Center Fruit turns to Twitter to promote branded segment in Mirchi Music Awards

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | April 03, 2012
Conceptualised by media agency Maxus, celebrities tweeted to make a teaser video go viral before the Mirchi Music Awards was aired on Colors.

While marketers have always been enthusiastic about riding the social bus, social media exercises have long been equated with activities on Facebook. Gradually advertisers and agencies are warming up to the significance of the other platform, Twitter.

Recently, Perfetti Van Melle's fruit-filled bubble gum Center Fruit turned to the microblogging service to promote a branded content segment in the Mirchi Music Awards. Ahead of the awards show being aired on Colors over the weekend, celebrities tweeted to make a teaser video go viral.

Conceptualised by media agency Maxus, the activity saw celebrities such as Sophie Choudhry, Eesha Koppikar, VJ Bani and Poonam Pandey, among others, tweeting about the video.

Sudarshan Saha

Shailja Vohra

The video featured singer and the host of the show, Shaan, being interviewed just before he was about to take stage. During the interview, the journalist holds up a jar of Center Fruit, which promptly gets Shaan to do a tongue wagging act that stays true to the product's long-held idea of tongues wagging at the bubble gum (Kaise Jeebh Laplapayee).

The video was similar to Center Fruit's television commercial where a singer competing with a tabla player wins the 'jugalbandi' when the bubble gum makes the former go tongue wagging non-stop.

This was one of the few times a brand used the sponsored tweet route to create a teaser online to amplify a television show scheduled later in the day, informs Sudarshan Saha, client leader, Maxus.

Saha says that his team came up with the idea after spotting how top trending topics in the evenings in India tended to pick up what was being shown on television. He says that the team decided to turn the trend around using Twitter to promote a teaser before the show went on air.

During the show, too, the brand was prominently featured when Shaan held up a Center Fruit to distract his fellow host, singer Usha Uthup, making her do the tongue wagging act.

Shailja Vohra, national director, Maxus ESP, says, "The impact of the integration lay in executing a seemingly complicated tongue wagging act in a manner that would uphold the values of the brand. The choice of the platform was dictated by the fact that even the brand commercial showcases musicians, and Mirchi Music Awards is among the trusted and established shows in the genre."

Saha adds that the activity shows the way for the industry to leverage Twitter as a medium to amplify sponsorships and yield better ROI for the advertiser.

Nikhil Sharma, marketing director, Perfetti Van Melle India, agrees and adds, "The quality of innovation executed for Center Fruit pushes the benchmark further on how to use multiple media, especially digital along with television, for FMCG brands."

The agency plans to take the amplification ahead with radio. In the first week of this month, contests will be held on Radio Mirchi that will have radio jockeys asking listeners to enact the tongue wagging act witnessed on TV.

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