When Audi launched the Q7 in India in December, it also became the first brand to successfully integrate its social presence with its TVC.
The campaign, part of a larger campaign themed #GreatnessStarts, allowed people to share their tweets. The TVxTwitter concept was the big finale to the campaign. As the first of its kind in this region, Audi was able to integrate live tweets into their Launch Ad Spot. Globally, brand conversations spilling over from their TV spots to Twitter drives engagement and Audi asked people to share their tweets with the #GreatnessStarts hashtag and people obliged for the opportunity to be telecast on TV.
Embeddable Tweet- https://twitter.com/AudiIN/status/679352455117725696
Speaking about the #GreatnessStarts campaign, Joe King, MD of Audi India said, “Audi Q7 being a class leading product we wanted a class leading innovation to engage with audiences. TV is the traditional medium of reaching audiences and digital is the new horizon. By connecting TV and digital we are also showcasing how our products built on our time tested legacy of Quattro while continuously evolving and integrating technology into every aspect delivers unparalleled performance and luxurious comfort. This campaign is going to create a first-of-its-kind engagement in the process.”
This is hardly the first time an innovative campaign has been done by the auto sector on social media. In fact, social media experts we spoke with opined that the auto sector has been one of the best users of social media for a long time.
"If you think about it, it makes sense. Auto brands know that a lot of their customers research online before buying so it makes sense for them to have a strong presence on social and digital media. Some of them are really good though some do lack a proper content marketing plan. However, the auto sector is one of the most mature sectors when it comes to the use of digital media," opined Chetan Asher, Co-founder and MD of Tonic Media.
Taranjeet Singh, Business Head (India) of Twitter, gave other examples of how brands have been using Twitter for creative campaigns. "We work with almost all auto brands throughout the year. One thing we have seen is that a lot of brands have started using video. Video provides better engagement, more immersive user experience, and greater relevance in the moment," he said.
When asked about what exactly brands expect from social media campaigns, he said the main aim was generating social interactions with consumers and creating live connections with the audience.
He pointed out that Royal Enfield had made use of promoted tweets for the recent launch of ‘Himalaya’ while Maruti Suzuki has also used Twitter promoted tweets for the launch of its new ‘Vitara Breeza’. “There are many ways that auto brands can leverage Twitter for their campaigns. For example, BMW launched a Flock-to-Unlock campaign, JLR launched their Discovery series on Periscope, and we are seeing more innovation with the Auto Expo 2016," he added.
With Instagram now allowing videos, it has also emerged as a favourite for auto brands, who seem to prefer more visual mediums. For example, Sanjay Mehta, CEO at Mirum India was of the opinion that influencer marketing continues to remain the top priority for auto brands so their focus is more on blogs and platforms like Team BHP. However, he also said that visual platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are also increasingly becoming popular.
"The more you dabble in digital media, the more mature you get and auto brands have always been big users of social and digital media," he further added.
On similar lines, Gautam Mehra, Business Head (Social Media) of iProspect India said that the use of digital for branding will increase dramatically in 2016.
"The auto sector has definitely woken up to digital and social media in a big way and it's not surprising for them to do so. Facebook alone has 23 million males from 25-44 coming from the Top 8 cities. That is massive reach of the core car buying TG. A car buying process involves researching the available options, social/peer validation, cost analysis and booking a test drive. Digital lends itself perfectly for all four of the above. With the massive reach of Facebook and the native ad formats, auto makers are poised to leverage this to the maximum," he said.