When your friend turns into a moody, bratty celeb, it is something to be worried about. This is what Snickers thought in its brand communication, a couple of years back. The TVC had established the fact that when you are hungry you are not yourself. But the brand's challenge was to bring the consumer insight to life by making it more real time.
Mediacom Communications saw a perfect opportunity in the mobile platform. Research showed that people tend to misspell words more often when they are hungry. This is a combined effect of a tired mind and the delicateness of a touch screen key pad.
Latching on to the human error syndrome, Mediacom realised that 40 per cent of any search happens on the mobile device. They found out the most commonly misspelt words and designed a way to talk back to their target audience. Every time a person typed in a word incorrectly on a mobile search engine, Snickers sent them a customised message reminding them that they are hungry and they should grab a Snickers.
The campaign managed to position Snickers as the mini-meal snack and created 100,960 impressions at the cost of less than $0.16 per click. Mediacom, therefore, consciously misspelled their way into Indian marketing history. The case study was presented in the Best Media Innovation - Digital (Mobile and Handheld Devices) category.
The agency's second case study was the 'Shave India Revolution' campaign for Gillette. This was in the Best Ongoing Media Campaign segment. The Gillette campaign is P&G's biggest media-led initiative, spanning six years and eight campaigns within it. The challenge for the brand, and Mediacom Communications, was to change the shaving habits of men. However, in India a stubble, a beard or even a moustache is seen as a sign of virility.
As market leader, Gillette tried to get more men to shave more often, thereby driving up sales. The problem was also that Gillette was 10 times costlier than the lowest-priced razor. The only way for Mediacom to address the issue was by making people talk about it.
In the first phase or year, Gillette recognised the stubble as its enemy. The brand launched a nationwide debate on whether to shave or not. In the second phase, women protested against lazy stubble, making men shave in a record-breaking public shaving event.
Gillette then addressed the absence of shaving on weekends in the third year, positioning the stubble as something which made a man's partner uncomfortable. They designed a shave-sutra campaign, inspired by Kama Sutra, which asked men to shave in order to be intimate.
In the fourth phase, Bollywood celebrities came forward and urged men to shave. Women went on a protest again, saying they will not shave their legs till men shave as well.
The fifth was more challenging since it tried to make men shave in the evening as well. Women, in this phase, refused to go out with men if they did not shave for a night out. In a public event, over 100 men shaved on a metro ride in Delhi.
The sixth year was a social experiment with the unshaven look being compared to the unbathed look. An experimental issue of Grazia magazine was brought out with two covers - featuring the same model with a stubble and a clean shaven look. Recorded evidence showed that most women were turned off by the stubble and would want to be intimate with the clean shaven man.
With all these stages, the brand managed to portray the idea that a stubble is trouble. The campaigns meanwhile won several national and international awards, including a Cannes Grand Prix, Gold and Silver.
The 'Social Experiment' for Gillette was also shortlisted for the Best Media Innovation - Ambient Media category, making it three for Mediacom.