afaqs!

Flipkart: From real to reel

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 30, 2012
While it keeps alive the concept of using children posing as adults, the new campaign draws inspiration from real life as all stories are based on consumer feedback.

Flipkart

Flipkart

In its first campaign, Flipkart played the role of an evangelist, where it used children posing as adults to educate consumers about the benefit of shopping on an e-commerce website. Next, it returned with a set of new commercials where the concentration was on guarantee of original products, cash-on-delivery and a 30-day replacement policy. Now, for its new set of television commercials, Flipkart has drawn inspiration from customer feedback.

For the TVCs, the agency team, along with the brand, sifted through several comments from various cities. At the end, three stories were selected mainly because they highlighted how small gestures from Flipkart.com ensured that consumers experience moments full of joy.

This time too, the e-commerce site has remained true to its original concept of using children posing as adults.

Shot in a narrative manner, two TVCs titled 'Mr. Impatient' and 'Mr. Forgetful', respectively, show two children talking like adults about how the entire experience of shopping through Flipkart.com has been a memorable one and has brought a little joy in their lives.

Ravi Vora

Kartik Iyer

'Mr. Impatient' says that like his name suggests, he has little or no patience for anything in his life, and was really happy when Flipkart delivered a smartphone he had ordered before the promised date of delivery.

Next, 'Mr. Forgetful' narrates his story of how the e-commerce site played a vital role in saving his marriage. He says how he forgot his wife's birthday and ordered her favourite perfume on Flipkart.com after she accidentally reminded him only a day in advance. However, the next day, the gift came wrapped and an elated wife cooked a great meal for him.

At the end, both say, 'Now I don't shop, I just Flipkart it'.

"'Flipkart it' is the logical next step for the brand that has managed to delight online shoppers with its impeccable service. This campaign captures some parts of this experience and recreates it in a very interesting manner - which has now become Flipkart's unique language," says Ravi Vora, vice-president, marketing, Flipkart.com.

Kartik Iyer, CEO and co-founder, Happy Creative Services, explains, "Flipkart is a people's brand. Its resounding success comes from the love that customers have for the brand. We wanted to voice the exact thoughts of the customers and hence each script is inspired by true stories. As for the treatment, it's the most fun testimonial campaign I have ever worked on."

Of the three television commercials, two are currently on air across various channels. The third one will be released soon.

Getting it right

The campaign draws approval from the creative fraternity, which is of the opinion that the e-commerce site has successfully taken the brand message to the consumer this time, too.

Shiveshwar Raj Singh

Narayan Devanathan

Shiveshwar Raj Singh, group creative director, Draftfcb Ulka, remarks, "Flipkart appears wedded to the format it has created, that is, kids with adult voices and behaviour. So the moment you see a kid with glued-on moustaches or a fake goatee on TV, you know instantly you're watching a Flipkart commercial. That's fine with me as long as your target audience has the patience to sit through the long winded voiceover which runs through these spots. For me, these spots are a notch above the last series. The gags are funnier and the deadpan voice works a lot better. In my opinion, they may have worked a lot better with just the sequence of events being described, minus the man-child anchors, who keep popping up interrupting the truly funny parts."

Narayan Devanathan, senior vice-president and national planning head, Dentsu Marcom, remarks, "The thing about work that stands out is that it can stand out in good ways or bad ways. But in both cases, the details stick to you - irritatingly in case of bad work and delightfully in case of good work. And this is true for any form of content - from books (Chetan Bhagat, for example), to movies (Ek Tha Tiger anyone?) to ad films (BlackBerry, 'Action starts here', Limca 'Pyaas Badhao', 18 Again, and so on).

According to Devanathan, the two new ad films for Flipkart fall in the category of good work. He explains how, "unlike most brands, Flipkart has found a unique voice and unique delivery style that don't just work for the brand but distinctively cut the clutter. That's rare. Despite the demand of suspension of disbelief with the 'child-adult' actors in the films, they are very real, very relatable. The nasal voice of Mr. Forgetful is one we all have heard from someone we know (including, as much as we may not admit it, ourselves). Even if the toilet seat up-or-down conundrum is an imported-from-the-West idea, the blackened toast is not."

"For all that they are relatable, the stories are also thoroughly enjoyable. Waking up to your mouth being stuffed with an idli; ironing clothes with two irons while jogging in white P.T. shoes; doing an 'anga pradakshinam' (lying prostrate and rolling on the floor around a deity in a temple) to literally 'thank' God - what's not to like about them? But from a strategic perspective, what I really like is that Flipkart is not pinning itself into a corner with a force-fit 'single-minded proposition'. Clearly there are different kinds of people who shop for different reasons on Flipkart. The ads - as the business itself -acknowledge this, in a way where message and enjoyment don't try to outdo one another," he notes.

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