Major brands look to crowdsourcing

3 October 2013
MANILA: Major brand owners, including Procter & Gamble and Philips, are using crowdsourcing techniques in their latest Asian campaigns focused on the quality of life.

In the Philippines, P&G, the FMCG giant, invited the public to compose lyrics to a song celebrating life in the nation before subsequently asking them to send in videos of themselves singing the song. Contributions were then edited into a music video featuring Filipinos from all walks of life.

Philips, the Dutch electronics business, is building on the success of an earlier repositioning campaign – the "+" Project that sought to use innovation to better lives in Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand – to move into new markets in the region, including the Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Arent Jan Hesselink, Philips APAC head of integrated marketing and communications, outlined the approach to Campaign Asia-Pacific: "The brand campaign is based on the concept of listening and co-creating in an effort to build the Philips brand to help explain where we are going as a company."

As the business moves away from electronics towards healthcare and lighting, the emphasis of the crowdsourcing will be on identifying those issues that affect health and wellbeing in each territory, and developing appropriate solutions.

Thus, in Thailand, for example, an e-survey asked 22 stakeholders to review and shortlist ideas, covering the areas of livable cities, healthcare and healthy living, for the public to vote on. Based on the outcome of that poll, Philips will then work to execute three winning ideas.

Past examples of schemes Philips has worked on were detailed by Hesselink at an ad:tech event in Singapore earlier this year. These included, in Indonesia, raising awareness for breast cancer, building sustainable bus shelters and serving nutritious canteen food for local students with the help of celebrity chefs, while in South Korea, public walkways were beautified and hospital guides created for new mothers.

Unilever too is looking to engage more fully with its most creative customers, having partnered with eYeka to develop new campaigns across Asia-Pacific, Russia, the Middle East and South Africa.

Nor is it just international businesses using this approach. Indian conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra turned to crowdsourcing to develop a clear brand identity.

It created a successful online movement, Spark the Rise, which sought to propel innovation, entrepreneurship and positive change in India. Almost 2,000 projects and ideas were submitted, while 267 donors and 480 funders gave their support.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff
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