Monday, July 19, 2010

Adfunda... Tease and Reveal !!!

Tease and reveal campaigns are nothing fresh. Traditional marketers have been implementing this type of campaign since the dawn of time, particularly in outdoor media and often in print….

The concept is a simple one: (For those who haven’t done it or experienced it before)

The tease phase raises the attention of an audience to a particular brand, service or product. Primarily this is achieved by giving away a little, but not too much about the product or brand… The imagery is often unbranded as it makes the consumer question what it is for and what brand it represents… the consumer curiosity is taken to a level where the consumer can no longer wait… Teasers comprises of a series of intriguing and some times confusing ads that are supposed to make people wriggle in inquisitiveness….

The reveal phase presents the product to the already raised wave of interest. This will theoretically result in an unrelenting and longer lasting importance and murmur around the product or service.

Teaser campaign works better in outdoor, as the number of registrations (or visibility) is more due to many touch points across outdoor formats; hence, it creating impact in consumers minds. Outdoor uses consumers’ dead time or free time, like while they are on the move, when their mind is free, and hence the relevance. A couple of registrations on the way to office or to shopping create curiosity, if the content is attention grabbing

This is a concept that is now applied to online marketing as well with people implementing it via Facebook and Twitter. In particular the Twitter platform allows clever marketers to drip small messages in only 140 characters and make people follow you for more..

Stolichnaya vodka case and the LG case can be taken as good cases for students of Marketing communication while to my mind the best Indian case is that of the Hutch ‘HI’ campaign when Hutch launched in Chennai … For me it was mind boggling and the tension that many people I knew went through those days of teasing was just awesome.. Hutch to Vodafone and years later this remains fresh still in my mind…

Union Bank of India’s brand transformation also employed an outdoor teaser campaign. (not every old one but really gold ) The teaser consisted of a three-step process, where the first ad displayed the old logo with a bird peeling off the top right corner of a hoarding just slightly…….. The second one was the same, but the top layer was peeled off a little more, revealing a portion of the new logo; while the third step showed the complete new logo…..

Idea cellular when in launched in Mumbai during August 2008, came up with an exciting outdoor teaser campaign, which showed people from different backgrounds and cities like a Bengali woman, a Canadian man, a Delhiite, etc all with corresponding lines on the creatives, like ‘Yeh Bengal ki hai, Mumbai ki nahin’, or ‘Yeh Canada ka hai, Mumbai ka nahin’. The reveal and launch campaign showed the same people with their Idea Cellular connections, smiling and saying, ‘Mera number Mumbai ka, toh main Mumbai ki’, and so on… I remember going around the city looking for more of such teasers when I saw one or two and wanted more…

Once upon a time, the entire city of Mumbai was plastered with the ‘V’ symbol. Now, at that time, a movie called Vijaypath was to hit the theaters, which starred Ajay Devgan and Tabu. Many thought it was promotions for that; but turned out it was for the launch of Channel [V] in India!.. Brilliant it was and still quoted in the ad circles…

I am not forgetting the Balbir Pasha ads or the Digen Varma (Frooti) ads..

However the problems associated with Teaser ads are not simple..

The plan is to cause intrigue plus the relevance that the teaser has in the context of the brand is very vital.. if you get it wrong it can be fatal….. In other words it can’t just be a gimmick that can boomerang….

When it is revealed it should be finally worth it.. the disclosure should not let people down, because after all, they have put in time and energy looking, investigating these teasers and trying to guess what it is. This is a huge risk and if the audience feels like some one who got a cheap , also ran treasure at the end of a one day treasure hunt, they may start hating you !!!

Timing is important for the launch of the TEASE and the launch of the REVEAL .. if you drag too much in hope of building up the intrigue, you may end up no where as the famous case of the DNA teaser campaign that ended up in courts of law.. DNA’s for its Mumbai launch in 2005 put up hoardings in Mumbai showing faces of people with their mouths pasted over by grey tape and the tagline, ‘Speak up: It’s in your DNA’… the tease went on when a series of advertisements appeared in all the Times group publications. These showed people peeling grey tapes off their mouths, with the tagline, ‘Speak up, it’s in your DNA - Maharashtra Times’.

Dirty ? I felt its smart hijack and it happens when you drag your feet with a teaser…

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