Tarana Khan

ITC Foods to give ‘second life’ to Bingo website

The snack foods website will be given an overhaul in the next few months, with a gamut of Web 2.0 features

It’s not enough for brand websites in India to just ‘be there’. In this age of individual-level interactivity and sharing -- or simply, Web 2.0 -- brands have to take on a virtual personality to relate to consumers (and, yes, we can’t help but mention Sunsilk Gang Of Girls here). ITC Foods, part of the cigarettes-to-hotels conglomerate ITC Ltd, is also walking down this path with its pixel art inspired website for Bingo chips, reminiscent of video game consoles of the 80s.

The site was designed by O&M, Bangalore, and launched in March 2007 along with the product. It is a virtual campus where your avatar can interact with the Bingo brand through games, music notes and message boards. Various activities on campus earn you points. If this sounds interesting, there’s more to come. ITC Foods is developing a new version of this website that will take interactivity to the level of ‘Second Life’, the virtual world created by Linden Lab in the US.

ITC Foods to give ‘second life’ to Bingo website
Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Ravi Desai, brand manager of Bingo at ITC Foods said, “The website will be unlike anything seen in the online industry. It will have elements of ‘Second Life’ but also a whole menu card of Web 2.0 features.” The new features, among others, would give avatars of the website a virtual life where they would go through the different stages of being in college, right from being a fresher to the final year. Desai added that the website is being tested as of now.

Currently, the website is in the first phase of development where interactivity is limited to simple activities. In the second phase, to be implemented once the site achieves “critical mass”, a rewards programme will be put in place. It will allow members of the website to receive real or virtual rewards for the points they have accumulated. The third phase will be implemented only after a “few months” according to Desai.

In the near future, though, ITC is planning a mobile contest for Bingo, adds Desai. The contest will be voice based, and will kick off in key markets and later be taken to a national level.

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