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If the past couple of years have demonstrated one thing, it is the rising relevance of Digital across marketing and advertising functions. With the changing consumer behaviour, dramatically different consumption patterns, the rise of e-commerce and the proliferation of OTT platforms, marketers had to take a step back and rework their marketing strategies during the pandemic. As Digital grew to become the hero medium, 2021 also became the year that mobile marketing soared to new heights, with incredible campaigns and brilliant innovations raising the bar. The exchange4media Group, through the seventh edition of its Mobile Marketing Awards, better known as the Maddies, acknowledged and recognised excellence in mobile marketing during 2021 at an event in Mumbai last week.
From the 650 entries received this year, 240 entries got shortlisted by the selection board. The winners of the Maddies were chosen by a grand jury of 28 distinguished industry leaders led by Hemant Malik – Divisional Chief Executive (Food Business), ITC. With mobile marketing almost doubling in spends in recent times, the jury chose campaigns that stood out for their innovation on mobile platforms, for their concepts and business impact. The winners this year were named across three major categories and 54 sub-categories. Additionally, there was a special category announced by Sharechat ‘Brands for Bharat’ with three sub-categories as well as a special People’s Choice award by ABP Live. Under the ‘Hall of Fame’ category, Mindshare India was named ‘Agency of the Year’, while ITC was honoured as ‘Mobile Marketer of the Year’. Wavemaker and Omnicom Media Group’s PHD were the other big winners.
While over 50 campaigns picked up a gold, we showcase a few of them here for their work in benchmarking exemplary mobile marketing in a rapidly changing ecosystem.

The concept
Holi, India’s most vibrant festival, wasn’t the same this year on account of the pandemic restrictions and with social distancing leaving everyone isolated. With Surf Excel’s premise of ‘dirt is good’, the brand wanted to foster togetherness despite the isolation during Holi this year. So the brand used a twist on its tagline and created a campaign that said ‘rang ache hain’ to keep the festive spirit alive. Surf Excel curated a box of happiness that users could deliver to their loved ones. Thus the brand, through hyper-local delivery app, Dunzo attempted to bridge the physical distance between loved ones. The brand created in-app ‘happiness’ notifications prior to the festival. Surf Excel then placed contextual ads across the user journey and social media posts. Consumers could simply choose opt-in along with their sweets’ order and thousands of Surf Excel holi hampers were dispatched. Consumers shared pictures and posts about sending or receiving this ‘hamper of happiness’ and the brand also leveraged influencers who sent the Surf Excel box to loved ones who were far away.

The impact
• The campaign was able to reach and change people’s sentiments during the festival of Holi
• 4.5MN+ impressions were garnered through Dunzo’s social media
• 4.5% increase in social media engagement
• 9.5 million views were garnered through influencers on Instagram alone
• The campaign collected PR coverage worth over USD 1.1 million

The concept
During the pandemic lockdowns, as consumers were juggling WFH with household chores, they realised they lacked the time and ingredients to cook up meals every day. This where ITC Masterchef’s gravies and pastes, co-created with the chefs of ITC’s hotels, gave home cooks some relief. The brand created consideration for its TG (millennials and Gen Z consumers) in the top eight metros through a contextual search campaign on YouTube. A 15-second non-skip ad was presented to consumers, showcasing the very recipes they were seeking online. The brand also tied up with celebrity and micro-influencers to make reels and videos about how to use the product. Through videos and static ads, consumers were shown how to use the new range of products. Celebrity chefs were roped in for the ITC live cooking workshops on the ITC connect platform. The agency also used e-commerce targeted ads that drove up sales.

The impact
• The 15 recipe videos created for YouTube delivered 55mn+ impressions
• Ad recall increase of 11.78%
• 400x increase in brand mentions
• 37x increase in brand conversations
• 25 mn impressions on Facebook and Instagram
• 6.3 mn accounts were reached through influencer campaigns with a 2.4% engagement rate
• Over 10 mn impressions for ITC Connect’s live cooking workshop
• The brand’s recipe contest saw over 4000 entries

The concept

With people meeting each other online more than in the real world, emoticons are also replacing real emotions. And while the youth enjoy meeting new people, taking the first step is always a challenge. Combining both insights, Mentos explored the possibilities of connecting people in the real world by using emoticons. Mentos created a ‘say hello’ pack with a clever use of emoticons, a one-of-its kind confectionery for the Indian market. The concept was to enable young people to break the ice with emoticons. The campaign became the talk of the town on Twitter, when 21 brands said hello to Mentos. The Mentos say hello film also aired on social media in shorter versions. Four stand-up comics were roped in to post humorous content decoding the Mentos emoticons and challenging their peers. The campaign introduced Mentos AR filters on Instagram, where category B influencers were enlisted to create unique content. All these campaign pillars were conceptualised with a mobile-first approach. The campaign turned into a 360-degree one when it reached the modern trade and retail market.

The impact
• The campaign resulted in significant brand uplift for Mentos, which moved the needle on sales as well
• Over 20 mn views across YouTube and Instagram
• 30% engagement rate across video and static creatives
• #SayHello trended on Twitter at #2
• Over 1.3 mn organic views and high UGC with filters

The concept

During the lockdowns, bars, restaurants and lounges were one of the most severely hit industries, while consumers were left nursing their drinks alone at home without the company of friends and loved ones. When bars finally reopened, Johnnie Walker decided to help their partners get back on their feet. Through digital videos, the brand invited consumers to return to their favourite bars carrying glass bottles that they emptied during the lockdown. With the use of a microsite, mobile-friendly thumbstoppers and influencer-led Instagram reels, consumers could make their way to the designated collection booths across 10 major cities. The brand collected over 50,000 glass bottles and took them to leading glass artists across the country to turn them into Johnnie Walker installations with a message to leave the past behind and keep walking into the future. The installations were placed in the bars where the bottles were collected and all contributors had their names featured on them. The campaign concluded with a digital film to remind consumers that standing still was not an option.

The impact
• The campaign witnessed 10.1 million video views
• There were 36000+ walk-ins in 52 bars across 10 cities
• The campaign reached 10.6 mn consumers, garnering 343 mn impressions and 66,000 engagements
• Johnnie Walker also saw noteworthy uplift in brand saliency, brand consideration and brand love

The concept

The campaign was conceptualised by the insight that young parents often have sleepless nights on account of their infants. These parents typically end up mobile binging in the middle of the night and shopping for their babies too, with FirstCry.com being the popular choice. Health and hygiene at home are also paramount for these young parents to keep their families safe. This was where Asian Paints’ Royal Health Shield (RHS) came in with its assurance of improving air quality and minimising infections within the home. While parents were making purchases for their babies on FirstCry.com during the night, Asian Paints introduced a night sale for them. Young parents had to interact with the brand to get rewarded – the later the night, the higher the discounts as consumers got, with a 40% discount at 1 am and a 60% discount at 3 am! The campaign saw a tremendous response every weekend and made RHS synonymous with safe and healthy homes.

The impact
• The brand RHS saw greater awareness among consumers and young parents on the back of this campaign
• It became known as a brand that stood for safer and healthier products
• 26mn impressions were delivered with RHS sale promotions
• FirstCry, too, saw a rise in sales, and the campaign was successful in delivering millions of smiles

The concept

Singapore is known and loved for several things – its beauty, food and the various experiences it offers to tourists. But all this changed with the pandemic when borders were closed. To stay top of mind, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) collaborated with BookMyShow to launch My Singapore Connect – a web series. The series consisted of four sessions, featuring eight Indian and Singaporean artists. STB promoted the launch of the episodes through 360-degree illustrated posts on Facebook to ensure buzz among the audience. Each post was meticulously designed to deliver an immersive experience, while covering major aspects of the main show itself, creating an integration with the overall campaign. The objective was to get the audience excited about the new anthology-based web series, keeping Singapore top of mind, creating engagement, while delivering something unique to the viewers. Cross promotions of episodes on owned STB Facebook page and engaging 360-degree illustrations of the episodes were some innovative ways in which the content was promoted on STB owned channels.

The impact
• The 360-degree interactive campaign reached a total audience of 5.7 mn and garnered 100k+ total engagement.
• The brand’s immersive way of engaging with the users encouraged them to interact rather than just passively see the post and scroll.
• The enhanced personalisation of the 360-degree post led to a surge in episode viewership with 37K+ audience clicking and viewing the episodes

The concept

When Kia Sonet was launched in India, the brand aimed to popularise its AI voice command feature – Hello Kia –with interactive voice ads delivered on the smartphones of motor-heads across the country. Kia leveraged InMobi audiences to identify upscale, urban dwellers and high-income users using smartphones priced at over Rs 25,000. The brand then created a thumbstopping, interactive ad unit with full screen, interstitial ads to help users experience the feature. It helped users understand live commands such as ‘hello Kia, open the driver window’ upon which the animation of the driver window is shown opening. The CTA on the ad, ‘learn more’ directed users to the Kia Sonnet product page, where they could further experience the ease that voice enabled access this car can deliver.

The impact
• The AI voice command ad opened new doors for Kia as the campaign reached over 1.9 million users, who engaged for an average of 45 seconds on the ad unit.
• 1 out of 2 users engaged until the very end of the ad
• Around 1,500 cumulative hours were spent on the ad
• Kia India also announced that it had secured its highest-ever sales in India in the month after Sonet’s launch

The concept

Quaker Oats, along with the Smile Foundation, was one of the brands that was quick to respond to the devastating second wave of the pandemic. The brand chose to salute and acknowledge those on the frontline by providing nutritious oat-meals across hospitals to sustain them and keep them going. It also chose to put the spotlight on these heroes and amplified their stories with audiences across the country. The brand did this in two distinct phases of the campaign, marking July 1st which was also Doctors’ Day. The brand reached out to over 50 government and private hospitals across seven states in the country. It also identified seven stories of healthcare workers, nurses and doctors from different parts of the country and shared one story every week on its social media handles. Not only was this initiative appreciated by government leaders and healthcare authorities, but it also saw widespread appreciation from consumers, media and the medical fraternity. The initiative was appreciated by the jury at the Maddies and acknowledged in the ‘social impact’ category.

The impact
• The brand served over 100,000 oat-based meals to the healthcare community
• Reached over 50 private and government hospitals
• The campaign struck a chord with consumers and saw 100% positive sentiment
• Over 150,000 shares on social media
• It also moved the needle in Quaker Oats’ sales across India

The concept

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the consumer behaviour – consumers are focussing on their health now more than ever to build immunity. The campaign for Mother Dairy’s Haldi Milk targeted consumers who were specifically looking for Haldi milk as immunity booster. The brand, along with agency Wavemaker, chose to opt for image targeting instead of search keyword targeting. The campaign used ‘Mirrors’, AI-powered computer vision technology that can accurately detect contexts like logos, faces, objects, actions, scenes and emotions in a streaming video, helping brands to reach the most relevant audience, centric approach and personalised message targeting – resulting in efficient results versus regular keyword search campaigns. AI was used to help identify visuals (such as a glass of Haldi milk) in the video frame, and the ad was only shown when the images appeared in the YouTube video. The message was delivered when the audience was most receptive, and it helped to get better execution and brand cut through.

The impact
• The volume of Mother Dairy’s Haldi Milk sales saw a significant increase on e-commerce post the campaign
• The campaign also helped grow the brand’s overall sales volume across online and offline channels
• Using the simple concept of image-targeting instead of keyword-targeting, a relatively smaller player like Mother Dairy made its way to stand alongside bigger FMCG brands

The concept

Bombay Shaving Company was looking to change the perception that it was just a male grooming brand and instead position itself as a unisex brand. The brand launched a unisex de-tan kit with activated charcoal and its objective was to showcase the brand’s offerings for both men and women, while also driving sales for the de-tan kit. It collaborated with Trell, a lifestyle vlogging and social commerce platform, and leveraged the platform’s popular influencers to promote their unisex products. The campaign with Trell, which ran over 15 days, helped Bombay Shaving Company in driving brand salience and growth in sales. The campaign roped in three of Trell’s popular influencers that had a combined following of 2.4 million. Each influencer created and uploaded a two-minute, step-by-step product usage video blog with the intent of driving traffic to the Trell shopping page, eventually leading to sales conversions for the product. The product was linked to the video itself so consumers could make a purchase immediately after watching the video.

The impact
• Bombay Shaving Company’s products on Trell saw a 65x in product page views and a 47x increase in sales during the campaign period
• The videos garnered approximately 55% female views
• The campaign also saw an impressive engagement rate of just over 14%
• The success of the campaign also became a turning point for Bombay Shaving Company in its venture towards reshaping its brand perception

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Tags : Christina Moniz Mother Dairy IMPACT magazine ITC exchange4media Maddies mobile marketing awards Johnnie Walker Pepsi Quaker Oats Singapore Tourism