When one looks at the latest ads by Brand Factory, one can almost hear evil laughter emanating from Kishore Biyani's stable. Brand Factory, a Future Group concept, is a chain of 'fashion discount stores'. Offline stores, of course. And the operative word here is 'discount', a notion online players have been making merry with.
The ads take a not-so-subtle dig at e-commerce brands Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart. "Stop Looking Online," goes the copy. Online marketplaces such as these have made deals, discounts and under-cutting ever so commonplace.
We have seen these three online players, and some others too, take digs at one another through cheeky advertising in the past (see our list of related stories below), but this time, an offline player has taken on three online portals.
We spoke to Roch Dsouza, chief marketing officer, Brand Factory, about the campaign.
On how the campaign came about...
The starting point was our confidence in what we can deliver to the consumer.
We have been in the business for ten years now and strongly believe that what we can deliver to the customers through a promo or a discount is much larger than what the online guys currently have to offer.
So we thought, why not just go out and tell consumers that we are the most economical option?
On the discount model...
We are India's only offline discount chain of stores. So, realistically, we are the only ones to have all the brands in the offline space. All these brands that manufacture for a particular season want the excess stock to be sold off. That's when they come to us and that's the only reason we can afford to give discounts.
These discounts are obviously shared by the brands. That's how we have been in the business for ten years. It is a clear model of sharing with the brand.
While online players are known for deals, Brand Factory, by nature, is a '365 days a year' discount store. Discount is integrated in our business model. We are not losing money doing this. Here, we are not subsidising or 'billing down' the price of products at the cost of our marketing.
That is the difference between the business model of online players and us.
On potshot advertising...
I am taking a dig at them (online stores) because I have better offers than them. It is nothing beyond that. We want to make a point here.
In the mind-space of my customer, the perception is - 'If is online, it has to be cheap. Offline stores can't be as cheap and can't give value.' We had to break this kind of thought process.
This campaign is a creative expression of that. You will get noticed only when you do something bold and audacious.
The long term strategy is to keep telling our customers that we are the best place to get the best deal. But to start out, you always need a push.
On the brief given to the ad agency (which he refuses to name)...
The brief was - "We want to take a pot shot at online retailers."
It is about taking them on, head-on.
For the record, Lowe is Brand Factory's on-record creative agency. This campaign, however, has not been created by Lowe.
Brand Factory is present in 20 cities. The brand's media mix comprises print, digital, outdoor and in-store platforms.