Micromax plans to launch this app for other Canvas phones as well, so that it increases the revenue creation opportunity.
“I wouldn’t sit through that even if you paid me.” It’s the ultimate critique, an acknowledgment that wasted time is worth a lot more than cold hard cash. Micromax is setting out to test that assumption with its new product and campaign.
While Nokia and Samsung flog features and get into a virtual arms race of megapixels and screen size, Micromax’sMAd A94 is pre-loaded with a unique application (MAd) targeted towards those who love ads or those who like the idea of being paid to see them. With a simple 4-step process, MAd allows users to earn points from every ad viewed, which is converted to currency and credited into their postpaid/pre-paid accounts. With a one time registration, the service will work for all opted-in subscribers across telecom operators.
The catch: no skipping allowed. The ad has to be viewed end to end before a subscriber can claim a reward. According to Shubhodip Pal, CMO, Micromax, “This is an attempt to create a win-win for the entire mobile ecosystem.” This service would provide a high engagement communication channel for brands and also be a game changer for the operator
Eco-system looking at newer and innovative ways to help improve profitability from every user, he adds. From a service provider perspective, voice calls can help them go only thus far and no more, in a market that has one of the lowest ARPU (average revenue per user).
The phone thus used can become a powerful medium that brands can deploy to reach their consumers. Plus they have the chance to profile consumers, generate consumption patterns and indulge in proximity marketing. Micromax plans to launch this app for other Canvas phones as well, so that it increases the revenue creation opportunity.
Lloyd Mathias, director, Green Bean Ventures finds this an interesting concept. He recalls Blyk doing this in the past with a tie up with Aircel in India in 2011. More recently Tata Docomo launched the GET service with free talk time in exchange for watching ads. In both these cases the key concern, according to an expert, is that by limiting the service to one telecom operator the app offering does not have a long life, as it gets restrictive. In this case, the device manufacturer has tried to create a consolidated mobile ecosystem for the telecom operators. Girish Trivedi, co-founder, Monk Consulting says this initiative has helped move the conversation to a current focus area, ie apps. Interestingly, when most of the app developers are trying to find a way to monetise their apps, this in turn is offering financial incentive, he adds.
The marketing campaign for the product comprises a teaser digital campaign with an ‘Ad Charades’ game on the brand’s Facebook page followed by the TV campaign conceptualised by Lowe Lintas. The films are a tribute to ‘the world of Indian advertising’ and capture a bunch of situations showing ad-crazy people, shares SriramIyer, executive creative director, Lowe Lintas.
These include: a girl walking into a store and bursting into the Liril jingle, a middleaged guy mulling over the pug in the Vodafone ad, two women in a spa remembering the toothpaste ad and two men on a see-saw looking and chatting like the Ramesh Suresh duo of 5 Star. The campaign captures the ad-fetish of the consumers and how this appreciation can be turned into benefits like bill waive offs, extra talk time, SMS or other VAS products offered by the operators. As expected, such a promotion has maximum traction among younger audiences.
Says Samyak Chakrabarty, chief youth marketer, DDB Mudra Group, “It has potential in that universe especially because it incentivises consumption of content. Of course this is more relevant for those in the middle of the pyramid and not necessarily the creme crowd.” The set of youngsters, which are the likely primary target group, would be pocket money reliant (therefore, most of the times cash strapped) and hence most likely to be hooked on. An ad viewing on this package may just have a better chance of engagement than YouTube, which can often be skipped since the gratification at the end is not as tangible.