Snapdeal: A Deal Full of Love

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 27, 2015
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The online marketplace ropes in Bollywood actor Aamir Khan to communicate that a transaction on its platform is a way of spreading warmth and love.

An 'online transaction' is often dubbed as a mechanical act of buying goods and services without any human interaction. However, digital players are urging consumers to believe otherwise. After the much talked about OLX's 'Keemat bhi kuch keemati bhi' campaign, Snapdeal has rolled out a campaign featuring its newly appointed brand ambassador Aamir Khan highlighting how each transaction on its platform is a 'Dil ki Deal'.

Executed by Leo Burnett, the film features Khan as an onlooker who observes how a Snapdeal package acts as a tool in bringing smiles on people's faces. He not only witnesses how wishes of people around him are being fulfilled through Snapdeal's varied product offerings, but also receives a Dil ki Deal himself.

Sandeep Komaravelly

Talking about the selection of the brand ambassador, Sandeep Komaravelly, senior vice president - marketing, Snapdeal, says that Khan cuts across audiences and appeals to every consumer.

Snapdeal has always advertised tangible benefits in its campaigns and this is the first time that the platform has signed a megastar as celebrity endorser. The only exception to this pattern was Snapdeal's 40 Diwali TVCs, which featured 28 celebrities (mostly television actors), pushing its 'Diwali Sale' trying to crush its arch rival Flipkart.

Komaravelly notes that the platform's previous campaigns established the USP of Snapdeal being a destination that offers the widest assortment of products at great value. He feels that today the platform has evolved to take the next step in its communication journey and lay emphasis on the emotional fulfillment it enables for its consumers.

"Shopping for loved ones is a very emotional and fulfilling experience. This campaign showcases the same," he asserts.

With over 40 million members and 100,000 sellers, claims to deliver to 5000+ cities and towns in India. The most selling category on its platform is mobile and computer verticals, clothing and footwear.

Komaravelly tells us that Snapdeal is spending heavily on traditional media (both television and print) to reach out to its consumers with close to half of its media spends going in to these.

The 'Dil ki Deal' campaign is being promoted on leading channels and will be dubbed in regional languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali. The campaign is also being promoted on Snapdeal's social media handles on Facebook and Twitter through #DilkiDealonSnapdeal.

Launched in February 2010, by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, the platform currently has 11 million products across 500 diverse categories from regional, national and international brands and retailers. The online marketplace will invest $150-200 million in the next one year, expanding its delivery operations. It has picked up a minority stake in logistics firm GoJavas, a former logistics arm of smaller rival Jabong.

Currently, over 70 per cent of its orders comes from mobile phones. It is backed by investors and individuals such as Soft-bank, BlackRock, Temasek, eBay Inc., Premji Invest, Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Ratan Tata, among others.

Well-Struck Deal?

Vipul Thakkar

Amaresh Godbole

Vipul Thakkar, national creative director, Dentsu Communications, finds the campaign 'weak', "almost like a generic audio-visual presentation on the benefits of online shopping."

"It is too late in the day to have such a campaign highlighting the benefits of getting deals on online shopping, when other big players like Flipkart and Myntra have established these benefits more than a couple of years back. There is no brand promise or unique offering that differentiates the brand Snapdeal," he argues.

Thakkar believes that a celebrity like Aamir Khan has been wasted in the communication. In his opinion, Khan could have been used as a character, like in the Coca-Cola ad, with an evocative story weaved around the brand.

Amaresh Godbole, MD India, DigitasLBi, offers a different perspective. He says, "In a category where the giants are slugging it out for salience, someone like Aamir Khan, who doesn't over-endorse, will certainly help improve recall. Veteran shoppers are often set in their patterns or are deal hunters, but this should really help them get trials from explorers and new online shoppers."

He, however, notes that with a powerful character like Khan, there was, perhaps, scope for more meaningful storytelling. "That may even be in the pipeline for all we know," he adds.

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