Major Indian advertisers turn to crowdsourcing

10 December 2009

MUMBAI: Frito-Lay, Vodafone Essar and Nestlé are among a growing number of advertisers looking to employ crowdsourcing to connect with their target audience in India.

Earlier this year, Frito-Lay – which is owned by PepsiCo – launched a contest asking members of the public in India to submit their suggestions for a new flavour of crisp to add to its portfolio.

Some 200,000 entries were received in the first week of this programme alone, with the organisation now in the process of selecting which of these options will go forward for popular consideration.

The company will then allow web users to vote for their favourite, with the person behind the winning idea taking a prize of 50 lakh rupees ($107,505; €72,944; £65,970), and 1% of future revenues generated by the product.

Alongside supporting this initiative with advertising across TV, outdoor, radio and digital, the Frito-Lay is considering making a reality TV series based around the scheme.

Ruchira Jaitly, vp of marketing at Frito-Lay India, said "we're excited … not only does this help us source new flavours but also gives us a chance to reward our loyal consumers."

"There will be some outrageous flavours out there, and then some that are interesting."

Vodafone Essar, the Indian arm of the UK telecoms company, also recently unveiled a new communications campaign featuring animated characters called "Zoozoos".

As part of this process, it challenged members of online portals like Facebook, the social network, to watch a partially-completed ad featuring these brand mascots, and suggest how it might end.

A total of 13,000 storylines have been uploaded to date, with the consumer producing the best one set to be awarded a BlackBerry Storm, along with a range of Zoozoo-related merchandise.

Rajiv Rao, executive creative director, South Asia, at Ogilvy & Mather, which devised this platform, said "we launched the contest to create a buzz. So far the response has been overwhelming."

Nestlé India has also called for customers to reveal their real-life stories related to its Maggi noodle brand, with some going on to appear on its packaging, and others being recounted in TV spots.

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff