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Micromax Sees Record Levels of Social Engagement After Hugh Jackman Announcement

Peter Claridge

When you think about it, signing a Hollywood star to be the brand ambassador of Micromax doesn’t actually seem that far out. If you watch as much TV as I do, you can’t have failed to notice how much effort Micromax puts in to its adverts in order to make them appear as non-Indian as possible. Young, beautiful, non-Indian actors appear in locations that look like Miami, Malaysia and Australia. Remove the Micromax logo and you’ll be forgiven if you thought you were looking at Samsung’s latest ad.

Yet, the Hugh Jackman announcement did send shockwaves around the Twitterverse and, once Facebook caught up with the Twitterati, there was even more widespread disbelief. Infact, when I texted the news to my wife, she immediately replied back with “are you serious?” followed a few seconds later with “don’t want to be a demanding wife, but can I have one too?”. The geek in me did a little summersault that she would be so interested in tech and gadgets, but alas, it turned out she wanted a Hugh Jackman rather than a Micromax Canvas Turbo.

Back to the announcement. This is the stuff PR and branding dreams are made of. In the olden days of 5 years ago, such groundbreaking news would require press meetings, hoardings, newspaper articles, interviews – the works. Today, it is a single tweet, a post on Facebook and a video on YouTube. The result is a wider reach than ever before to your target market. Dear old school marketing directors, this is the new world of advertising, please catch up.

In a sign of the times, Facebook lagged behind Twitter when it came to breaking the news, but it had far wider reach thanks to its 90m users. Micromax posted the announcement around midday and by early evening there were less than 400 Likes, 130 comments and 70 shares. This was quite surprising because in the last 30 days, Micromax posted 56 times and got an average of 1,150 Likes, 170 comments and 66 shares per post, so how could news about Hugh Jackman becoming the brand ambassador get lower engagement?

As I said, it seems that it takes some time for information to really disseminate amongst Facebook users as the weekend turned out to be very good for Micromax’s community engagement. Whether it was the result of some paid promotion or just the fact that it took 24 hours for those behind the bleeding edge of brand news to find out, the post went viral. By Sunday evening, the post had earned over 6,800 Likes, 315 comments and 700 shares. When I checked the post on Monday lunchtime, the number of interactions increased even more to 9,600 Likes, 377 comments and over 900 shares and the numbers increase with every page refresh.

With over 900 shares, it’s by far Micromax’s most shared post ever and the user reach will be off the charts. However, it’s surprising that this isn’t Micromax’s most liked post (so far). That accolade goes to a post from June, which talks about the Canvas 4 phone which got over 13,600 likes, most likely as a result of some paid promotion. When it comes to number of comments, the Hugh Jackman post can’t compete with past posts by Micromax. This post, for example, which is a contest asking people to post relevant comments to win a Bolt A67, garnered nearly 8,000 comments.

On Twitter, where information is shared, distributed and forgotten about in minutes, the response towards the brand was muted. The initial tweet drew lukewarm engagement, just 19 Retweets, 2 Favorites and 7 replies. Compared to other tweets, this doesn’t even make the top 15 in terms of engagement. The recent #DashBerlinWithMicromax contest drew over 50 retweets on many Micromax tweets and over 20 replies per tweet. Another recent contest with the hashtag #MicromaxBoltA67, which was tied to the Facebook post with the most comments, also received 25 retweets.

That’s not to say people weren’t talking about Micromax on Twitter though. They were doing a lot of talking.

On an average day, Micromax gets about 60 people that @mention the brand in a tweet, on Friday, this number shot up to 381, six times higher than normal. The word ‘micromax’ was also trending all day as plenty of people were digesting the news. However, since Twitter has an attention span that would make a goldfish point, laugh (and promptly forget why it was pointing), the number of mentions dropped to 131 and 104 on the following days as people moved on to the next shiny object or contrived hashtag campaign.

In a cue to how important (as if we didn’t already know!) this announcement was for the company, the Micromax support team went in to overdrive on Friday and over the weekend, replying to 60 tweets per day. This is interesting because usually the support team takes the weekend off, as seen by the chart below where the days with zero replies are the weekends.

That said, the replies by Micromax were all fairly similar in nature and were directed to people that were amazed about the announcement rather than to tweets that were complaints or showed any negativity. Infact, 38% of Micromax’s replies are to positive tweets while just 5% are to negative tweets.

Of increasing importance to marketers is YouTube. It’s the place they can get away with uploading longer length, branded content that is created on a much tighter budget than a TVC. In this case, Micromax directed everyone to check out its 11 second teaser ad, in which Hugh Jackman appears for all of three seconds. Blink, and you might miss him. After a good start on Friday with 31,500 views, once news got around (the Facebook effect?) the number of views shot up to 225,000 by the end of the weekend. Currently it’s clocking in at over 333,000 views, 1,200 Likes and 300 comments, which makes it the most successful video Micromax has ever uploaded.

By comparison, Micromax averages 23,000 views per video, so Hugh Jackman has already helped them get ten times the number of views.

I was really surprised to see Micromax make this announcement on a Friday of all days, but the strategy appears to have paid off. While the company could have leveraged Twitter to a greater extent as it does with its contest, the results on Facebook and YouTube speak for themselves with high engagement and user feedback. The announcement also makes for a fantastic case study for other brands that are looking to go purely digital when it comes to announcing big news.

Methodology

All data was collected from the Unmetric platform and the date ranged from January to October 2013. Gain access to all this data by claiming a free 6 day trial.

This article initially appeared on FirstPost.