I am not really a huge fan of ‘guess the ending’ and ‘complete the story’ kind of ideas on the Net, which involve consumer participation. It’s been done before and unless the participation is encouraged by providing tools and easy uploads, the response is likely to be lukewarm. There have been exceptions – like the Indica Xeta effort in India or the Tide user generated content.
Vodafone is extending the popularity of the Zoozoos TV commercials to the web by encouraging consumers to send in their versions of how few new commercials end. The response is in the form of a simple description – and doesn’t involve any shoots or uploads.
The contest, in it’s 2nd week, has got some very creative entries. In one of the contest ad, a Zoozoo character is about to hang herself (itself?). The video ends there – asking for the ‘what next’ entries. The winning entry: ‘Just when Zoozoo is about to hang himself he recieves a message. He reads it takes a letter pad and starts writing something on it thoughtfully. Seems that hes writing his suicide note. And suddenly he starts dancing! The phone display shows “Complete the Xooxoo story to win BlackBerry storm smartphones’. Maybe the number of entries run into a few 1000s, but it’s amazing how consumers have linked a particular feature – be it Classifieds, Beauty Tips, Stock Alerts etc. with the ads.
I guess the combined halo of the Zoozoos, their likeability and the sheer volume of ads have all aided the consumer in participating in such contests. Lesson: If the web campaign is meant to augment a mass media campaign and generate consumer participation, it helps if the latter has already set a powerful platform.