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Velfie craze hits India

News, 25 June 2015

NEW DELHI: After the selfie comes the velfie, or video selfie, with brands already tapping into the potential of a new generation of apps to engage with consumers.

One such, #velfie, was launched just ten weeks ago by Mobi First Media, and some leading brands have experimented with the possibilities for embracing user-generated content via this channel.

Automaker Datsun recently ran a short campaign to celebrate the brand's first birthday and invited people to share velfies, either with their cars or lip-synching to the Datsun happy birthday song. In return, Datsun celebrated some of its customers' birthdays.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures," Idi Srinivas Murthy, svp/marketing at online marketplace Snapdeal, told Live Mint.

"It is easier to build relationships with consumers by interacting with them on social media, and velfies are emerging as a good way for customers to engage with the brand," he added.

The ongoing #Snapdealvelfie challenge asks users to download the #velfie app and record a velfie using any song from the Snapdeal sound board before sharing it on social media. At the end of the campaign, two winners will be rewarded with a Google Nexus 5 phone.

Rammohan Sundaram, co-founder of Mobi First Media, said there were clear advantages to brands: "It is much better than just showcasing a pre-roll or a post-roll ad format as the brand uses the platform and makes it its own."

Celebrities are being recruited for velfie campaigns. Abhishek Gupta, co-founder of Pochi Mobile which launched the Frankly velfie app at the start of the year, outlined a campaign around the recent International Day of Yoga.

This "brought together 20 celebrities from different backgrounds who uploaded velfies on the benefits of yoga and users responded in a similar way", he explained.

"Selfies are of the past, velfies are of the present and the future," Sundaram declared. "Velfies enable everyone to be what they otherwise are not, which is to be a film star, singer, actor..."

Data source from Live Mint; additional content by Warc staff