Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vodafone ZooZoo 3G Campaign - Integrated Marketing Communication campaign

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.