CNN, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS), in association with contests2win.com, has rolled out an interactive marketing initiative, "Make the Connection", targeting the knowledge-intensive youth. The catch: the target audience will be the coffee-guzzling hip crowd at Barista parlours in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.
The mechanics of the interactive format is simple. Even as you sip your capucchino inside a Barista, you can SMS the word "CNN" to 8558. When a consumer sends the SMS to 8558, he would receive a clue about a famous personality who has been in the news lately. The consumer has to guess the personality in the fewest number of tries to be able to win one of the 800 prizes on offer. Pyramid-shaped tent cards placed on tables in the Barista outlets will promote the "Make the Connection" contest that will run till June 20, 2004.
The format of the contest has been devised by contests2win, a specialist provider of uninterrupted interactive marketing. It will implement as well as tabulate the results.
Grace Wong, Vice-President, Corporate Communication & CNN Marketing for TBS Asia-Pacific, says that CNN "is always looking for innovative ways to connect with consumers. This interactive initiative is a unique opportunity that would allow consumers to experience CNN as part of their daily routine, and also have a little fun testing their knowledge of current affairs".
When contacted, Brotin Banerjee, head, marketing and strategy, Barista, pointed out that Barista parlours "attract a very eclectic mix of consumers from trendsetters and college students to successful, young professionals. That's why a large number of marketers like to associate their brands with us."
Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of contests2win, said his company can provide any kind of uninterrupted interactive marketing service. "We are the exclusive partners of Barista to promote brands using interactive tent cards. When we approached CNN with the idea of being associated with Barista, they agreed, as CNN wanted to reach out to the young, aspirational viewer," he said.
In the last six years contests2win has provided interactive marketing support to major brands like Jet Airways, Nescafe, General Motors, Bacardi, Coke, L'Oreal, Colgate-Palmolive among others.