Etisalat’s Game Changer: Sri Lanka’s First Interactive YouTube Campaign

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to change the endings of movies and TV shows? YouTube offers a series of tweaks which provides viewers with fully customised movie experiences. Using just the standard features available for Sri Lanka on YouTube, Neo@Ogilvy put together a viral masterpiece for Etisalat Play which caught the fancy of internet buffs across the country.

Etisalat Play is a newly launched post-paid package targeting youth within the age group 18 to 24 years. To reach out to this audience, Etisalat launched the Play, a post-paid package appealing to three different groups within our target audience: The ‘Talk-a-holic’, or someone who spends a lot of time talking on his mobile; The ‘Text Guru’, or someone who prefers SMS to conversation; And the ‘Data Master’ or someone who believes that every problem can be solved through the internet. The package offered three different choices for each customer type at the same price point.

The hook Neo@Ogilvy zeroed in on was the ‘freedom of choice’ which allowed consumers the ability to assert their preferences at the point of purchase. The bottom line was ‘you PLAY it the way you want’, and this helped Neo@Ogilvy design an interactive online video campaign on YouTube where audiences could determine how the story would flow. This ability to create your own story was used to showcase the three different packages offered by Etisalat Play.

Prime time TV features teledramas that are popular with adults, but are seen as ridiculous and unrealistic by youth. Neo@Ogilvy’s interactive video campaign leveraged the sensationalism of soap operas to create a parody of sorts. The video consisted of a ‘main film’ which prompted viewers to choose from three options at the end of the clip. Depending on which option they clicked on, the story would completely change. The second tier of clips also ended with some more options. And thus one clip after another, the story unfolded the way the viewer wanted it to. Etisalat Play brand messages were cleverly embedded in to each clip in a way that would add to the flavour of the story. Three days before the launch of the interactive videos, Neo@Oglivy introduced a teaser campaign to build hype around what was to come.

One of the great characteristics about digital marketing is that you can immediately measure the direct responses to your campaign. Neo@Ogilvy embedded an interactive direct response layer to the last clip of each potential viewer path with the message “Interested in getting 999 SMS free for just Rs.199? Click here”. Upon clicking the tab, viewers would be led to a web page with details on Etisalat PLAY package options, and a sales registration form.

Outstanding Results
In less than 30 days from the launch, over 125,000 cumulative views for all the clips were registered. The main film of the interactive video alone received more than 50,000 views and it was shared over 1,500 times on Facebook. More than 500 people tweeted the link of the video within 7 days of launch. There were over 2,500 mentions about the video on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and forums. Subscribers to the Etisalat YouTube channel doubled within 14 days of the launch of the campaign.

The numbers speak volumes about the power of digital marketing when one considers that there are only 2.5million internet users in Sri Lanka. Further it should be noted that this was a Sinhala language campaign. Another advantage for the campaign was the longer shelf life as interactive videos on YouTube tend to attract viewers for a very long while.

Neo@Ogilvy Sri Lanka has met Google's requirements to attain recognition as a Qualified Google Advertising Professional.