Designed by Flux@The Glitch, the scannable and playable ad combined the functionality of a QR code with the interactivity of a Crossword.
There was a time when people, on receiving their morning newspaper, immediately turned to the Crosswords section to solve it. For many, it happened to be the most interesting part of the newspaper.
After a long time, we saw another such interesting Crossword puzzle in the newspaper and this time on the front page. But it was not the regular Crossword, it was part of a two-page advertisement for the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform CoinSwitch Kuber.
The brand released an interactive print ad in The Economic Times on November 8, 2021, encouraging people to research before investing in crypto assets. In fact the ad’s headline states in big bold letters, ‘Don’t buy Crypto’. It urges the readers to do their own research through solving the Crossword, comprising questions around the basics of crypto investing and blockchain technology. The readers are urged to find the correct answers before they download the CoinSwitch Kuber app.
It partnered with Flux@The Glitch, the content vertical at The Glitch of VMLY&R, to design and conceptualise the one-of-its-kind ad. The digital-first agency combined the functionality of a QR code with the interactivity of a Crossword with this 'scannable and playable' ad.
As crypto gains popularity as an emerging asset class investment in India, CoinSwitch Kuber aims to educate Indians to make informed investment decisions.
Rahul D'cruz, associate creative director at Flux and the creative lead on the account, said, "We wanted to change the way people looked at crypto. We didn't want them to not buy coins because everybody else was buying them, but because they understood how it worked and saw the benefit of trading. And for that, education was very important. Moreover, it was imperative that this education didn't come across as another piece of passive content, but actually made people think before they started trading."
Through the ad it aimed to educate people to take an informed decision about cryptocurrency. Varun Mundra, director – business and client relations of Flux, said the team chose crosswords as it has traditionally played a critical role in getting people to pick up the newspaper each morning. Through this they can educate people in a fun, snackable and interactive manner.
"It helps to engage with them, and then educate them. The crossword pushes you to research. At the same time it doubles up as a QR code to provide readers a takeaway. The idea was to have a seamless interplay of design and functionality," he added.
The brand doesn't just tell the readers to educate themselves before investing, but with the crossword ensures that they take the first step towards that research. Mundra says this is because the young audience, who they are targeting through this ad, don't like to be told what to do.
"We don't want to come across as preachy. The moment you tell the young audience how they should be doing something, we lose the connection," he added.
The ad is targeting youngsters in the age group of 24 to 40 years, as they are the ones getting into the Crypto market. "The whole idea is to build that entry and let people explore more about it. It is to get more people into it and it is not necessary that they buy crypto from CoinSwitch," he said.
The brand has chosen to advertise in The Economic Times as they believe that the audience who can spend are reading the newspaper. "These are people who understand finance very well. The ET reading audience is different. So from the reach point of view it was best to be there," he said.
"This concept is a testimony to the medium agnostic thinking that the team has put together in order to bring newspapers alive with seamless interplay of Crosswords and the QR code. To be able to educate, engage in the manner the audience prefers and take them onto digital, is what makes this idea great," Mundra added.
Right above the ad on the front page and below the masthead is the index of main news stories from the page one. Topping the list is a story headlined 'India unlikely to take tough stance on Cryptocurrencies'. The above mentioned story is the lead story of the day placed at the left most corner of the page. While Mundra says the position of the headline index is only coincidental, it definitely helps create a positive perception around the brand and adds an additional push to the advertisement.
Speaking on the challenges of creating this innovative concept in print, he said that it took the team 12 days to get the QR code to work. "Print has non-negotiable deadlines. Now we started working on this long time back but it took us 12 days to just figure out how to get the QR code to work. Because in that code even if one block goes off, it stops working and doesn't remain scannable. So the inventory that the brand team had bought would have gone to the bin. So just to be double sure of that we had to spend that much time," he shared.
Sharan Nair, chief business officer at CoinSwitch Kuber, said, "The interactive crypto Crossword ad is yet another proactive step towards our continuous efforts to raise awareness about crypto asset investing in India and build a prosperous ecosystem that users and regulators can trust. We aim to help more and more Indians make an informed investment decision, while making Crypto investing as simple as ordering food online. Our latest print ad urges readers to put on their thinking cap and start their crypto investing research with CoinSwitch.co."
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