Be it the ever-growing popularity of Facebook or the celebrity ‘tweet’ madness on Twitter, today, people and products converge on a common social platform. Joining the social media bandwagon is the venerable corporate house Godrej, which is creating waves with its virtual world at GoJiyo.com.
GoJiyo.com comes from the makers of Sunsilkgangofgirls.com and allows one to make friends and be part of like-minded communities.
On the idea, concept and research behind coming up with a site like this, Ashutosh Tiwari, EVP-Strategic Marketing Group, Godrej Industries Ltd, said, “According to statistics, by 2013, the number of Indians online will be the third largest in the world, only behind the likes of the Americans and Chinese. Also, Internet usage in India has witnessed a 35 per cent y-o-y growth in the past few years. These statistics alone showcase the immense potential for online communications in India and the inspiration behind GoJiyo.com. The overall objective of GoJiyo is to establish an online activation platform for the youth to engage with each other and engage with Godrej brand and its portfolio. This will be achieved through creating an ‘out of life’, and in some senses, an ‘out of this world’ experience.”
While there are big players in the social networking medium already, what makes GoJiyo different from the rest? Tiwari replied, “Whilst social networking is one of the more popular online platforms today, GoJiyo goes a couple of steps further by: a) Having an active environment: Think social networking meets virtual worlds in an open environment; b) Having advanced social networking built in with even dynamic, behaviour-based friend suggestions; and c) Coordinated media, online and on-ground activation to drive traffic and visibility. Additionally, the interactive nature of the GoJiyo world also offers the young Indian to live the life of his dreams and provide for him a promising platform, where he/ she can have enjoyable experiences along with friends, online.”
On entering the website and registering with it, one is asked to choose an ‘avatar’ that best represents the person. One needs to fill in the details and download the Unity 3D player to further access the GoJiyo world. Thereafter, the page opens up to the user’s profile, where he/ she can edit the information, customise the ‘avatar’ with one’s choice of clothing, accessories and so on. There is also an option to link one’s GoJiyo profile with one’s Facebook account.
Clearing up the bottlenecks
Though the site is at its initial stages and areas like user-friendliness and usability need a bit more attention, Dhunji Wadia, Managing Partner, JWT, is upbeat about it and says that his team has been constantly working towards it.
“We live in a ‘permanent beta’ world. Usability testing and real-time feedbacks are continuously used to improve and streamline the site. The online world is full of distractions, and even a minor delay can turn off someone from GoJiyo on to another place to hang out. This fluidity of competition keeps the team on its toes. For example, we have now defined stringent call-back norms for every query posted on Twitter, Facebook as well the comments posted on the site. Our early adopters are our dynamic R&D lab. They alert us to usability, glitches and interactional bottlenecks, which we immediately address. Gratification, in terms of virtual rewards, exists already. The expansion plans include real-world linkages as well. Being open source, we do believe that power users will one day wish to add their own imprint to GoJiyo. We are some distance away from this though. As they say, ‘Picture abhi baaki hai!,” Wadia explained.
When asked how GoJiyo would create loyalty amid a flurry of applications on Facebook like Farmville and Café World, Wadia replied, “We are confident everyone who comes on will enjoy GoJiyo. We have gone all out to create the best experience possible. For starters, we think you will be blown away by the incredible graphics of GoJiyo’s interactive and immersive 3D environment. Everything looks real – and, actually, probably even better than in real life. GoJiyo is immersive. You have to dip your toes in the exciting virtual world, make some friends online and even get your real life friends on to the platform. That’s when the interaction will become rewarding and entice you back again and again. As Facebook has proved with applications and also Zynga has proved with its sticky games, it is what you do and who you do it with, when you are in a platform that matters. Once you are hooked, you will come back again and again.”
On the plans to promote the website apart from strategic mention in TVCs, Tiwari said, “In the coming months, we will look at promoting and building awareness for GoJiyo. The GoJiyo promotion will involve driving an intensive, three-phase online and mobile campaign, starting with teasers and going on to events like a grand online party. We do not, however, comment on specific numbers related to marketing budgets as a policy. The halo approach is being led by the unprecedented on-air campaign during the ongoing IPL tournament, involving teasers, the unveiling of GoJiyo and Adventures in GoJiyo. This will be ably supported by an on-ground, hi-tech immersive campaign across select malls and colleges. GoJiyo is also exploring opportunities to go mobile after a few months, thus opening up an entirely new vista of reaching out and connecting to the optimistic, urban youth of India.”
On a different note, KS Chakravarthy, Creative Director, Draftfcb+Ulka, said, “I find GoJiyo.com pretty amateurish in terms of graphics, content and customisability. I certainly don’t see anything that would seriously engage the youth on an ongoing basis.”
However, with the growing popularity of virtual worlds, GoJiyo.com can stand out of it continues to constantly evolve.