One of the few things that could make me choke on my breakfast while reading The Times Of India happened today. It was an advertisement, by the way – not a piece of news.
And, it had a Facebook fan page mentioned quite prominently, along with the now-famous Facebook ‘F’ logo!
That is enough for me to choke on my breakfast and shout, ‘…it’s happening!’
The first thing I noticed…they had a vanity URL, not a set of numbers – that means they already a sizeable number of fans. Hmmm…interesting!
The second thing I did…went to Times of India epaper to get a soft copy of the ad. Surprise, surprise, the ad is missing in the epaper (bottom half, page 4 of Times Life). Instead, there’s something else that would be interestingly apt for Times on a Sunday – a piece on Sonia Dara and a come-hither pic with her in a 2 piece…bikini. I wonder why Times chose to replace the print version with a half-page ad and not the bikini pic. It’d have been a tough choice between the ad cost vs. increased eye-balls on a weekend. But I digress…
The Basics Life Facebook page has more than 2,400+ fans and seems quite active. They seems to be running contests and a frequent buyers’ program too! Fans have uploaded photographs, ‘liked’ and added comments too.
There’s a link to the official website too and thankfully, the Facebook community page is mentioned there too – good integration.
So, what does it say about the brand? From my perspective it says that it is indeed a confident brand. And that it wants to convey not just what it has to say about itself, in marketing-speak, but also wants us to know what others (people like you and me) think about the brand. But, a clothing brand is, in my opinion, low engagement (not necessarily low involvement, given the amount of time and effort we take to find the best ones for us) and hence there is only so much customers/ fans can say about a nice fitting short or a great pair of jeans. From that point of view, having those contests and frequent buyer program are brilliant ideas. It really shows that the brand has thought through the low engagement part and has invented other, incidental ways to keep people engaged online.
I’d still like a high involvement/ high engagement brand (gadgets, automobiles and the likes) to go this route – of proclaiming their online community URL – but, this is a great start! Is this is the first time a print ad has carried an online community URL? Have you seen any other brand in India do this? Do share…if you recall other brands doing the same.
Incidentally, this is precisely what I had in mind when I wrote on this topic, last month – We look forward to hearing from you! Really? (Feb. 15, 2010)