Arati Rao Shephali Bhatt
Jun 21, 2012

Campaign@Cannes Blog: How Twitter can steer the plan

Takeaways from Dick Costolo’s seminar, and India-spotting on day four of Cannes Lions 2012

Campaign@Cannes Blog: How Twitter can steer the plan


Everyone’s talking on Twitter. Nothing new about that.
But here’s the interesting point from Dick Costolo’s session on ‘Harnessing the power of real-time connections’ – it’s the unplanned events and conversations that can really provide opportunities to brands.
Such as when Brad Keselowski tweeted the picture of a fire (resulting from a crash) at the Daytona 500, the television network didn’t see a drop in viewership ratings, because people tuned back in to see what was going on. Tide, the detergent brand, then made the most of the opportunity by offering to clean the track, and according to Costolo, they asked people, via social networks, to give a caption for a picture of the crew at work. (Now there’s another report on the internet that says that the @Tide handle on Twitter actually remained silent during the hours of the cleanup, so I’m not really sure if they really did make the most of the opportunity).   
The implications of these real-time conversations for marketers, said Costolo, is to allow the customer to finish the sentence for the brand, to think about ways of closing the loop between investments on both screens, to realise that conversations can create campaigns, and to adapt the campaign to the moment, and not rely on plans (such as Audi R8, which gave a car for a weekend to Joanne McCoy after she started tweeting with the hashtag wantanr8, and then subsequently adopted the hashtag).
One brand in India that I think has made optimal mileage of the ‘unplanned event’, for many years now, is Amul. It’s a brand that is really keyed into conversations in the real world. On Twitter, the @Amul_coop handle posts all the cartoons that go out in traditional media, giving easy access to those who may miss it otherwise. And like Tide, it’s a mass brand, not an elite one at all. Another brand that comes to mind is Vaseline - and its rejoinder ad for Michael Vaughan’s comment. As brand managers in India talk about foregoing ownership of their brands to their consumers, it’ll be interesting to see how they would react to the idea of foregoing planned campaigns as well.
India-spotting by Shephali Bhatt:
Day four was essentially all about long conversations. To begin with, I had an engaging interaction with Times Group’s Arunabh Das Sharma about content creation on various mediums. What followed was a long chat with Rajdeepak Das of BBDO about the creative talent in Thailand. Taproot’s Aggie said hello right before he went into the jury room, where he was to spend the rest of the day. Spoke to Mindshare’s Sudipto Roy and DDB Mudra Group’s Pratap Bose about poor media agency turnout at Cannes. While talking to Pops and I about the disparities between Indian and Brazilian ad culture, Abhijit Avasthi of Ogilvy made a remark: “We are as far behind Brazil in advertising and award winning tactics, as we are in football (More on that in the video of day five). It will take us a long time to draw level.” Had to give the Gutter Bar a miss this time as well but Arati and I did make it to The Times of India party. Indian food; at last. Satiated! Sadly, Mindshare’s Gowthaman couldn’t find a masala dosa that he was craving for before the party. But he didn’t complain much.
Met a host of adlanders along with Contagious Communications’ Neeraj Nayar and the ITC team comprising of Ananya Ukil and Ranajit Ghosh. It’s day five already and I can’t get myself to believe that the 59th International Festival of Creativity will come to an end in two days. Can’t wait to make the most of the next 48 hours now.


Campaign India

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