Emvies 2010: Ambient innovations: Clearing the sludge from car engines and minds

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media
Last updated : August 13, 2010
In the ambient and OOH category, presentations were made for work on brands such as Castrol, Domex and Toyota Fortuner

The Emvies, organised by the Advertising Club Bombay, honour measurable and significant contribution in the field of media. On day one of Emvies 2010, shortlisted case study presentations were held at Welingkar College in Mumbai. In one of the segments, media agencies shared information on the work they'd done using ambient and out-of-home media.

Ogilvy Action made a presentation on their work for the re-launch of Castrol GTX. To communicate the message of how sludge in an engine causes its eventual death, the agency executed a 'mummified' campaign for the brand.

The agency wrapped cars in white bandages to display that sludge in cars 'kills' them. These cars, which were placed in locations and were also seen being towed away, carried messages such as "I died because of car sludge".

In addition, 'sludge boxes' were kept at malls. People could wear gloves and put their hands into these boxes, to understand how thick sludge is and the damage it could cause to the engine. See-through cases with engines using ordinary oil versus Castrol were also placed here for on-the-spot comparison. Free oil changes were offered to customers too.

The brand also did mobile meets with mechanics and retailers, where branded vans were taken across cities. The agency took the campaign a step forward and compared sludge to cholesterol. To underline this, they tied up with health centres to spread the brand message.

Over the three-month duration of the campaign, 1.25 lakh consumers, 1,100 retailers, 7,100 mechanics and 993 outlets were reached. Brand sales grew by a whopping 30 per cent in 2009. Castrol Malaysia also included similar demos in their subsequent campaign.

While Ogilvy Action discussed the cleaning of sludge from car engines, in another case study presentation, Mudra Max shared its experience of doing something similar. Metaphorically, one could say, the agency helped clear people's minds, when it comes to dealing with visually impaired persons.

Mudra Max's out-of-home activity was conducted for National Association for the Blind (NAB). The agency associated with NAB to create a campaign called 'May I Help You?', which involved visually impaired people coming to the rescue of people with normal eyesight. The intention was for people to understand that the visually impaired could also function just as perfectly with the right resources.

On December 1, 2 and 3 (World Disability Day), diners at the Copper Chimney restaurants in Mumbai were in for a surprise, when they opened their menus and found them printed in Braille. To help these patrons, visually impaired people working with NAB would come up and say 'May I Help You?', read the menu to them and also take their orders.

The objective was to communicate that visually impaired people are not 'disabled', but just 'differently abled'; and with the right resources, they could do just as well, if not better than people with normal vision. After the activity, 542 people from amongst the patrons became volunteers at NAB.

In the same category of best media innovations in ambient/OOH, Mudra Max also presented a case study on its work for HBO. For HBO's original series, True Blood, the agency gave people at multiplexes quite a scare. To promote the vampire-based series before it broke on-air in 2009, washroom mirrors at 30 multiplexes were converted to non-reflecting surfaces. Thus, people were shocked and confused, when they walked in and could not see their reflections in the 'mirrors'. The thought stemmed from the idea that vampires do not have reflections. HBO's message about the series was stuck at the bottom of the mirrors, in small script.

Interestingly, the plan was for this campaign to supplement the ATL (above-the-line) activity, but this became a big hit on its own.

In another presentation for Toyota Fortuner, TeliBrahma discussed how it integrated mobile with outdoor in the campaign, 'Experience the art of power on your mobile'. They converted the new car into a mobile Blu-fi device by installing these in the car.

Passersby could turn on Bluetooth on their mobile phones and download mobile brochures, wallpapers and videos of the car. They could even forward these to their friends/relatives.

These cars were placed at four airports across the country -- Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Cochin from September 05 to October 08, 2009. The communication targeted the SEC A+ audience.

This new media campaign done on-ground was featured in 15 blogs. Over the 33 days, 70,279 people downloaded information from the Blu-fi devices. Toyota could see how many people downloaded the information from each airport, thus gauging market interest; the company could also find out which mobile handsets were used at that time, which provided an indication of the kind of audience that had downloaded the messages.

Next up was agency, Mindshare, which made a presentation on its campaign for toilet cleaner brand, Domex. For the public awareness campaign, the agency tied up with Indian Railways to clean toilets on eight train routes leaving from Delhi. At every station halt, Domex promoters would clean the toilets; thus leaving the passengers pleasantly surprised. Domex branding was also done inside and outside these toilets.

This innovative activity received coverage from six daily news channels, five radio stations and 14 newspapers. The brand's germ-killing proposition went up by 38 per cent, while the brand usage went up by 9 per cent. The activity reached 12,000 people; which added up to a whopping 3.2 million across the 270 days that the activity was executed.

Mindshare presented another case study for Idea Cellular's 'Use Mobile, Save Paper' campaign. Taking off from the TV campaign, the agency executed this premise of 'saving paper' at various touch-points, including travel, leisure and entertainment spots.

Thus, at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, for a single day, people could send a message to 58888 and receive an m-ticket, which they could flash at the toll booth. Similarly, thanks to a tie-up with Barista and Café Coffee Day, customers could order from a mobile menu and even receive an m-bill on their mobile phones. At cinemas too, m-tickets could be flashed. All of this drew attention to the brand's message of reducing paper wastage.

On the Sea Link, 6,000 people used the paperless ticket within just three hours. The agency also shared that by way of this campaign, it touched 2 million people and 10 million sq cm of paper was saved.

A number of innovations revolved around social causes and messages -- for instance, the hygiene factor in the Domex activity, saving paper in the Idea Cellular campaign and understanding the lives of the visually-impaired in the NAB campaign.

The Emvies winners will be announced on August 27 at Taj Land's End in Mumbai.

First Published : August 13, 2010
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