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Advertising: Start of something new?

Advertisements are seen as interruptions at best. No matter what you're doing, your experience is interrupted by something that urges you to part with your money and buy what is being promoted. Very rarely does an ad give you what you need (say, a discount or some such offer). Its no wonder then that marketers are trying to figure out ways to better their communication.

This being the picture, I was surprised to hear an ad to promote an ad. A few brands tried to create some buzz in the social media releasing teasers to their then upcoming Superbowl ads in the hope that the actual airing of the Superbowl ad would be viewed by a lot of people when it aired. I thought this was quite stupid. The money spent on creating this buzz would have been better spent in generating some content about the brand itself, rather than an upcoming ad.

It happened again. But this time, it was a totally different thing. Coca-Cola China aired an ad promoting another (Superbowl-like) ad that would be aired at a set time. Only, the ad being promoted was not going to be aired at any major public event. It would be yet another TV commercial (TVC). The unique thing about this TVC though, was that it was not a traditional ad, but a game that would engage viewers more actively. The viewers had to install an app that would allow them to collect Coca-Cola caps that would come on screen during the TVC. These caps could then be redeemed for discounts and gift vouchers. Watch this:

This seems like a terrific idea.

Coca-Cola is giving the target market for its TVC exactly what they want. Discounts and offers on things they normally buy. In the process, they're building some brand equity for Coca-Cola.

The app has been downloaded 380,000+ times in the first month after its release. And the ad has had over 9 million views.

How this affects actual Coke sales is yet to be seen. But, this form of advertising is probably the first of its kind and other brands could soon turn this into a trend. It will be interesting to see how it pans out if that does happen.

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