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#Throwback2020: Best brand tweets in India

The constraints of 2020 encouraged brands to be more creative.

NEW DELHI: Twitter is a reflection of what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about. Over time brands across categories have leveraged Twitter’s ad offerings and influence to strengthen their presence among audiences. This year, as businesses pivoted to digital-first campaigns, Twitter emerged as an indispensable partner to launch something new and to connect with consumers. The constraints of 2020 encouraged brands to be more creative, thoughtful and personal, resulting in campaigns that warmed the heart and left people wanting more. Let’s look back at some brands and campaigns that stood out and made a difference with their Twitter salvos: 

Best brand for speaking out and standing up: Axis Bank for #ReverseTheKhata

While nearly every industry was drastically impacted in 2020, the worst-hit were local vendors and small businesses, with many being pushed to the brink. Axis Bank took up the cause and asked people to #ReverseTheKhata, referencing the bond between customers and their corner shop through the maintenance of a ‘khata’. The khata is based on the trust and loyalty shared between the two parties. The campaign showed us different moments on the relationship between customers and small businesses, projecting the various emotions that bubble up from the simple statement – Khate mein likh do – urging people to reverse roles and support vendors who have continued to serve us while keeping our accounts. The campaign used a clever and relatable insight, connecting with its audience in an authentic way, making it the best brand for speaking out and standing up. 

Best #OnlyOnTwitter campaign: Netflix India for #NetflixMatchmaker

We love to watch our favourite series and films on Netflix and look for the best recommendations, including on Twitter. Netflix India built on this insight and launched #NetflixMatchmaker. This innovation allowed a customised bank of emojis to serve fans a personalised experience on Twitter, helping them decide what to watch. So, how does it work? When someone tweets an emoji with the hashtag #NetflixMatchmaker, they are rewarded with a content recommendation tied to that specific emoji. For example, tweeting a gift emoji might send a recommendation for a holiday movie. Netflix knew there would be an ongoing demand for recommendations, so #NetflixMatchmaker pops up every weekend to help people match their mood to what they could enjoy streaming. This is why they had the best #OnlyOnTwitter campaign this year.  

Best brand that brought the stadium to the phone: Star Sports

To make up for the lack of on-ground sports experiences, Star Sports turned to Twitter to bring fans closer to all the sporting action, especially on two key occasions – the Indian Super League (ISL) and the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

During the ISL’s  #TrueLove campaign on Twitter, Star Sports invited football fans to send in tweets with messages for their favourite footballers. At the trophy-lifting ceremony of what was a thrilling finale between ATK FC and Chennaiyin FC, these love-filled tweets presented in a physical form as Twitter-confetti and were showered upon the winning team covering them with #TrueLove for this one-of-a-kind activation. 

For the IPL, Star Sports cued people in for the opening match through reminders on Twitter, activated by the Heart-To-Remind functionality. The brand also changed their Twitter username to ‘Star Sports at 7:30 PM’ to mark the time slot as the viewing time for the IPL. 

Their consistent usage of Twitter to connect fans to the games they love made Star Sports the brand that brought the stadium to the phone. 

Best campaign celebrating fandom: Samsung India for #GalaxyS20PlusBTS edition

While launching the #GalaxyS20PlusBTS edition, Samsung routed its campaign towards the massive BTS fandom on Twitter. The brand launched a custom BTS quiz to engage with the K-pop band’s ARMY on the service who could put their love to the test and even stand to win a pair of the Galaxy Buds+ BTS edition. This carefully targeted campaign not only reached its audience but also had them glued to their Twitter timelines through a series of promoted tweets with creatives featuring various members of the band. The BTS edition campaign was part of a sustained promotion plan for the S20+, with the global launch event achieving millions of views worldwide. Samsung India’s clever use of Twitter to connect with their consumers made it the campaign that best celebrated fans. 

Best brand connection to the couch: Amazon Prime Video for #Mirzapur2

#Mirzapur2 hype on Twitter was real, evidenced by the many tweets begging Prime Video for the second season. As the OTT service finally prepared to premier the series, it decided to count down to the launch along with eager fans, and host a watch party to finally answer everyone’s wishes and get people watching (and reacting) together. Through a carousel events page, the brand curated a timeline of all conversations around #Mirzapur2 and also rolled out exclusive content leading up to the big day. A ‘Mirzapur throne’ emoji was also launched to fuel excitement. 

But that was not all, following the watch party, the show’s characters were leveraged to engage the audience via a personality test pairing people with their favourite #Mirzapur characters when engaged with the tweet. Their thoughtful end-to-end integration and celebration of such a popular show earned them the title of best brand connecting all of us to our couch. 

Best brand for pivoting when it counts: Uber India for #MoveWhatMatters

At a time when everyone was being encouraged to stay put, Uber India, a brand that is built on doing the opposite, responded in just the right way. Playing off their slogan to #MoveForward, they suggested we #MoveWhatMatters. The brand echoed what we were hearing from public health authorities, asking people to stay home and stay safe, while their drivers continued to serve India’s essential workers. Moreover, the ride-hailing app also urged people to come out in support of their driver-partners who had also been impacted by the pandemic and set up the Uber Care Driver Fund. In a time when people needed to be assured of their safety, Uber India made its priorities clear.

Best virtual launch: Hyundai India for the TUCSON launch with #TheNextDimension

Hyundai India moved ahead and launched its new TUCSON via a magnificent (virtual) event called #TheNextDimension. Hyundai adopted a three-phased strategy for the launch; it acquired an active viewership through the Heart-To-Remind functionality, which reminded people to tune-in for the launch; it took over the service’s premium real estate with a promoted trend and livestream to maximise visibility, and to wrap up the launch it tweeted highlight videos from the event which were injected into people’s timelines via promoted tweets, making sure nobody missed the action. Despite not taking place on-ground, this campaign by Hyundai proved that launches can be as successful virtually. The live event recorded over 1 million views in the first 12 hours itself, making it a winner in the best virtual launch category. 

Best new brand on the block: Cred

Fintech start-up Cred was all over Twitter timelines in the best way. Launching its first-ever campaign with a series of videos, the brand made a strong impact, reaching new customers. The campaign was spearheaded by some of the strongest voices in the public space, including the founder himself. Moreover, picking up on a trend around nostalgia, they worked with some of the most iconic talent from the 90s and early 00s including, Govinda, Bappi Lahiri, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Anil Kapoor, Udit Narayan, and others in a creative way, ensuring mentions of CRED on Twitter reached new highs.

Best brand voice: Zomato

Restaurants may have been closed to visitors earlier this year, but delivery services like Zomato made themselves indispensable. And maybe because Zomato was experiencing it themselves, they knew just what to say to keep people on Twitter engaged. Keeping up with cultural moments and trends, the food delivery app stayed connected with its audience through conversations that were fun, light-hearted, and more often than not, perfectly hilarious. From being excited about a cricket match to being grumpy because of hunger pangs, Zomato engaged with its audience in one-on-one banter, replying and engaging with tweets. Adopting a sensitive voice, yet full of personality, the brand built its own community of followers making it the best brand voice on Twitter this year. 

Best brand Fleet: IndiGo

Since the test launch of Fleets in June, several brands have embraced it with content designed especially for the format. IndiGo stood out by engaging with its followers through consistent and coherent messaging via Fleets. Adhering to the needs of its patrons, the brand has been using the format to keep passengers informed about flight schedules and other real-time updates. Their diving into this new Twitter format gives them the title of best brand Fleets! 

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