Have you ever wondered what the motivation for you to sample a newly launched product would be? Something like the yummy new mocha launched by McDonald’s? What if a friend residing in the US talks about it on Facebook and asks you to try it? Or, what if you’re given a free coupon to try the coffee yourself? Both cases — word-of-mouth publicity and sampling ��� are the best ways for a product to find its customer.
Word-of-mouth publicity is a slow and steady formula with not much participation by the brand. ‘Sampling��� or the modern-day ���tryvertising’ has more brand participation and customer eyeballs feel brands like Starbucks, McDonalds, Renault and others. Recently, a promotion from Starbucks and Unilever made coupons available every hour for Starbucks’ new ice cream flavours to US-based users of Facebook. McDonald���s recently ran ‘Free Mocha Mondays’ at its select outlets in the US to promote its new McCafé line (Hot/Iced Mocha), and anticipated giving away about 10 million samples during the campaign. Back home, Frito-Lay India, the food division of PepsiCo, launched its new salted biscuit brand, Aliva this June with a strong ground-level consumer enga-gement, making over one million consumers sample the product. Hotels offering free stays, and car companies launching “keep the car” offer for a week are just a few other sampling baits by brands. Now, add to this a dash of innovation and a drama to make customers walk into the trap. This is what we call tryvertising.
Philip Alexander, Managing Partner, Streetblimps, a brand activation agency, says the concept is more than passing a freebie! “To make tryvertising successful, a brand needs to have the right time, geographical location, target audience and budget. It needs to be scheduled, planned and well strategised,” he says.
So, unlike traditional sampling, where the interaction between the consumer and the team handing out the product ends with the handover, tryvertising or experiential marketing entertains, informs and persuades a willing audience. Compared to mass media advertising, tryvertising is also cost effective and at the same time an interesting way to communicate a message. “If some incentive is offered along with the product, consumers get more intrigued since they get something free of cost. Like Coke offered a meal free of cost along with a glass of Coke in a ���tryvertising initiative����� to say a meal is incomplete without the Coke Side Of Life,” recalls Mousim Mitra, Creative Director, Grey Worldwide.
Categories such as FMCG, food and automobiles often employ tryvertising. Later, this could be packaged with mailers/brochures, contests, viral campaigns or promos on TV, etc. Another benefit of tryvertising is its measurability—a company should know exactly how many people have been contacted and how many of them have opted for a product, says Harish Bijoor, Brand-Specialist & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. “What is important is to understand the number of days of trial or occasions necessary for the product/service to be just right for adoption by the consumer. Once that is understood, the economy of the activity can be worked out. Like, for a coffee brand to be adopted in a home, a daily trial lasting a minimum of three months is necessary. A simple Rs. 5 free sachet does not work,” illustrates Bijoor.
Though a survey by Group M India suggests that the one-on-one communications market is over Rs 1,000 crore annually and growing at a probable 15-20 per cent rate a year, there is still time to get smarter on tryvertising.
“As a vehicle for marketing, tryvertising /sampling works when the economy is going through a recession, as this is the time when the competitive advantage is required and brands have to leverage a special attribute of their product /service. In recent months, the US and Europe have seen a huge surge in tryvertising,” adds Mitra.
With tryvertising being the in thing for advertisers /brands this downturn, the deal works well for consumers too.
There are tryvertising websites that get you to register with them with your database. Freebies are then sent to those registered and feedback is solicited. “If you register with a couple of these websites and give an honest feedback, you can literally run an entire home on freebies,” says Bijoor. Well, with your initiative requi-red to prove the point, it’s time for brands to get active!
Reference : The Asian Age – Trial and no error