Indo Nissin Cup Noodles’ endgame!

This is almost like a continuation of yesterday’s post. Yesterday – I wrote about OnePlus’s print ad that asked people to engage using Twitter – for being eligible to win one product. And compared it with an earlier, famous attempt by Volkswagen Jetta.

Here’s an ad from yesterday, for comparison (The Times of India, Bengaluru). This is by Nissin India, for the product Cup Noodles.

(Digression: I’m a fairly big fan of the original Cop-O-Noodles which seems to be out of market these days. Of the new flavors, I like the paneer variant, though given the anti-paneer sentiment these days on Twitter, I understand that exposing this like may have dire consequences, there. Digression ends)

The call-to-action is very sharp: if you want to win Avengers-branded goodies, visit for details of how to win them.

Excellent. Off I go to

What do I see there? A big, floating Avengers-themed banner welcomes me. It asks me to ‘click here to know more’. I click.

It opens another tab. A new tab. Gasp!

What is it? The rules of how to win goodies, of course. Finally.

Step 1: Buy a pack of Cup Noodles.
Step 2: Take a selfie with it. (Make sure your face the Cup variant is shown clearly)
Step 3: Post it on social media with #CupNoodlesxAvengers (the website simply says ‘social media’, while the detailed PDF T&C says, “Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Instagram”

Hardly different from OnePlus 7 Guess The Specs or #Anything4Jetta in the sense that they all use print communication to spur digital engagement on one or more social media platforms. But also very similar to OnePlus because Nissin has not mentioned the hashtag in the print ad (possibly because it is tied very specifically to a call-to-action of product purchase and THEN sharing the selfie with the hashtag. The hashtag is the mechanism to decide whether a mention is a contest entry or not, for Nissin.)

And it’s great that Nissin does not isolate their contest to one platform only.

The interesting point here is that Cup Noodles insists that they’d let people know how to participate ONLY on their website, not in the newspaper ad itself (which Volkswagen and One Plus did, efficiently).

If the activities are like a funnel – the top of the funnel is the print advertisement with the call-to-action: Go to our website. At this point in the funnel, the readers of the print newspaper are the total audience. This is, obviously, very high.

The middle part of the funnel, with considerable drop-off rate from the top (making people move from print to web; not a big deal considering everyone is equipped with a mobile phone, but still – it needs intent and effort): see the rules of participation. In this middle part, the number of people who read the newspaper ad, got curious/interested and went to the website… is the number. This would be a fraction of the top part of the funnel.

The bottom part of the funnel, with even more drop off given it involves the need to buy the product, and take a selfie: send us your pic with the hashtag. Here, the total number of people who came to the website gets further reduced… to the total number of people who bothered enough to go out, buy a Cup Noodles Avengers pack, took a selfie featuring their face and the pack, *and* shared it online on a social media channel with the hashtag. This would be another tiny fraction of the middle of the funnel’s numbers.

Question is – why not cut down one part of the funnel and communicate how to participate in the print ad itself? That’d mean I simply need to buy the product and participate.

I can anticipate why they added the 2nd part of the funnel:
a. to induce people to know the other products they have
b. to induce people to buy the products online

If it was (a), it’s a good enough reason, but expecting people to see the other products AND look at the rules to participate is a bit too much to expect. It’s called call-to-action for a reason – one thing you expect people to do.

Ironically, Indo Nissin is NOT an e-commerce website. The ‘Shop Now’ link takes you to a product menu and offers 4 ways you can buy their products online – Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket and Grofers!

And worse – the links on those stores are NOT exclusive campaign pages. They are simply search-based results.

Even worse – none of the stores showcase the Avengers-themed packs!!!

So, why would I buy them online at all? Would you rather go offline (if you are interested enough) and look for the new Avengers-themed packs? Which essentially means the 2nd part of the funnel was both pointless and useless. I’d reckon they could have received better participation if they had simply communicated the how-to-participate in the print ad itself.

However, if Indo Nissin had really planned the online purchase to be the core part of the campaign, and hence wanted the visit to the website as the main purpose, in that case, a tighter integration with the 4 e-commerce partners would have led to better results.

I wouldn’t even comment on the actual participation tactic – take a selfie and share it with hashtag is as as old as social media itself. It’s simple and familiar, but involves a significant offline friction – purchase of the product. I do understand that sales of the new Avengers-themed cups is THE primary focus of the campaign, but in the absence of enabling purchase of the product seamlessly while seeing details about the campaign and how-to-participate, Indo Nissin expects users to remember the campaign, go offline, buy the product, take a pic, share it online. That’s a LOT of steps and effort.

The good—and interesting—part is that every single entry in this contest, across Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, is one unique product purchased (unless someone uses the same cup for multiple entries). Nissin could have spiked the usage by planning the purchase/availability part better through online channels because that removes the physical impediment of going out and finding the product.



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