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Vodafone ZooZoo 3G Campaign - Integrated Marketing Communication campaign

Labels: Business, Marketing, Marketing Mix, Promotions, Telecom, Vodafone, ZooZoo

Vodafone is on a roll. They have been the highest gainer in terms of the people who have decided to port out of their existing operator and switch to Vodafone. But as predicted earlier, MNP has not been a game changer. Less than 1% of the total subscribers have decided to switch their operator. But this post is not about MNP, its about the 3G campaign featuring Vodafone India's brand ambassadors "The ZooZoo community" and their hero "Zoo 3G". If the tales of zoozoo weren't enough on television you will still not miss the ZooZoo 3G avatar. If you fare high on the geek meter (a nerd like me), you'll catch him on YouTube, Journal websites, Google ads and news portals. If you toil through the streets like a bus driver or a rickshaw puller, you'll catch him on almost every second billboard. If you are a frequent flier, you'll not miss on the airport. If you happen to be at the Delhi airport around this time, you'll see a Zoozoo city out there. Every aesthetically sound corner for advertising has a Zoozoo banner. And if that's not enough, the community kids are spreading the most popular form i.e. Word-of-Mouth. The important thing to note is that the whole campaign is "Integrated". The term IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) is literally engraved in all books and research papers on promotional strategy, but sadly very few practitioners adopt it. Vodafone's 3G -ZooZoo campaign is an immaculate example of an integrated marketing communication (IMC) campaign. If CocaCola gave shape to the santa, the future generations will remember vodafone for zoozoo. About ZooZoos The egg headed white creatures with big ballooned bodies are characters promoted by Vodafone since the second season of Indian Premier League (IPL). Vodafone had asked Ogilvy & Mather to create a series of 30 advertisements which could be aired each day during the IPL Season 2. They are used to promote various value added services of Vodafone. Although they look animated, they are actually humans in wearing "ZooZoo" costumes. These ads were created by Ogilvy & Mather, the agency handling Vodafone advertisements. They were shot by Nirvana Films in Cape Town, South Africa. The Idea was conceived by Rajiv Rao, the national creative director at Ogilvy India. The characters were named ZooZoo because Rajiv and his team "wanted something that sounded cute, lovable and a bit mad like the characters. Rajiv also "wanted to make real people look as animated as possible". The character

The Zoozoos are thin small-bodied women covered in layers of fabric. Each facial expression of the character is made of rubber and pasted on the actors to reduce the time and cost for shoot. The effect was achieved by a variety of methods including reducing the footage frame-rates, using the right material for the body suits to ensure a wrinkle free outer layer when the characters moved, and keeping backgrounds simple in terms of detailing color (grey). The sets were made larger than life to make the characters look smaller. The whole of first series was shot in a record time of 10 days. ZooZoo ad campaign also won the PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) glitter box award for replacing the pug (remember Hutch) with ZooZoo (considered to be a more humane alternative). The response by Indian audience was phenomenal. Although experts claim that the ads did not achieve the target of increasing VAS usage. ZooZoos have become a brand in themselves with ZooZoo T-shirts and other accessories being sold at retail chains apart from thousands of visits to their YouTube advertisements and over 2 million fans on Facebook pages.

The lovable Zoozoos, created by Indias largest advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, is all set to be exported abroad, courtesy Vodafone. The telecom company will be taking the iconic characters to allied markets in what is being seen as a clear thumbs-up to the creative concept that has taken the local advertising industry by storm since the campaigns launch earlier this year.
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Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, South Asia, says its (taking Vodafone worldwide) a definite possibility and a lot of progress has been made on this front in the past one week. I am keeping my fingers crossed, he says. Into its second leg at the moment, the campaign with the egg-headed characters first surfaced during the second season of the Indian Premier League in April this year. Instead of the traditional repeat ads, Vodafone decided to launch a new film everyday during the league as it wanted to showcase its value added services. The characters, enacted by Marathi theatre actors, became endearing as they represented innocent people living in a simple world, says Pandey. The campaign was conceived by Rajiv Rao, National Creative Director, O&M, and the film was directed by Nirvana Films. Vodafone has been quick to cash in on the fever by launching exclusive Zoozoo merchandise in October this year. This was the first for an advertising concept in the country. The second leg, called Power to You, is a continuation of the first, except that the ads now dwell on certain product attributes, in a Zoozoo way, of course. So, if Vodafone wishes to communicate that it has an exhaustive play-list to select from, in case a subscriber wishes to download a ringtone, then the Zoozoo adaptation of it would be as follows: A young Zoozoo girl is seen rushing from the end of a bench to the other desperately trying to catch up with the music being played out by her suitors who wish to woo her somehow. The manner in which she makes her entry, sits next to one of them, when he plays his music from his stereo, then rushes to the other who tries to woo her with his collection, is comical. This is not the first time that an advertising concept has been taken overseas, though. The hugely popular Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola campaign, featuring Aamir Khan, was also taken abroad by the company. Launched in 2002, the campaign saw the versatile actor essaying six roles - the street-smart charlie from Mumbai, the Hyderabadi, the Punjabi farmer, the Nepali, the Bihari and the Bengali babumoshai. Through 2002 and 2003, the campaign resonated the message - Thanda-Matlab Coca-Cola - loud and clear, instinctively cutting ice with people and ensuring that it bagged all the key awards during that period. The multinational was so impressed with the campaign, which was created by Mccann-Erickson that it was felicitated with the company's most prestigious marketing award, the Don Keogh Marketing Mastery Award, in 2003. The campaign was adapted to markets such as China and South East Asia eventually.

On April 20, 2009, Vodafone Essar launched the Zoozoos advertising campaign. During the IPL-Season 2, a total of 30 different TVCs including Cricket Alerts, Beauty Alerts, Phone Backup, Chhota Credit, Vodafone Maps, Vodafone Call Filter, Live Games, Musical Greetings, etc. were aired (Refer to Exhibit VI for Screenshots of some of the Advertisements)...

The Response
In April 2009, as the TVCs started being aired on television, they created the necessary buzz both in

traditional as well as in social networking sites like Facebook, and Twitter and video sharing website, YouTube. All the TVCs were available both on YouTube and Twitter. For the week ended April 25, 2009, one ad on fashion tips was viewed 13,000 times on YouTube. On, the word 'Zoozoo,' became the third highest search word on May 04, 2009...

Zoozoo was marketed very well. IPL provided a great platform for the Zoozoo commercials. People got to see various funny zoozoo advertisements. And the strategy of releasing the advertisements on a daily basis made people stick to their television sets even during the breaks. And also, people didnt get bored watching the same ad over and over again. In fact, a curiosity was developed about What next? Zoozoo seemed to be animated characters initially. But when the news came that there are real people behind the Zoozooz, the curiosity level took a further leap. People got more excited about the advertisements. The charm of the Zoozoo was itself a great self marketing that Zoozoo did for itself. People liked the gestures and innocent faces of the Zoozoo. They wanted to see more of the Zoozoo. Zoozoo made everyones inside child come alive. For now, Vodafone has announced to launch the Zoozoo goodies like zoozoo toys, zoozoo mugs, zoozoo keychains, zoozoo t-shirts and many more. You can look for some Zoozoo goodies here. Zoozoo has created a big audience and opened up a big market. Now how long Zoozoo is able to maintain this Zoozoo Mania is a big question. People are crazy about Zoozoo these days. But how long this craze will stay is a question. But for the marketing students, Zoozoo story is a big lesson to learn. Zoozooz are hit, but what about the services they were meant to endorse. In all the hype about the Zoozooz, the actual reason about their existence seems to be in a wilderness. Zoozooz were meant to endorse the value added services of Vodafone and they did that quite well but over time, they have overpowered the brand itself. This is because Zoozooz have themselves become a brand now. Vodafones marketing strategies went well with the Zoozooz. They released 30 ads in around 45 days which created a sudden hype about the Zoozooz and the commercials. Yes it did promoted the VAS and many people got to know about the services they were previously not aware of. But it will be interesting to see how much good these advertisements do for these services.

It will also be interesting to see how Vodafone uses Zoozoo in the future. They have released 30 advertisements at a stretch. Zoozooz were meant to endorse VAS, but now its almost definite that they will get promoted to become full scale brand endorsers of the company. But how much Vodafone will be able to keep its identity in front of Zoozoo which has suddenly overpowered the brand itself.