How e-commerce players trolled Flipkart

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 20, 2015
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As Snapdeal ambushed Flipkart's #AcchaKiya campaign, small and big e-commerce players too exploited the opportunity, sparking off a trolling spree.

E-commerce industry's heavy weights, Flipkart and Snapdeal, locked horns again when the latter ambushed Flipkart's campaign #AcchaKiya. The poster boy of Indian e-commerce, Flipkart, has been promoting this campaign extensively across mediums, telling consumers that if they have spotted a product on their platform and haven't bought it, they made the right choice. The platform has been promoting its three-day sale which starts from June 22.

Flipkart took over all possible media channels - television, print, radio, digital and OOH - to raise the curiosity level of consumers by simply mentioning different products. 'Bada TV nahi khareeda, Accha Kiya' and 'Blue bag nahi khareeda, Accha kiya' were some of the spots being played on television, digital and radio. On the outdoor and print medium, the e-tailer displayed its logo colour (blue and yellow) as a backdrop and promoted the #AcchaKiya campaign.

All was going well, until its competitor Snapdeal tactfully designed a counter campaign 'Accha kiya bata dia - #YahanSeKharido'. Announcing it over social media, the company also strategically placed its billboards right below or above Flipkart's, amusing consumers and instigating trolls over social media.

Meanwhile, leveraging the charged environment created by these two brands, coupon listing platform CouponDunia swung into action and created a cheeky campaign 'Kahin se bhi kharido -BachaIdharSe'. The company also executed an OOH campaign and placed its billboards next to that of Flipkart's and Snapdeal's.

Crashing the party was another online player with its 'Khareedne ke liye, #PaisaChahiye', subtly weaving its proposition in the troll war., the sister concern of Policybazaar, is a financial advisory services platform which sells loans, credit cards, gold funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and corporate deposits.


Prashanth Challapalli

Negating that the troll war between Flipkart and Snapdeal can be dubbed as 'ambush marketing', Prashanth Challapalli, SVP and digital head, iContract, says the real meaning of the term is when a brand does not expect something like this to happen.

According to him, it is a game of wits where everybody is enjoying and not taking it too seriously. "It is a sign that marketers are maturing in India. In the old days, if this had happened between Colgate and Pepsodent, there would have been instant court cases," he says.

He exemplifies it with the brand Paperboat which also did a similar campaign with all the mango drinks present in the market a while back.

"Flipkart should have been annoyed if Snapdeal started matching every piece of their communication. But, marketers today know that there is no point blowing up so much money ambushing another marketer's campaign. Especially in the e-commerce space, there is no loyalty, people tend to buy from various platforms," he reasons.

Challapalli doles out a few rules to create a brand impact in such scenarios while keeping the humour alive.

"Don't get vicious or so competitive that it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Self moderation is the key. Try and match the tonality of the communication of your competitor, weaving your own proposition smartly and do it in the right spirit," he suggests.

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