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Business – The user generated advertising platform

Kapil Ohri

Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (BCCL), the publisher of The Times of India newspaper, has launched a unique brand driven networking portal called

The site will become a platform for marketers to seek user generated advertising and facilitate brand lovers to follow various brands and network with each other.

This implies that will enable marketers to use the site to involve consumers in creating ads including online banner, print, TV, outdoor and radio commercials. Similar to other social networking sites, will also empower consumers to create profiles, upload photos and videos and build their own networks.

To utilise the site for user generated advertising process, marketers will be required to first build their presence on the site in the form of a brand page. They can then use it to conduct contests, asking consumers or members to be a part of the ad development process.

Brands have to provide the essential details such as advertising briefs and taglines and share logos with the participants for the contest. The selection of the best ads will be based on a voting process involving the members of the site.

Speaking to afaqs!, a spokesperson from BCCL says, “Although brands will reward the winner of the user generated advertising contest with cash prizes, whether the winning entry is actually broadcasted/published or not will be the decided by advertiser.”

More than 10 brands including Parx and Park Avenue (brands owned by Raymond Apparel); Bata (shoes); Rupa (innerwear); Spykar, (jeans); Fuji (camera and photographic films); and Everest (spices) have already established their presences on

In fact, Spykar is currently running a user generated advertisement contest for online banner, print and radio ads and has posted its advertising brief on its brand page, available at The brand will reward the winner of the contest with a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Interestingly, the brand presence on will not come for free. BCCL plans to charge advertisers for their presences as ‘brand pages’ on the site.

The spokesperson from BCCL adds that marketers will be offered customisation of their brand pages and the total amount to be charged will depend on the features adopted by the respective advertisers.

For instance, advertisers will be charged extra if they add features such as ‘contests’, ‘polls’, ‘surveys’ and ‘blogs’ to their brand pages, apart from the basic information. However, there will be no entry fee for consumers.

The contests will contribute the maximum chunk of revenue for, indicates the BCCL spokesperson. According to an industry estimate, BCCL is quoting up to Rs 8 lakh to conduct a three-four month long contest on the site.

January 28, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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