afaqs!

Play your ending to the Center Fresh story

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | August 13, 2008
The interactive viral launched by Center Fresh has an in-built game with two different endings, depending on the outcome of the game

As part & #BANNER1 & # of its Zubaan Pe Lagaam campaign running on television and radio, Center Fresh has launched an animated viral video. The viral features Vikram and Betal, two characters from Indian folk tales, but with a twist.

In the original story, the wise King Vikram of Ujjain has to carry the evil spirit, Betal, to a sage as a favour. Betal keeps posing riddles before him. The king has to answer correctly or be killed. The catch is that as soon as the king speaks, Betal slips away to the tree on which he lives.

A shot from the viral
In the viral, Milan ki Khatir, created by digital agency Webchutney, Vikram's son is obsessed with Betal and keeps pestering his father to get it for him. Whenever Vikram is alone with his wife, the son comes and asks for Betal. Ultimately, the wife asks Vikram to get Betal and hands him a bag of Center Fresh to help him keep Betal's mouth shut.

In most virals, stories are told in a linear manner, but the Center Fresh viral is different because it has two endings. The narration of the story ends at the point when Vikram leaves on his journey. The game takes off at this point, and the player has to stop Betal from speaking by popping a Center Fresh into its mouth. If the player wins, he sees one ending. If he doesn't, there's another ending.

The game
The viral is being hosted on a microsite, Centerfresh.in, on which the TV and radio campaigns have also been showcased.

In an email interview with afaqs!, Rohit Kapoor, group product manager, Perfetti Van Melle, says, "The Internet was a perfect fit for the Center Fresh target audience of 15-24 year olds. The Internet also provides the opportunity for interactivity because it's not a one way communication - the youth can actually interact with the brand."

Speaking about the campaign to afaqs!, Prabhat Bhatnagar, creative director, Webchutney, says, "We were given the theme of Zubaan Pe Lagaam for the viral, so we decided to change the Vikram-Betal story. Since the Internet is a very different medium, the user experience has to be very sticky. This is the first viral that we have created with an interactive game."

The viral is being promoted through banners on general portals and gaming sites. Emailers have been sent out to a select consumer database. Prizes are being given weekly to the winners of the game.

According to Kapoor, the microsite has received about 20,000 hits in the first three days of its launch.

Center Fresh has also created a series of animated spoofs, which are being broadcast on MTV. It recently launched a TV commercial and two radio spots created by O&M Mumbai.