At the start of the ICC World Cup, Maruti Suzuki and Affle launched Cricket Maharathi, a mobile activation campaign which allowed users to vote for a cricketer's rating. In the course of the world cup, the campaign was able to register 4 million unique users who voted for their favourite cricketers, which builds cricketer rankings based on the personal opinions of the users.
Anuj Kumar, Executive Director, South Asia, Affle, said, "The users themselves do not get to express their opinions in other offerings. As a fan I can give my ratings based on how the cricketer is performing in front of me, by using my mobile phone. This works across all mobile devices through a WAP platform, and with over 4 million votes, it has helped us to not just create very effective engagement for Maruti Suzuki, but also helped us gain a great idea about the user sentiment about the cricketers. This data, which we have gathered from such a vast user base is far more effective than any survey - so for example, we hear a lot about Dhoni leading the team to victory, but from what we've seen, audience sentiment is more strongly aligned to Tendulkar and Sehwag."
The explosive growth of mobile users across the country, coupled with the interest in cricket has allowed the country to get the users from around the whole country to interact with the brand offering. Kumar said that the activation was made possible by the scale of the mobile audience, and because they gave the users a voice of their own. He said, "People want to express their own opinion, not listen to statisticians. And when they start to do that, they are also exposed to the Maruti name on all the branding, and it's also an activation where users can engage with the car brand as well."
The offering from Affle will evolve again for the IPL, and the company is looking at newer touch points, moving from just a WAP site to an SMS based mechanism and apps for all smartphones, to allow maximum reach
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