afaqs!

Idea Cellular takes its democracy campaign online

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | March 26, 2009
Within three weeks of its launch, the website has received 1,806 questions and 3,06,896 page views

Idea Cellular has extended its recent television commercial, which shows a politician asking for public opinion before finalising a development project, to real life. The MyIdea campaign uses the Internet, TV and radio media to engage people, demonstrate the power of collective decision making and the usability of mobile phones in that process.

A website, myidea.co.in, has been created, which allows users to raise or submit questions related to issues in their cities or districts, politics, society, economy, entertainment and sports in 150 words. Users are also allowed to upload pictures to support their questions and can forward the questions submitted by them to their friends.

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Users are also empowered to garner support and votes for their ideas. A user can also submit his vote on questions raised by others.

Ideas such as 'Criminals shouldn't stand for elections', 'Should LK Advani stop his online campaign?', 'Save the girl child' and 'Ban plastic bags' have been entered by users.

Within three weeks of its launch, the website claims that a total of 1,29,758 votes have been received for 1,806 questions raised by users, with 755and 479 questions submitted under the politics and society categories. The website has received 3,06,896 page views.

The Lintas Media Group, in association with Pinstorm Technologies, has conceptualised and managed the creative, media planning and technology part of the campaign.

Speaking to afaqs!, Mahesh Murthy, chief executive officer, Pinstorm, an interactive agency, says, "Idea Cellular wanted to demonstrate the participative democratic process in reality and that's why we were briefed to develop an interactive application or website which will engage and enable users to submit their opinions."

A spokesperson from Idea Cellular tells afaqs!, "In a mobile market, where the call rates offered and the technology available to all mobile operators are almost similar, Idea wanted to differentiate its communication from the other players. That's why, it has opted for the participative decision making route to demonstrate the efficient ways of using mobile telephony."

He adds, "Idea Cellular is not doing the campaign for any social cause. The website has been created to amplify the communication put forward by the current television commercial."

Apart from the website, the mobile operator is also using TV and radio platforms to engage users with the MyIdea campaign.

Idea Cellular has tied up with TV news channels such as Zee News, STAR News, CNBC Awaaz, CNBC, NDTV India and NDTV 24x7, and FM radio stations such as Radio Mirchi, Radio City, Big FM and My FM to execute the campaign.

Every day, the news channels pick up a topic and ask a question on the same. Viewers are requested to vote and send in their replies via SMSes. The results are announced on the news channels at 8-9pm.

On radio, radio jockeys ask a question of the day and invite listeners to call and discuss the issue.

Sathyamurthy NP, president and chief operating officer, Lintas Media Group, tells afaqs!, "Everyday, 18,000 people participate on TV, while 3,000 people take part in the MyIdea questions through radio."

Idea Cellular is using search engine marketing (SEM) and display advertising across all major portals such as Yahoo! and Rediff to promote the MyIdea website. It has even developed a special application for iGoogle and will launch MyIdea applications on social networking sites such as Orkut.com and Facebook.com as well.