This post is part of the People’s Insights monthly briefs issue of March 2014.
Talk to Sven
Absolut Vodka was one of the first brands to use WhatsApp to launch its limited edition “Absolut Unique” in Argentina. In September 2013 they planned an exclusive party with only two tickets available to the public. To get the tickets, people had to use WhatsApp to convince a fictional bouncer named Sven that they deserved to win.
Over 1,000 unique images, videos, and audio messages was created in dialogue with Sven. Party hopefuls were creative with their arguments – one even tried to bribe Sven with an introduction to hot women. Another person sent an audio message under the guise of the Queen of Holland.
600 people participated and engaged Sven in uninterrupted private conversations for 3 days.
VIDEO: Absolut Unique Access
WhatsApp’s promise = Personalized Engagement?
Unique experiences were the core focus for Absolut Vodka’s “Absolut Unique” project. The brand created 4 million unique bottles – and opted for WhatsApp, rather than Facebook and Twitter, as the primary platform for the launch activation to engage people in personal, unique experiences.
With this activation, Absolut proved that it’s possible – and more engaging – to reach audiences one-on-one in a clever, non-intrusive and ad-free approach. With 450 million subscribers using WhatsApp regularly, more brands are sure to follow.
A Cultural Symbol
WhatsApp is rising in popularity across the globe, with notable appearances in the US, Israel and India as well.
- Katy Perry featured the mobile messaging app in a special ‘lyrics video’ for her single “Roar” – all the lyrics appeared as words and emoticons in WhatsApp messages.
- Israeli chocolate brand Klik used WhatsApp to reach teens with a Simon Says-style game called “Klik Says.” Klik asked Facebook fans to add it on WhatsApp, then assigned them silly tasks like growing a mustache and making funny imitations.2,000 teens added the brand on WhatsApp and 91% of them completed their ‘Klik Says’ tasks. Engagement on Facebook also increased by 51%.
The new normal?
The personal experience WhatsApp provides in some of these examples, demonstrates a deeper intimacy than is usually found in likes, follows and retweets. As mobile messaging apps become more popular, this approach of going beyond broadcast messages may prove more promising.