(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI: Location: Barbershop.
Script: A bunch of youngsters briefing the barber on what hairstyle they need.
What one may have seen on TV-telecom service provider Vodafone's commercial for its '121 Made-For-You' offers-came alive in select shopping malls in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad last month.
Recently, Dutch consumer electronics maker Philips put 'live mannequins' on display windows at key retail locations in Delhi when bodybuilders demonstrating Philips BodyGroom products replaced regular mannequins at its stores.
Several brands are now replicating their TV commercials on ground or mixing their mass media promotions with direct consumer-engagement activities to create an extra buzz.
"While above-the-line promotion provides mass media coverage, below-the-line promotional techniques give necessary depth to the campaign," says Smitha Sarma Ranganathan, a brand communication specialist who teaches marketing management at IBS Bangalore. "Integrating both these aspects via staged events helps marketers realise the best of both worlds."
Coming back to Vodafone mall activation, it roped in hairstylists from Jawed Habib beauty salon chain to give customised hair cut or hair styling to young boys.
Vodafone created a web application and displayed a huge LED wall at the malls. The 'before' and 'after' images of select participants were uploaded and tagged with their names, and it was updated every hour with a new "look of the hour and hairstyle of the hour'.
It's not only Vodafone and Philips that are connecting with consumers on ground.
The latest brand to replicate its TV commercial on ground is Idea. The telecom service provider rolled out a consumer connect programme in Hyderabad to create a buzz for Honey Bunny commercial.
A Toyota Innova with five dancers dressed in costume and character representing different states of India went to hotspots across the town and danced to the tune of Honey Bunny.
In Ahmedabad, it formed a 'Flash Music Band' that planted itself at the popular hangout spots. After singing the 2.5-minutes jingle, it moved on to another location.
Greenlam, one of the largest laminate brands, undertook an innovative marketing campaign at select malls a few months ago. It created an outline of Taj Mahal on LCD touch screens and invited people to beautify the monument with their favourite colours, designs or patterns of Greenlam laminate.
Such activities, says Ranganathan of IBS Bangalore, lend credibility to the brands in terms of making promises in TV commercials and fulfilling them.
"By breathing life into the contexts of commercials via staged events, brands get to cement the belief that after all 'what you see is what you get' besides achieving customer engagement," she says. "Overall, it reinforces the strength of the brand in the consumers' eyes."
(c) 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited