Let’s Work Together

Digital 4G – Digital and Simplicity

Who is the scorer of the most centuries in cricket?

1) Rahul
2) Sachin
3) Virat

Clue – S makes the world go around

Wow – did you get that! And did you think ‘Gawd why are they insulting my intelligence’

But the data says that a simple dumbed down promotion like the one above works a lot better than more difficult ones designed for Einsteins like you.

Most people in consumer marketing already know this and do believe that for a sales or participation promotion to succeed you need to make the idea simple to get and easy to participate. Simple response request which can be fulfilled through the phone while sitting on the couch is probably perfect to get higher volumes of response.


Same thing applies to digital solutions of various kinds. Especially now that the mobile has taken digital into the hands of all kinds of people with differential economic, education and IQ levels. Ideas that are simple to get will get more mass following and appeal than ideas that talk to the geeks or half geeks.


Geek ideas are brilliant for talk value amongst the erudite digital user and among marketing folk but simple ideas are the ones that pull in the numbers.


I learnt this when I entered the Online Video Game business way back in 2005 and travelled around understanding country after country trying to learn what got mass success. The games with among the lowest specs, with the greatest flexibility in being played across different types of computers, with ease of play in low bandwidth environments and importantly those that can be easily understood by the lowest common denominator get the greatest following. This was demonstrated time and again in the success of online games in China – one of the biggest markets for that thing. Time and again Hi Graphics / Hi Specs games were discussed but never got the same kind of mass following as the easier lower spec ones.


It’s a principle that gets repeated almost unfailingly.


More recently I was involved with building a mobile game for a Global flavoured water brand which got the the support of Spiderman for India. We kept these principles in mind while building the game – just made a simple game where the bottles of the water kept falling and you had shoot the web to catch them as they fell. There were of course some bombs etc. that came in the way to make it a bit more interesting. It was simple, low on graphics and bandwidth requirements, small in size to download, and perpetual play – so you could just keep playing it forever if you like. But simple. We got 2 million downloads for almost no money spent on media – the most that a branded game had ever got before that was around 500,000.


Digital advertising has to move out of the woodwork of the Geeks and be more inclusive in its thinking – therefore the role for that tech like innovation will probably become weaker as an idea unless it is really simple on the consumer.


One of the reasons why SMS based ideas and missed call based ideas are finding a lot of traction and revival. Companies which could very easily deliver ideas for smart phones are picking missed call and SMS based solutions.