In General

Tonight, I’m off to Kuala Lumpur to speak at conference titled ‘Alternative Advertising and the New Age Media‘ attended by marketing heads of leading companies in Malaysia.

Most of today was spent on tweaking my presentation for my talk. As a matter of principle, I always work on my presentation only on the previous day to the talk because it helps me put in statistics and examples that are latest. Yup, the bile secretion soars but its worth it.

One aspect of my talk focuses on community engagement. I’m of the belief that the 30 second TV spots are getting increasingly less effective. I saw the winning cricket match against Sri Lanka today and I’m trying to recollect the ads that I saw and can’t think beyond two brands. Sure, I don’t have the greatest memory but hey, I consider myself to be a sample of the general TV watching audience.

That’s why its important to have brands also include a more engaging activity and the Internet provides that opportunity. One of the recent exercises that has caught my attention is the latest ‘Soul of the Night’ contest launched by Nokia to promote its latest phone, the N82.

It’s an initiative that encourages participants to click photos of the most happening night spots and the trendiest events in their city. The beauty of the campaign lies in its ability to involve the consumer. They’ve roped in a few celebrities as well to add to the spice factor.

Whoever thought of this idea has my kudos. The N82’s prime feature is its powerful flash enabled 5 Mega Pixel camera. The campaign ties in nicely and because the contest is about nightspots, it showcases the power of the N82’s powerful flash. Had Nokia itself put a few photos, it would have been like normal advertising. (meaning, tough to believe). Here, they make the users put their own pictures and that’s where the credibility comes in.

Why do I say the camera is powerful? Because, I’ve tested it out myself and its the best pictures I’ve seen off a mobile camera. How about other brand phones with 5 MP camera? Nope, haven’t had the chance to test them. I wouldn’t have know about N82 itself had Nokia not sent me a piece for me to try out.

The ‘Soul of the Night’ website right now is in its infancy. The contest is right now open to Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi participants . It’s misleading and being a Chennaite, I didn’t bother registering. Later I found that anyone from any city can register and upload the photos.

I’m taking the N82 on my KL trip and will click a few photos for you to check out. Would have uploaded a few right now if I did not have to rush to the airport.

I’d love to hear examples of how corporate companies are effectively engaging their audience using the Web. Please mail them to Kiruba @ and I’ll give you due credits where ever I mention them.