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Rediff.com  » Business » 5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

Last updated on: January 3, 2012 09:08 IST

5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

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Krishnadeep Baruah


If Hinglish, (Hindi-English) made its way to the Oxford Dictionary, Tanglish (Tamil-English) will soon have to be considered as well thanks to a song that is the rage on the Internet.

A song that literally exploded onto the digital medium with these words: "Why this Kolaveri Di?" (loosely translated into English it would mean "Why this killer rage, girl?").

Words from a song that defies musical logic of synchronised lyrics and a melody yet you can hear its infectious tune in a local train on someone's mobile device.

Chances are your driver and your cook both have it and play it on their mobile handset, over and over again. Lyrics are being downloaded and shared, as more and more curious consumers search online wanting to understand the trend.

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Image: Composer Anirudh Ravichander (left) and Dhanush, who sang the song.
Photographs: Rediff Archive

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5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

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The song has crossed 10 million hits online in a short time. It is now both a local and international phenomenon. It has been viewed multiple times on YouTube. Commented and spread on Twitter. Downloaded and played from mobile devices.

It is part of a deliberate campaign by Sony Music to promote a song using the digital medium. A campaign that exemplifies the power of social and digital media to garner interest, engage consumers and grow exponentially as it catches on and spreads.

The song exemplifies how consumption patterns of digital consumers have evolved. Consumers are increasingly impatient and mobile.

They are constantly on the go and they want their information at their fingertips all the time.

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Photographs: Reuters

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5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

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Mobile devices have helped deepen penetration and have helped overcome concerns of limited broadband access in India.

According to the latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) subscriber figures, broadband subscription reached 12.98 million in October 2011 while active wireless subscribers in the same period stood at 626.18 million.

The message is clear -- the opportunity for mobile is immense.

And Kolaveri Di has shown how digital marketing can capture the imagination of mobile users by leveraging the full breath of the digital landscape.

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Photographs: Reuters

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5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

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So what does it take to create a successful digital marketing campaign? There are many factors but following are critical to success:

Build content that is differentiated, relevant, intriguing and engaging: Kolaveri Di is a phenomenon thanks to a well planned, well executed digital marketing campaign.

But the campaign itself could not have succeeded if the product it was promoting was itself not compelling, intriguing, unlike anything else, yet something people could relate to.

Consumers want to engage when the social content is great and an idea has capturedtheir imagination. To put the need for compelling content in perspective, a recent global study, the TNS Digital Life 2012 Report has revealed that 50 per cent of digital campaigns fall on deaf ears resulting in tremendous waste of the marketing budget.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Simply posting daily polls, questions, promotional offers and updates is not enough to hold the attention of already engaged consumers nor will it be sufficient to attract new consumers. The key is to ensure the content is itself riveting and attention-worthy.

Set trends, be unconventional: Trending on the digital medium is real. It can be tracked, monitored, measured and assessed.

Set the trend and a brand can stand out. Follow the trend and a brand could get lost in the trend. Being unconventional does not come without risk. Unilever's 'Campaign for Real Beauty' for its leading personal care brand 'Dove' was a risky choice for a personal care product.

The campaign featured regular women instead of super-models or celebrities. This could have been counter-productive as personal care beauty products had till then been largely aspirational and Dove could have been misperceived as a brand for regular girls.

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Photographs: Reuters

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But the campaign which sought to connect and engage with real consumers was based on research -- a global study on the perceptions and attitudes of women about their well-being.

Appreciated by many real women, the Dove 'Campaign for Real Beauty' generated plenty of buzz, wide media coverage for the Dove brand and resulted in increased sales of Dove products.

It talked about real issues that real women faced and allowed these real women in turn to express themselves across digital platforms.

The digital space allows approaches that have never been done before without the shackles of convention and restrictions of traditional media.

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Photographs: Reuters

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5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

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Facilitate media consumption on mobile devices: Mobile devices are changing the way media is consumed.

Smartphone platforms enable mobile consumption of individually and locally relevant news, culture and entertainment.

Bandwidth in India remains a problem. While 3G is here and 4G is on its way, for the vast majority it is still 2G. Marketers have to take into consideration the realities of the market if they want to connect and involve their consumers.

A focus on speed and efficiency will improve the affordability and accessibility of media. The growth of a strong ecosystem of mobile applications development is also crucial.

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Photographs: Reuters

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5 reasons Kolaveri Di became a HUGE hit online

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Leverage multipledigital media avenues to ensure 360-degree coverage: The digital space is now so vibrant and ripe with multiple platforms -- publishing, gaming, search engines, content streaming, messaging, peer-to-peer sharing, web-based e-commerce enterprises, personal web pages that success cannot be built on only one platform.

Successful campaigns succeed by targeting their end stakeholders using at least two platforms and then fostering an online environment where the campaign can grow and effectively multiply.

New and emerging technologies such as location-based technology and near field communication will allow marketers to be more innovative and targeted on their end stakeholders.

Gather and mine data; evaluate online campaigns: The explosion of digital content, access to the web and social media offers brands the ability to collect and analyse detailed information that was previously unavailable.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Data is key to the interface between consumers and brand. And the digital media provides ready access to that data.

It is a vibrant and evolving medium and data gathering and analysis not only provides insight into what consumers want but also gives pointers to emerging consumption preferences.

As wi-fi spots proliferate, mobile devices will increasingly become the platform through which people socialise, communicate and share their brand preferences, thoughts and complaints.

Brand that knows what their consumers like and want, will enjoy advantage.

In the end, the success of a digital campaign is dependent on whether it is liked or not. To be an online rage, like the Kolaveri Di song has shown, requires fresh and creative thinking and consumer involvement.

The author is director, marketing, Research In Motion, India.


Photographs: Reuters

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