We have heard of films being extended to computer games and vice versa. But when an advertising character gets extended to a digital game, that’s surely unusual. Vodafone’s advertising characters, those funny white Zoozoos that featured across 29 ad commercials during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April-May, are now offering to play gully cricket with you on your mobile phone. If you are a Vodafone subscriber.
A lot of people who do not use Vodafone are also buzzing about the Zoozoos. They have a significant fan site on Facebook, where Vodafone put them up, along with downloadable wallpapers and screensavers. Even on Twitter, another popular internet social networking site, Zoozoos have been an active topic of discussion. Harit Nagpal, director (marketing and new business), Vodafone India, says, “In May, Zoozoos were probably the most downloaded commercials in the world.”
Vodafone is delighted with the Zoozoos’ appeal and is going all out to leverage it, distributing DVDs of the 29 ads to subscribers at its stores. Nagpal adds, “The Zoozoo fan club on Facebook has more than 3,15,000 [members].”
Vishal Gondal, CEO, Indiagames, which created the gully cricket game, says, “The Zozoos’ appeal cuts across age groups. They have become almost iconic, lending themselves to other formats such as games and toys.”
A lot of brands create identifiable properties to acquire consumer connect. Only some of these properties go on to endure, be loved and instantly identified with the brand. The Amul girl, or Seven Up’s Fido Dido that has achieved a cult status, for example. But these icons were built and gained appeal over time. The Zoozoos have taken very little time to find wide appeal.
Vodafone will leverage the Zoozoos even in the future. As Nagpal explains, “They are Vodafone’s device for products and services, like the pug for network connectivity and actor Irrfan Khan for cost-effective offerings. We have an option to use these devices to create brand engagement.”