In the beginning there were reality shows. Then there were a few more of them. And now there are reality shows which are piggybacking on the sheer reach of social media. Standing testament to Asia’s prolific love affair with Social Media, is IT super brand HP’s newest marketing campaign aimed at finding Asia’s best creative designer. Titled HPSpace ( surely they could have found a better name rather than going for a MySpace clone!) this is an online contest across ASIA but supported by a Television tie up with STAR TV and Channel V. Personally I would have loved it had they continued to build a pure social media campaign without tying up with TV and advertising about it, but even then the idea is worth talking about.
So what is this campaign all about? HP is calling for audition tapes from creative designers across Asia from which they are going to select 12 contestants who would be put through a reality show on Channel V and the winner among them would be given the job to work in the production of cult anime classic ” Bubblegum Crisis” which hits the production floor for filming in Australia later this year.
So apparently this campaign has two legs. The initial leg of asking for video resumes is being done using their site and building buzz on other social media channels, utilising the reach, WOM advocacy and inter connectivity that social media sites provide. Post this initial stage they would choose 12 of the top contestants and put them through a reality show on Channel V, once again a channel which has good reach among the youth in the reality show space. All in all a thought out marketing plan which not only captures HPs wish to get more deeper into the Asian market, but also HPs awareness about how much Social Media has grown as a brand builder and influencer in Asian countries.
According to Alexa though, the site rank( HPspace.com) is at 196,578 with the Indian rank being 11,432 , showing that the site has done better in India than in Asia, another proof point of how social media is rising in popularity in India, but overall it isn’t good rankings for a social media campaign.
What lacks is the amount of genuine interactivity and the lack of buzz about this campaign in the blogosphere or offline media, or come to think about it even on their own site. Though its being backed by heavy advertising, google blogsearch shows roughly 290 odd posts on this topic and many of them are not even directly related.
HPs Youtube Channel for this also hasn’t had that level of hits. With 2,214 channel views and 11 uploads it would seem that we are still waiting for the real action to start with only 7 days for auditions on ground to start.
The numbers can keep coming, but what has interested me is again the smart use of social media by a brand to ramp up its presence and create advocates for itself. Regardless of how the campaign does it is interesting to see an brand like HP building a marketing campaign targeting creative designers ( an Apple doing it would have made sense to me) and utilizing social media and a yuppie music channel to market it. Proof of the fact, that the brand is looking to create advocates among the youth of Asia. Also what has been extremely interesting is the fact that they have rolled out this campaign in Asia and not in their home country of America!
By the time the campaigns picks up steam and the reality shows starts on Channel V on November 10 am sure more people would be talking about it. For now the web is watching. And so am I.
However would like to know what you think about this campaign. So if you have an opinion, post it here.