BBC World Service Trust::: Say condom aloud

CATEGORY:Pharmaceuticals/ Healthcare

Condom usage in India is very low, with only 15-20% of sexually active people using them. The problem was that anything associated with sex is taboo in public, and the word “condom” connotes negative associations with HIV and immoral behaviour.

The BBC World Service Trust, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, wanted to get people to accept condoms and remove the stigma attached to them.

The key aim was to get people to say the word condom aloud in public without taboo. If they couldn’t say the word, they were never going to ask for condoms at the pharmacy.

Quantitative and qualitative research done by the AIDS Foundation, showed that men who talk about sex and condoms freely are more likely to be consistent condom users.

BBC World Service Trust adopted a strategy to get people to say the word “condom” aloud in public and start discussions bout them.

Media, in addition to the ads on air, took on the task to act as a catalyst to make condoms an acceptable word.

The campaign started with a contest where the consumer had to answer a riddle, the answer to which was the word “Condom”. The contest was aired on several TV channels, radio stations and cinema halls.

Consumers had to call a voice portal and say the correct answer to win prizes. As the second leg, we created a buzz by leveraging the creative in which the words “Kabbadi” used by the players in a popular local sport got replaced with the word “CONDOM”.
We got editorials in publications and radio anchors to report a fictitious tournament in which the players actually used the word “condom” instead of “Kabbadi” in real life.
This acted as a lead-in to a debate asking consumers for their opinion about saying the word in public. Thirdly they created a ringtone using the word condom, downloadable through SMS from campaign site www.condomcondom.org.

The campaign reached 139 million adult men nationally versus the targeted 48 million. 400,000 people participated in the contest riddle; 475,000 people asked for the condom ringtone download through the SMS short code, 200,000 downloaded the ringtone from the website.
The website received over 3.5 million hits over the campaign period. As per NACO, (National Aid Control Organisation of India), condom sales through government channels grew by 5.0 million units in the last six months.

Rexona:::Deo verus B.O.

CATEGORY:Toiletries/ Cosmetics
DATE:May 2008 - Jun 2008

In 2007, Rexona set itself an ambitious mission – to get every woman in Romania to use deodorant every day.
Consumption per capita was rising, but the nation was still far behind Western European markets. Women in England use deodorant five times more than those in Romania.
Romanian women like to be admired by men and put a lot of effort into the daily ritual of looking good.

Rexona wanted to convey the message that if a woman smells of body odour then their efforts and aspirations to be beautiful would fall apart. The first stage of activity centred around the tagline “Romanian women do it five times less than English women” in an online and print teaser campaign.

Intrigued and “activated” the campaign, a number of TV and radio hosts tried to solve the mystery.

After one week of questioning the headline Rexona revealed that the “do it” referred to use deodorant.
The second phase aimed to raise paranoia about not using a deodorant and also create a social debate about deodorants’ usage habits, using a celebrity endorsement. Romanian singer and actress Jojo was recruited to accept the challenge of one week without deodorant, documenting her experiences on a daily TV slot and in an online diary.
She was also invited to talk about the experiment and its social significance in well-rated TV shows.
As a result, the campaign became a key topic in media for more than a month, and deodorant consumption per capita grew 15% year on year and Rexona value market share increased with 2.4% (June 2008 vs. June2007).

Nike:Nike Human Race

CATEGORY:Accessories/ Clothing/ Footwear
DATE:Jul 2008 - Sep 2008

Turkey is a country without a serious running culture. Nike wanted to use a global event to get a non-running nation thinking and talking about running, create a base for upcoming running campaigns and activities and build a direct association between the sport and their brand.

The main challenge was to get 10,000 people to run while maintaining alignment with the global strategy.
Nike Human Race 2008 was a global phenomenon which was localized for the Turkish market.

Nike needed to remind non-athletes of their lack of motivation, and so teamed up with the Dogan Group to enable this.
The Dogan Group gave Nike access to nine TV stations, 5 newspapers, 13 monthly magazines and 6 websites. Script editors were instructed to include reference to Nike Human Race wherever possible.
It gave Nike unprecedented access to its celebrities, produced and aired celebrity spots, engaged columnists to write about the event and integrated the event story into programmes, news and talk shows.
The Government supported the initiative as part of a national health drive and allowed the race to be run over the famous Bosphorous Bridge for the first time ever.
The event was also integrated as a mini-game into one of the biggest social networks.
Mobile was used for location-based MMS messaging, which was sent to the Nike database.
Outdoors, some 150 government owned bridges were branded for the first time.
As a result the race was three times over-subscribed, with 10,000 people taking part. Some 860,000 people visited the Nike Human Race site and the uplift of sales in Nike Plus kits was beyond expectations, with more than 5000 kits sold in 3 months – equivalent to the total amount sold during the previous two years

Nike :::Men versus Women Challenge

CATEGORY:Accessories/ Clothing/ Footwear
DATE:Mar 2009 - Apr 2009

Following on from the success of the Nike+ concept, a community for runners which allows people to track their progress, plot routes and connect with fellow runners, Nike wanted to create a new spirit of competition.
Nike+ sees a transmitter in certain Nike shoes transfer data wirelessly to an iPod nano, an iPod touch or a Nike+ SportBand, including information on time, distance, pace and calories burned. This is then stored on www.nikeplus.com.
Users can set each other challenges in order to motivate themselves.
Nike’s latest challenge concept was simple, Nike Men vs Women Challenge. The campaign responds to the popularity of this type of challenge set by the Nike+ community.

The two teams are given 38 days to clock up as many miles as possible. The team with the most miles after the 38 days wins.
The campaign was given mass coverage with a star-studded TV ad dripping with celebrities including footage of Eva Longoria throwing real life husband Tony Parker's trainers off the balcony. Tennis ace Rodger Federer, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, long distance runner Paula Radcliffe, hip hop dancer Sofia Boutella and Liverpool footballer Fernando Torres also make appearances. Visitors to www.nikeplus.com can tally kilometers and monitor how their team were fairing against the opposite sex.
This was supported by calls to action on social networking sites including Facebook and MSN. Users could also download relevant content including a widget monitoring which team is winning.

The campaign is still ongoing, but in 2008, this was one of the most popular types of challenge on www.nikeplus.com, with runners contributing nearly 2.5 million kilometres.

ZDF : Bus becomes Batmobile

DATE:Dec 2008 - Jan 2008

Public TV channel Zweites Deutsches Fernehen (ZDF) wanted to communicate its strong movie programming, specifically with the airing of Batman Returns.
ZDF decided to target Hamburg commuters on their way to or from work. It signed a deal with bus companies to place a sticky overlay on the windows with details about when Batman Returns would be shown on the channel.
Then small Batman figurines hanging on flexible wires were attached to the outside of the buses with small suction pads. When the bus was stationary, the figurines hung down, out of sight of passengers inside the bus. As the buses built up speed, the airstream would cause Batman to rise up into the air as if flying.
Many passengers documented the campaign with their cameras, which caused the campaign to spread virally online.

Email Optimization: How Simple Changes Increase Open Rates, Clickthrough, Response, and Average Order Size

Published on April 14, 2009

Email marketing is likely your most effective tool for improving customer relationships, building brand awareness, and generating sales. It is also the most abused one.

Practitioners of knee-jerk planning rely on emails to bolster a sagging month or fill in the holes left when other marketing techniques miss their mark. Even though it works (which is why it is abused), there is a price to be paid.

Customers become disenchanted when they receive numerous emails promoting one sale after another or one product over and over. Everyone's threshold is different. Some may opt out after a week, others a month, and still others a year or more. (Note: there tends to be a jump in opt outs at the start of the New Year. People want to start fresh, so they do some housekeeping. If you saw a jump in opt outs in January, then you desperately need to review your email strategy.)

The best way to avoid a mass exodus from your subscriber list is to have an email strategy that works with the rest of your marketing.

Because developing a comprehensive plan can take weeks of planning and is beyond the scope of an article, let's start with simple items that have immediate results. In addition to giving a boost to sales, they will help sell the idea of an overall strategy to the naysayers in your organization.

Four steps from sending the email to completing the sale

1. Getting Past the Spaminators
Your email has to make it to the inbox before your recipient can act on it. There are three spaminators blocking the way.

The first is your Internet service provider (ISP). In an effort to protect his clients from alien spammers, the dreaded ISP blocks anything that appears to be spam. He is a "take no prisoners" type of guy. If your email looks like spam, smells like spam, or acts like spam, it is rejected. No questions asked. If you send too many emails that might be spam, then you are terminated. Your emails are permanently blocked.

To avoid this spaminator, avoid all spam triggers. They include specific words and characters in the subject line, low text-to-graphic ratios, and repetition of target words within the body of the email.

Once you have navigated past ISP, then you are faced with the second spaminator, Junk Box Filter (JBF).

Your recipients can control JBF. Unfortunately, all too often, he is in default status and left to his own devices. He errs on the side of caution, sending innocent emails to the dreaded junk file. He can be avoided if your email address is white-listed (flagged as "not junk") by your recipient. If you want that to happen, you have to ask the recipient to add you to her safe list—and you have to provide quality content. Otherwise, the third spaminator will eliminate you.

That third spaminator has complete power and must be handled very carefully. He or she is the recipient of your emails, AKA customer or prospect. Let's call these people MNIs (much-needed individuals). After all, without them, your business doesn't have a chance. They are your toughest spaminators. Your survival depends on your ability to entertain, engage, and enlighten them. If you fail in any of these items, a few clicks by them on the keyboard and you relegated to the dustbin of history.

2. Getting Your Emails Opened
It doesn't matter how eloquent your copy is, how appealing your graphics are, or how wonderful your offer is, if your MNIs don't open the email, you won't have sales.

Statistics show that most emails fail to motivate their recipients to read the message. A recent report from Constant Contact shows an overall open rate for retail companies as 17.9%! Not all email readers provide open information, so the actual number may be higher. Even so, just 17.9%?

Based on the retail emails I receive, I doubt that the number is much higher. The overwhelming majority of the emails are promoting sales. I like a good deal as much as the next person, but continuously promoting sales is lazy marketing. It is time to create emails that your MNIs want to read.

Start by segmenting your email file based on your customers' buying patterns. You may choose to segment by product category, seasonality, original source, a custom selection, or any combination of those. Choose your top pattern and create an email personalized for the people in the group. Test it against your next general email and measure the results. If you have targeted your customers well, there will be an increase in opens, clicks—and most importantly, sales.

While content and relevance are extremely important, other items reduce open rates. Your return address is the first flag. It signals "Open Me Now," "I Can Wait," or "Delete." Use a real email address that customers can click "reply" and send a message to. If you think you are too busy to answer all the emails, don't worry. Before long, you will have plenty of time on your hands. Seriously, what can possibly be more important than communicating with your customers?

The second motivator is the subject line. If you don't capture interest by the third word, you have lost the immediate open. When your open is delayed, your email is often forgotten and later deleted. Invest your time in writing and testing subject lines. The payoff will be increased opens, which lead to increased clicks, which lead to increased sales, which lead to a happier you.

3. Click Here, Click Now. Please. Pretty Please!
Effective emails are a call to action. They motivate the recipients to visit the site, store, or catalog. Since that is the objective, many emails start out screaming "Shop Now!"—which is akin to the guy in the gorilla suit standing on the street corner pointing at a store.

Your MNI's first thought is "Why?"

If you want your MNIs to do something, give them a reason. Explain to them the who, what, where, when, why, and how. Do it well, and they will be compelled to click to see your site.
Start with a short personal note. Your first sentence has a purpose—to get them to read the second sentence. The second sentence moves them on to the third. By the fourth sentence, your reader should be hooked into reading the complete email. If not, you missed the mark this time (it happens). Next time will be better.

After the email is read, there is nothing left to do except click, close, or delete. Use a call-to-action statement to encourage the click. A soft landing to more information generates a higher clickthrough than the harder "Order Now." Test to see which one works best for you. Some businesses find that having both in the same email works well. It gives the recipient a choice between "Yes" or "Yes."

4. Getting From Hmmmm, Maybe... to Gotta Have NOW!
We are almost there. You have passed the Spaminators, jumped the open hurdle, and motivated a click-now response. All you have to do now is close the sale. Your email created an interest that evolved into an action. The next step is to continue the movement to a completed shopping cart.
When your customers click on an email link, there is an expectation waiting to be fulfilled. Be sure that the landing page matches the copy. For example, if it is a "click here for more information" about a specific product link, land on that page. Don't take your customers to your homepage and expect them to navigate to the page they want. They are looking for an express route.

This doesn't mean that you can't upsell them. Create landing pages filled with information about the promoted items, including accessories and add-ons. Once they make their first selection, offer complimentary items. The upselling can continue until the final check out as long as it is a soft sell. American Girl does this well with a blurb that reminds shoppers that they can purchase $XX.XX more and pay the same shipping.

Be creative with your promotions and you will increase your average order. You have a lot of latitude as long as you remember to send your customers to the right landing page.
There is a bonus, too: If your emails are engaging, your customers will look forward to them and even pass them along to their friends. A small investment in time can result in astronomical growth in loyalty, branding, and sales.

Test, Test, Test
The best email strategy isn't created, it evolves. Test something with every mailing. You will continuously improve your email program.
All of the information included in the article has been tested repeatedly for results. One thing that is consistently true: The strategy that works best for one company will perform differently for another. Even if they are in the same industry and selling the same products to many of the same people, the variance appears.

The only way you will know the best strategy for your organization is to test. Let's get started!

Your Quick-Start Guide
Test 1
With your next email, split your file in half for an A/B test. Send your "A" names the original email. Make the following changes for your "B" names.
If you normally send your emails with a generic from address like companyx@companyx.com, replace it with personalname@companyx.com. Use the name most customers know (owner, founder, president, etc.)

If there isn't a known name, introduce one. Include a brief note in the introduction about who is writing and why the customer is appreciated. I am not suggesting that you use the personal inbox for this person (although most of my clients do). Creating a separate email for responses is fine. (Note: Don't forget to remove the "Do not reply to this email because no one will read it" blurb.)

Start your email with a brief (3-5 sentences) personal note from the sender that begins with a salutation that includes the customer's name and ends with a signature. Change the keycodes associated with this email. Keep everything else the same.

Compare your open, click through, and response rates for the two emails.

Test 2
When you are ready to mail again, choose 5,000 customers who have ordered from one of your top product categories. Create a unique email that focuses on the product line. Make it primarily informational. (Think "How to use this item more effectively" instead of "Buy More Now" content.) Include some promotional items to motivate the clickthrough. Use the personal return email and note suggestions from test 1. Mail the rest of your customers the regular promotional email. Compare your open, clickthrough, and response rates for the two emails.

Test 3
Use the information gathered in the previous two tests to design your own test. You are on your way to an effective email strategy.

Engaging Today's Fickle Customers: How to Become 'Their Brand'

Published on April 14, 2009

Marketers today understand that consumers think, feel, and react in ways different from June Cleaver some 50 years ago. We use descriptors like fickle, indecisive, and disloyal to describe the modern consumer.

Just what do these terms mean? Mainly, they mean that consumers have too many choices—multiple brands, brand extensions, and sub-brands—and too much stimulation, especially online, making it nearly impossible to predict their next move.

And yet, marketers continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on segmentation analysis and other research, hoping to understand and predict the behavior of these fickle consumers.

Rather than predicting a consumer's next move—which is not only imprecise but also impractical—marketers should focus on forming meaningful brand relationships by listening to and actively engaging consumers as they negotiate the major changes in society and their lives.
Identity Crisis
That no two consumers are exactly alike is a given in marketing. And now, marketers are starting to realize that individual consumers bring with them a whole new set of complexities:

Each person has several identities that shift with context. They may, for example, represent themselves one way in the LinkedIn business network, and another, very different way on Facebook with friends.

Each of those identities has its own idiosyncrasies and behaviors, so when they are in one context—e.g., a busy mom chatting on onechicmama.com—they're more receptive to some brands, perhaps recipes from Kraft, and totally closed to others that don't appeal to that persona.

Let's consider the busy mom further. A typical mom has sub-personas that may include "household manager," concerned with efficiency and convenience, and "gracious homemaker," focused on entertaining friends in Martha Stewart style. These two personas—efficient manager and elegant homemaker—can and must coexist dynamically, even though they may clash on a daily basis. And those are just two of many personas a busy mom might have.

So what's the secret to understanding our modern June Cleaver, she of multiple personas, morphing from context to context? The answer is simple: Listen to her.

Listening is critical for a more meaningful relationship between brands and consumers. First, however, brands must embrace today's epic cultural shift toward more open, flexible, and adaptive communications across the social Web.

What Won't Work
Traditional research—what may have once helped identify, segment, and target June Cleaver—just isn't well-suited to understanding and engaging consumers on the open, flexible Web. To build relationships with ever-evolving, persona-shifting consumers, marketers need new strategies and approaches that are built around listening. Not just once, but continuously and programmatically.

For companies getting started, it pays to rethink how and when to approach consumers. The short answer is continuously. But how can a company sustain continuous connections to customers? Would a purpose-built social network or public online community work? What about an integrated marketing campaign that uses state-of the-art Web and site analytics along with newsletters and customized email?

While those approaches have merit and can be part of a larger marketing effort, they can't help brands truly understand, engage, and sustain long-term relationships with today's dynamic, multi-contextual consumer.

What Does Work
If you want to understand, engage, and sustain, you'll need to embrace three tenets of new consumerism: listening, relationship-building, and empowerment.

Relationship-building, as a process, is misunderstood by many marketers. Too often we confuse willingness to buy as evidence of a relationship. It's not. Brands must earn the right to have meaningful relationships with their consumers, and that isn't accomplished by special offers and personalization alone. Like personal relationships, brand relationships are built on trust that is earned over multiple exchanges and eventually feels natural instead of contrived.

If all you're doing with customers is surveying them periodically, you'll never build trust or a relationship. But if you establish some intimacy with your customers—providing an ongoing, intimate forum to dig deeper and share the many facets of their different personas—you're entitled to ask more of the relationship. You've earned that.

Listening—real listening—is one of the most powerful and often misunderstood "disciplines" of marketing. Social-media monitoring, for example, is a great early warning system, but it isn't really listening. Effective listening can't be keyword-driven alone; it must be done with sensitivity to nuances and with a finely tuned ear for discovering unexpected insights.

One way to effectively listen to customers is through private online communities where brands can begin to understand how customers negotiate changes in their lives. Through communities, brands have the means—like never before—to be with consumers over time, building relationships and being present so that they can really listen. The trick is to isolate the multidimensional voices of the consumer, nurture them individually, and channel what you're hearing into meaningful changes that send a clear message: "We're listening."

Empowerment is the final, misunderstood tenet of new consumerism. Giving consumers a public forum to voice, vent, or vindicate—perhaps a public social network or your blog—seems like empowerment, but it's not. When you master listening and build a relationship with a consumer, you owe them something in return. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, what they want isn't coupons, free stuff, or other remuneration; they want to see the impact they're having on your brand and hear their own voices in new products and promotion. That's real empowerment for today's consumer.

In the end, consumers are most engaged when they realize that a brand—perhaps yours—is actively helping them negotiate the changes in their complex lives, from how and where they communicate to what they consume. Give them that, and they'll be empowered to dig deeper and explore more on your behalf. Moreover, eventually you'll offer more than simply a product or service to them: You'll become "their brand."

Smart::: Creating shorter links

BRAND OWNER:Mercedes Benz
DATE:Apr 2009 - Dec 2008

The Smart car’s key selling point is the fact that it can be manoeuvred into tiny parking spaces – perfect for city living. Measuring just 2.69 metres long, it can even be parked sideways in most road-side spaces.
In order to highlight this fact online, Smart has created a URL shortening service. Akin to services such as http://www.tinyurl.com/ and is.gd, the service transforms a long URL such as those from Google Maps, into a very short one.
Visitors to http://url.so-smart.be/ are able to ‘navigate swiftly through the busy online traffic’ and ‘park large URLs into tiny spaces’. Visitors can enter a long URL, for example: http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/ and it will be transformed into a shorter ‘smart’ URL such as http://so-smart.be/~ns21n4 .
This shorter URL takes up fewer characters on micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, which has a 140 character message limit. Any links shortened with this service automatically become micro ads because of the ‘so-smart.be’ prefix.
Visitors to http://www.so-smart.be/ will find a site called “Smart & the City”, charting the love affair that the car has with the city and featuring information about the vehicle including specifications, carbon emission levels, and the option to request a brochure or a showroom visit.

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