Navbharat Times, the Hindi daily from the Times Group, runs a campaign around admissions called ‘Chalo Campus’ every year. This year, the daily took the campaign social by creating a platform for students to participate on Facebook.
Marketer: Navbharat Times
Brand: Chalo Campus
Chalo Campus is a comprehensive forum for admissions after class 12th started by Hindi daily Navbharat Times in the year 2008.
Sathyam Joshi, Deputy Chief Manager, Brand Management at Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, said, “ The youth these are days reading the newspaper less as compared to earlier, not just in India, but globally as well. As Chalo Campus is a youth centric campaign, we wanted to engage youth in a conversation with our brand.”
In its first year in 2008, workshops and conferences were organized under the campaign. But to engage with the youth better, in 2009, a website dedicated to the campaign as well as IVR were introduced to get more students.
Joshi added, “Social has become really popular among youth lately, so this year to engage more students, we decided to launch our campaign on Facebook as well. We wanted to engage with students on the platform, as well as spread awareness about it, so we needed viral features for the campaign.”
The application tab for Chalo Campus was created on the Navbharat Times Facebook page, and given a look of the Facebook Wall itself. It allowed prospective students to post questions for the experts, who were university professors, on the right career path to choose. A dedicated team of experts was set up to answer the queries coming on the social networking site by Navbharat Times.
Jaspinder Bhatia, COO and Co-founder, BrandAppz, said, “We replicated Facebook experience inside the application, like the features of Wall, so that people need not feel unfamiliar with page. As there were a number of people interacting on the wall, we also created a tab for the user to find their own queries. We also made a tab for users to see queries made by friends, as they might be interested in same queries.”
To make the campaign viral on the social networking site, Bhatia said, “We designed a feature for the application, which would make all responses to queries for a user, appear on their friend’s ‘News Feed’. As Facebook is viral itself in nature, we decided to cash in on the feature of a ‘News Feed’ by populating it with branded content such as that of Chalo Campus queries. This would invite more users to the application and create awareness about the brand.”
The application, which went live on the Facebook page of Navbharat Times for two months during admissions, brought about a high number of queries from the youth. Joshi said, “Due to the attention brought to the application, our Facebook page ‘likes’ grew by a 110 percent in those two months. Facebook also accounted for a major number of queries by garnering about 20 per cent of total queries from the social networking site, making our experiment a success.”