Monday 24 March 2014

Spot the Odd Location

I should admit that it is not easy to miss the recent radio ads of 99acres, which are into some heavy duty rotations. I caught their four ad units on radio. Three of them were typical of real estate portal ads, which counted attributes of maximum verified listings, 11,700 listings for properties in Bangalore (I liked how they localized it for a medium like radio!) and posting free ads. The fourth ad unit took an advergaming route, which I found different from the other three ad units.

What’s it all about?

The ad urges the listeners to spot an odd location amongst the three options given to them. The advergame goes by different names on different radio stations depending upon the language played by the station. I caught the advergame on two stations, Fever 104 FM and Indigo 91.9 FM. I believe the campaign might be live on other stations too in Bangalore (Karnataka, India), perhaps other cities too. The advergame goes by the name Galat Location Ko Karo Alag on Fever 104 FM which plays Hindi Music and Spot the Odd Location on Indigo 91.9 FM which plays English Music.

How to play ‘Spot the Odd Location’?

The listeners have to respond with the name of the odd location by texting it on the short code/long code announced in the ad. Fever 104 FM listeners have to send the responses to 54242. In the case of Indigo 91.9 FM the response code is 9900100919.

Game Play

It’s simple and intuitive. The ad gives the names of three localities from the city in which the ad is broadcast. For Bangalore, out of the three locations, J.P.Nagar, Malleswaram and Malviya Nagar, I know that Malviya Nagar is an odd one, because there is no locality by the name of Malviya Nagar in Bangalore.

It is at this point in the ad that the underlying message of the campaign is conveyed. A city may have odd locations, but there are no odd properties on :-), ok, I believe it :-)

What’s the Prize?

Couple movie tickets.

What’s the big deal?

Tailoring the communication to leverage a local medium like radio is commendable. I also appreciate the production efforts behind the campaign. The nature of the campaign is such that ad units have to be tailored for each city (assuming it’s a pan-India campaign), and it has to be a different ad unit for each day of the campaign to avoid repeating locality names, not to mention, tailoring it for each radio station too to incorporate the station’s short code/long code. It is an execution challenge for the media agency too.

However, if you have read my earlier post, Guess the Property Price, I am not sure if 99acres advergame drives the same level of listener engagement as Indiaproperty advergame did.

Advertising opportunities?

None. Air time is bought by and I believe the prizes too. 

What next?

Personally, I value clear and transparent communication of terms and conditions, if one is taking to contesting as a central idea in an ad. As a listener I did not understand, how many units of prizes are up for grabs, or how the fulfillment will happen.

A response text communicating the URL to the terms and conditions would have been helpful.

What else?

Regarding the fulfillment of the prizes, I am not sure if it will be done by 99acres, radio station, or through an online ticketing platform; am not sure if there was a possibility to get the prizes sponsored from an online ticketing platform in lieu of the on-air plug (or within the response text), ‘Couple movie tickets fulfilled by’.

A response text also providing the URL for downloading the 99acres mobile application would have helped stretch the advertising dollars.


  1. Himanshu,

    Nice article, as always!

    I agree with your closing comments that a better feedback to the listeners (/texters!) would have been better - from the users' perspective. I also believe the ball is dropped at that point as you are not pointing potential customers proactively back to 99acre - instead you are relying on the customer to remember 99acres and visit the website.

    Instead, a simple text message with a link to a downloadable App, with a promise of more exciting gifts, will surely engage potential customers better.

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