afaqs!

Kingfisher speaks Kinglish

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | November 05, 2013
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The brand introduced the world's first crowd sourced English font, called Kinglish, contributed by pub hoppers across Bengaluru.

Brands have always strived to achieve something out of the box to grab mindshare of the consumer. But, it is not every day that a brand goes ahead to create a font from its name.

The Kinglish crowd sourcing video

The tags with Kinglish impressions

Samar Singh Sheikhawat

Kingfisher Premium, the flagship brand from The United Breweries Group, came up with a specially designed font called Kinglish. Kingfisher claims that Kinglish is the world's first crowd sourced font as it was contributed by pub hoppers across Bengaluru. This was done as a part of the recently concluded edition of The Great Indian Octoberfest 2013, a Kingfisher-hosted event.

The crowd sourcing activity was carried out in Bengaluru pubs by JWT Bengaluru and Kingfisher's brand team. The team hit the most happening pubs across the city, challenging the people to spill some beer and spell a whole new language. JWT Bengaluru with the creative team headed by Senthil Kumar, national creative director, JWT India, led this activity.

The font was made out of beer mug, beer bottle and beer can impressions from thousands of party people. Out of those impressions, letters like A, C, F, M and W were crafted out to make a language that looked and felt like Queen's English.

Hundreds of expressions for each letter were examined/shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to gather votes until the team found the perfect letters to form the word 'BEER'.

The font and its 'anyone can create this' nature was amplified with several activities and contests at the Kingfisher Premium Great Indian Octoberfest 2013 as its official language, with Sign Language, Grafitti Walls, Write your own T-shirt Counters, Write your own Kinglish letter wall and so on.

Speaking to afaqs! about the idea behind the activity, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, senior vice-president, marketing, United Breweries states that beer has always been centre of gravity in Bengaluru. "The unique pub culture in Bengaluru had the potential to embrace its own language created by its own people. This is the primary reason why Kingfisher Premium saw the opportunity for this foamy brew of youth culture to speak in a lingo of its own. It was then time for Queen's English to embrace a 'King Size Font'," he adds.

The next steps will be the launch of a Kinglish microsite featuring easy to use downloads of this font in various sizes that will engage the youth to play with Kinglish and create crazy stuff. The company also plans to launch various kinds of merchandise (like T-shirts, beer mugs and beer hats) to promote Kinglish across Kingfisher events in the country.

"There are ideas to ensure that all communication from Kingfisher Premium for the youth will use Kinglish as a form of speech and own the space that has been created by this young new language," informs Sheikhawat.

Commenting on why Bengaluru was chosen as the venue for the activity, Sheikhawat states that the activity was designed to build up to the Kingfisher Premium Great Indian Octoberfest 2013. "The team is planning to carry on creating and crafting this youth language at various youth festivals, music festivals and Kingfisher events across the country, throughout this year, until the festive season is over," he adds.

So how does this activity help a beer brand like Kingfisher? Sheikhawat says that brand Kingfisher now has a font of its own created by its own target audience; and since it's crowd sourced, the font, the language and its form of speech will engage the youth and ensure that brand Kingfisher's cool quotient only goes up.

"Kingfisher expects this idea of Kinglish to engage with the young and restless and become a part of the youth culture. This campaign has surely helped us reach out to the right target audience as well. We aim to keep the momentum going forward as far as brand engagement is concerned," he adds.

Kingfisher has been quite active on the digital front to promote it brands. In August, the brand had launched a Twitter campaign that asked people to post a tweet using the hashtag #DearKFBeerGod. Currently, the brand's Facebook page has more than six million fans, making it one of the top 10 brands on Facebook in India (as per Socialbakers.com). Incidentally, this also makes Kingfisher the third largest beer brand globally on Facebook. On the other hand, on Twitter, Kingfisher has a fair presence with more than 35,000 followers.

According to a recent survey conducted by Qilo, a marketing communications consultancy, and online research-based advisory Juxt, among the beer brands, Kingfisher leads with 53 per cent of beer drinkers on the internet in India citing it as their favourite brand, followed by Haywards 5000 and Fosters, which together made up for less than half the number polled by Kingfisher.

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