Flipkart leverages FB Live, TVF and comedians to promote Big Billion Day

By Sunit Roy , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 19, 2017
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"Previously, bulk of ad spend was on TV," says Kartikeya Bhandari, senior director, marketing at Flipkart.

Flipkart is launching its annual mega-sale event, the Big Billion Days (BBD) from September 20-24, offering discounts and exclusive deals on a range of products that include smartphones, appliances, and apparel. To promote the five-day sale, the online-shopping platform launched a campaign - 'Ab Mehengaai Giregi' (now inflation will fall). The campaign is a series of eight films, set in relatable, humorous situations that will be visible on and offline. Featuring the now familiar and endearing world of 'Flipkart Kidults', each film is centred around two characters - one frustrated and complaining about the ever-growing rate of inflation and the other who presents Flipkart's Big Billion Days 2017 as a solution to rising prices.

Conceptualised and executed by Lowe Lintas Bangalore, the campaign has been produced by Ramesh Deo Productions. The films are not just restricted/ limited to TVCs about kids. A few years back, Flipkart spent 70 to 80 percent of their budget on TVCs. However, things have changed in terms of the type of things the brand does, apart from just ad films that would run on TV or digital platforms.

According to Kartikeya Bhandari, senior director, marketing at Flipkart, "Now the entire campaign design has changed and from the marketing perspective, that has been the biggest change for us. It's now more about creating the assets which do justice to that platform.

"We have done a whole lot of things around the Big Billion Day (BBD) Sale. This time we have released eight digital films which are available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. Apart from that, it is for the first time that we have tied up with the Mumbai transit system where commuters in the local trains can hear the ad announcements during their journey, with the catch phrase 'Ab Mehengaai Giregi'," says Bhandari.

Kartikeya Bhandari Kartikeya Bhandari

Similarly, for a different TG, Flipkart has partnered with airlines like Spicejet and Indigo, wherein flight attendants will make in-flight announcement about the BBD Sale. Also, Flipkart leveraged the Facebook Live platform innovatively to create buzz right before the sale goes live. Just like last year's Facebook 360 video, created for the same purpose, Flipkart decided to bet big on Facebook Live and packaged it creatively as a game show. The BBD Show was essentially a game of Dumb-Charades played live on Facebook to reveal the top offers of the sale, on mute of course. Featuring India's favourite comedians - Jose Covaco, Mallika Dua, Rahul Subramanium, and Karan Talwar, the show was a fun game of charades where the comedians enacted the offers and the audience had to guess these offers on-the-spot to win big vouchers from Flipkart.

Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja's tweet about the Big Billion Days 2017 campaign Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja's tweet about the Big Billion Days 2017 campaign

"These are just a few instances where people don't generally expect advertising, but the initiatives have caught their attention nonetheless and they have taken to Twitter and Facebook applauding the effort," says Bhandari.

He adds, "We are also present on print, TV, radio, outdoors, and quite heavily on the digital platform of course. The ads are being relayed on radio channels across various cities nationwide, particularly in metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, on Fever 104 FM and RedFM 93.5. So, I think we have a very balanced media approach."

Flipkart has also partnered with Adgreetz - the industry's leading video personalisation platform based out of the US and has created more than 1,00,000 personalised ads based on specific-customer feeds to digitally push the BBD event.

The media mix, in terms of percentages, has a reasonable component of digital. In fact, the mass personalised videos will be available only on digital platforms because through this platform, the brand believes that it has the best chance of being relevant and contextual to customers.

Apart from that, Flipkart has also partnered with The Viral Fever (TVF), ScoopWhoop, etc. to put out a broad ecosystem. This ensures that wherever one goes, the brand makes its presence felt in a non-inclusive manner with the content to engage the person for the story that is being told.

As opposed to the launch in 2014, when BBD was a one-day event, today it has become a five-day mega shopping festival. So, we asked Kartikeya Bhandari what the idea was behind launching the entire campaign centred on the 'Ab Mehengaai Giregi' thought. "We look at the BBD as a marquee event. We know 'Mehengaai' is the oldest Indian crib, so we thought it would be fun to have a fresh take on it, which is 'Ab Mehengaai Giregi'. It's a very Indian concept and makes the campaign relevant enough," explains Bhandari.

"In terms of the overall experience, it's always a joy to work on a campaign, especially with kids. The amount of energy they bring to the floor is amazing," he adds.

While a number of people are aware about BBD and the brand, but this time Flipkart's intention is not just to make announcements of the great offers and discounts available during the sale, but rather, to establish the fact that it has an exclusive collection that isn't available anywhere else.

As far as retaining the freshness in content is concerned, the brand wants to be rooted in a strong consumer insight and then articulate it in the best creative manner. "We wanted to tell our viewers a very Indian story. All the films, showing Flipkart's Kidults, are rooted in the Indian context, which people can easily identify with and relate to. Secondly, we look for certain high points of humour as well as moments of realisation. These are a few aspects which we stay true to in our storytelling," says Bhandari.

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