebrations. So how did they exactly celebrate getting to 1 million likes on Facebook?

Cadbury celebrated their community with a large chocolate ‘like’ button. They even created an infographic with the stats behind the making of the massive chocolate model. Cadbury even selected a super fan to place the final square of chocolate on the top to complete the structure. Check out the infographic below:

So, what do you think about the way Cadbury celebrated with its fans. Let us know in the comments.

Read on digitalbuzzblog



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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Feed Spot


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Indian Government threatens to ban Facebook & Google if they do not censor their content

The two internet giants will have to face a blackout in India after a Delhi High Court ordered them to find a way to remove objectionable and derogatory content from their websites.

“Like China, we will block all such websites,” Kait said, The Times of India reports.

Here’s what Mukul Rohatgi had to say on behalf of Google India on the matter:

“No human interference is possible, and moreover, it can’t be feasible to check such incidents,” Rohatgi said. “Billions of people across the globe post their articles on the website. Yes, they may be defamatory, obscene, but cannot be checked.”

Give us your take on the issue. Do you think banning such sites will help reduce access to derogatory content on the web?

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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Feed Spot


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Is the online retail bubble in India going to burst soon?

The online retail business in India is on a roll. The advertisements of such companies like and are all over television and print.Many of these companies have been pumped in with a lot of cash for expansion which has seen them going into a race trying to scale up as soon as possible.

Swati Garg, Business Standard, wrote for afaqs the reasons why the online retail bubble may burst eventually:

  • Sky high valuations
  • Creative accounting
  • Game of scales
  • Its 2012 and not 2000

Read up the complete post on afaqs

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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Feed Spot


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Twitter: Google integrating Google+ into regular search results is bad for people

Google faced a lot of opposition when it announced this Tuesday that they would be integrating Google+ into its local search results, most notably from Twitter. The micro-blogging company feels that news always breaks on twitter first and Google’s changes will make it harder for people to find information.

The complete statement by Twitter spokesman Matt Graves:

For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results anytime they wanted to find something on the Internet.

Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million Tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant results.

We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.

Have you already started noticing changes in the search results when you are logged in? Let us know what you think of it in our comments.

Read the full article on mashable

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Feed Spot


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Innovating as always – Volkswagen

If you have to name a company that is constantly doing fantastic innovations, it has to be Volkswagen. After introducing the ‘Think Blue, Drive Blue’ campaign in early 2011, which put forward the eco-friendly concerns of the company, they are out with a concept called ‘Plant-in-a-magazine’, Volkswagen and BBC Top Gear magazine encourage people to support a greener environment.

The January issue of BBC Top Gear had a unique offering for readers. While an ad detailed Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Technologies, the readers also found actual seeds to plant. The idea was to take the seeds, plant them following the directions given under the seed pouch, watch the plant bloom and do one’s bit to add to the greenery.

“Tarun Rai, chief executive officer, Worldwide Media, adds, “The Plant-in-a-magazine is an excellent innovation to support Volkswagen’s campaign ‘Think Blue. Drive Blue’. Volkswagen was looking for innovative and impactful ideas to communicate its initiative, and we at BBC Top Gear were happy to partner it. Both Volkswagen and Top Gear are leaders in their respective fields, and we hope that we will be partners in many such initiatives through the year.”

Read the full article on afaqs

Let us know your thoughts about the innovation.

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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Feed Spot


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