Product of the Year woos crowds in malls with interactivity

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 26, 2009
The organisation has launched a nationwide BTL activity to bring POY title holders closer to consumers

Product of the Year (POY), which is a global consumer recognition standard that rewards the best innovations in retail products done through an independent consumer survey, has launched an activation in malls and other outlets across the country to bring consumers closer to these brands.

The activity, devised and executed by BTL agency Mastermind, is being conducted across Tier 1 and 2 towns, covering 36 towns through 32 Croma outlets.

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The four week activity is being rolled out on weekends where consumer engagement activities such as games and quizzes are being conducted. One of the games, called USP Talks, has the emcee inviting two participants from the crowd and showcases a product. The participants have to quote the innovation for which it was voted 'Product of the Year' and the participant who guesses the right answer wins branded freebies.

Another game, Tol Mol Ke Bol, has participants guessing a product's right price range, while a customised game of Tambola (Housie), featuring brand logos instead of numbers, engages crowds.

The outlets are also provided with portable modular display units with product display and flex space to ensure branding, with POY goodie bags given out here.

The key objective of the BTL (below-the-line) activity is to increase awareness about Product of the Year amongst consumers.

Charulata Ravi Kumar, chief executive officer, Product of the Year India, tells afaqs!, "POY is an innovation platform that puts the power in the hands of the consumers - the most important judges for manufacturers. The activity, supported by Croma, has helped us spread the message of POY and its process to thousands of consumers nationwide."

The 26 winners of the first Indian POY event that was held earlier this year were awarded in January at an award function held in Mumbai and was telecast and presented by STAR TV.

Commenting on why the BTL activity was held so many months after the event, Kumar says, "In India, festivals are a big crowd puller to the malls and outlets. We wanted to maximise reach and interaction with the consumers and support the winners through this activity to create increased awareness and interest around the products and brands."

Besides the BTL activation, online ads have been executed, while print ads appeared in publications such as The Times of India, Mumbai Mirror and Mid-Day.

"However, a CTC (close to customer) activity creates connect and spreads the word faster," opines Kumar, adding, "This activation has helped immensely in bringing the POY winning products closer to its end consumers." POY aims to reach out to 3.5 lakh people by the end of this activation.

Kumar shares that initial guesstimates and responses from POY title holders has been great, with many reporting increased interest and sales. The company plans to formally evaluate the activities through a forthcoming survey.

For the record, POY is annually conducted in 26 countries, for more than 20 years now. The Indian arm of POY has extended its scope to cover mobiles, electronics, durables, appliances and debit and credit cards.

Some of the eminent brands that have been participating over the years across various countries are Unilever, P&G, Nestle, L'Oreal, Reckitt Benckiser, Johnson & Johnson, Danone, Heinz and Kingsmill Bread, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.