afaqs!

Spare the worry and indulge the child

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 08, 2011
The new No Kidding, No Worries television campaign by Flipkart uses children to explain the benefits of shopping on the e-commerce website.

If you were to make a list of things that you would keep in mind while shopping online, what would you list as your top three concerns? Mode of payment, reliability and originality of products and warrantee/ guarantee, if any, would certainly be a part of your checklist. The brand new television campaign, titled 'No Kidding, No Worries', by the e-commerce portal Flipkart, responds to an online shopper's worry in a humorous and quirky way.

Using children to give out the message, the TV commercials make an attempt to reduce the online shopping apprehensions of a consumer and coax him to indulge in a shopping experience with Flipkart.

Three stories, with children as a common thread for each of the TVCs, make the Flipkart campaign.

Speaking on the consumer psyche on online purchases, Ravi Vora, vice-president, marketing, Flipkart, says that a typical Indian consumer fears shopping online or using his credit card.

According to a recent report published by IAMAI on online commerce in India, the travel industry dominated the e-commerce space, whereas other forms of shopping remained a small part of online activities of Indian net users. Trust was also a huge obstacle in online purchases, claimed the study.

"While most consumers in our core target group understand the benefits of online shopping, such as selection, price and convenience, many are held back by apprehensions associated with online purchase of physical goods. We wanted to address these concerns and bring those shopping offline into the online space," adds Vora.

Poster child of trust

The concept for the TVCs surfaced from the belief that kids inspire a lot of trust and innocence. The campaign aims to dispel fears about shopping online and targets 25-35-year-old working professionals, with access to the internet.

Each TVC speaks of one of the benefits for customers while shopping at Flipkart, namely cash on delivery, 30-day replacement guarantee and original products with original warranty. A kid is shown speaking to his friend about shopping on Flipkart in each of the TVCs. The image is that of a kid, but he is made to look and sound like an adult. The demeanour and way of speaking, the dialogues and the dressing -- everything is adult-like.

Happy Creative Services is the creative agency for Flipkart, and the production house is Footcandles. MEC is handling the media mandate.

Kartik Iyer, chief executive officer, Happy Creative Services, tells afaqs!, "The entire campaign aims at building trust. Even today, there are worries about shopping online. Flipkart wants to communicate that it is absolutely safe to shop online, especially on Flipkart. The concept of using kids emerged from the fact that no one is as trusting as children."

The creative directors for the campaign are Kartik Iyer and Praveen Das; copywriting is by Naren Kaushik M, while the art direction was handled by Anuja Singhal.

It took more than two months for the campaign to take shape.

This is Flipkart's second campaign in the year. The first commercial for the e-commerce portal was released in April, with a focus on the over-10 million titles that can be easily purchased from Flipkart. This time, the media spends have increased manifold. The ongoing communication on TV will be extended to print, OOH (out of home) and radio. However, other media will only be used in metros and regions with high penetration of e-commerce websites.

Child's play?

Overall, the advertising industry agrees that this is an innovative approach, but believes that the main point is missed out in the whole gimmick.

"Well, the Flipkart commercials are yet another set of dotcom shopping project," says Sujit Das, executive creative director, Pickle Lintas. Since convenience is an overall generic benefit, this route, which answers the foggy perspective of consumers, is a rather wise one, says Das.

However, Das feels that people will miss the main issue or insight that this kind of business brings forth -- that of authenticity and sincerity. "Now, to deliver the message through kids acting as adults is not compelling enough. Though the casting and acting seem fine, it'll have a low recall factor."

Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer, Euro RSCG, opines that the campaign is innovative, but misses the main idea. Singh tells afaqs!, "I like the fact that something different has been tried. They do break clutter. The films are made well. I think the Water Cooler one is pretty neat. Low ceiling and smaller doors to make the kids look grown up are impressive, with attention to detail. The campaign seems to have missed out on the message a bit, but makes you remember Flipkart, at a mention. All in all - it's well done."

Ambar Chakravarty, co-founder and creative head, The Atomic Advertising Company, gives two thumbs up to the TVC campaign. He tells afaqs!, "On the whole, it is a nice, entertaining campaign which does its job rather well. The best part of course is the execution which is brilliantly nuanced."

Chakravarty enjoys the bit about the milk vending machine and the surreptitious check-out of a finely formed derriere and thinks it is wonderfully casted. "Working with kids can be very trying at times so hats off to the director for extracting such fine performances."

He says that the ad is an absolute winner. "Assuming the strategy at this stage is only to build awareness about the brand and its clinching features, I'd say it has achieved what it aimed to achieve. You won't forget the brand name at the end of it, and my 10-year-old nephew found the ads convincing enough to promptly register himself with the website, behind his parents' back."

But, he also has an apprehension. "If one had to nitpick though, one could say that there's no real idea in the ads and the 'executional idea' too, is really old hat. But, to be fair, I suspect the days of such cut-and-dried creative rules are long gone. As long as an ad can deliver a memorable message, in an engaging way, its job is considered done. And, on those two counts these ads do rather well."

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