nestleWith 400 million mobile connections in India, how could FMCG companies stay away from the medium for so long?

Nestle India, maker of a variety of food products, beverages and confectionery, has launched an application that lets consumers  search for recipes, save them, browse through useful nutrition tips, make shopping lists and share tips on well-being from their mobile. An extension of its Family Nestle Kitchen forum, the application can be downloaded for free from www.nestle.in/M or by sending a text message ‘NestleM’ to 53636. Though the  application is free, data charges will apply as it uses GPRS. A few other features are contests, cooking classes and tips on quick and easy cooking from culinary experts.

Johnson & Johnson India‘s division of vision care hired ad agency OMD to launch a mobile application for engaging more consumers with Acuvue contact lenses.

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The application, which can be downloaded by sending a text message “MOIST” to 57007, attempts to get users to register for a free trial of J&J’s flagship brand of disposable contact lenses 1 Day Acuvue Moist. The application does have a separate use though, it analyzes the daily water intake requirement of the user based on the body weight, existing climatic conditions and exercise pattern and helps prevents dehydration by offering tips. It also offers a quick registration for a free trial pair of contact lenses that can be opted for by simply sending an SMS.

OMD’s director of digital and emerging media Beerajaah Sswain said, “The strategy here therefore is to keep the consumer engaged while tactically enforcing the need to adopt the product at relevant moments. We believe that the results here will reaffirm to us that today’s consumers want more personalized content via addressable media like the mobile in the near future.”

Brand Recall & Rise In Ad Spend

Such applications walk the precarious line between push-marketing and usefulness. Mobile users may have the choice to download the application but will not continue to use it if promotional messages or advertisements are continuously bombarded at them. Applications such as these will help the brand reach more users, and stay in brand recall longer than television ads. If this is a precursor to FMCG companies increasing their spend on digital marketing since mobile advertising costs more than Internet advertising, the sector could see a boom again.

Nikhil adds: Is there anything more to these apps than a certain novelty factor? Much like branded mobile games in the past, these will look good in a corporate presentation, or for talking about at conferences. Even then, promotion and distribution will be key for both brands, since there really isn’t an application marketplace in India to speak of, and it’s not as if the Ovi Store is great shakes.

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