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Citi emerges successful in communicating the idea of 'thoughtful gifting' with its festive campaign #WhatsGoodThisDiwali

By Rumani Arora , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | November 27, 2017
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Citi recorded highest ever credit card spends in October 2017 (growing at 10% over last festive season), 5.1 million overall impressions with latest festive campaign.

Diwali, the festival of lights, brings with itself a gigantic festive fervour that's filled with fun, happiness, love, family-bonding, and not to forget - the gifting and shopping frenzy. It is that time of the year when people spend heavily, making it a great opportunity for brands to come up with great offers and deals. Since the idea of gifting loved ones is part of our rich tradition, the competition among brands have intensified their offering to attract consumers into spending more every year during the festival season, making it much of an Indian version of the holiday season in the west.

Interestingly, after the demonetization last year and the constant push for digitization in the country, more consumers have started noticing the benefits of using cards over cash. Moreover, the increased offers around rewards/cashbacks offered promoted all year round by retailers and E-commerce companies, have changed the consumer's behavior tremendously. More and more consumers get lured by the saving offers than actually buying keep their loved ones' interest in mind.

Citi understood the above market context and changing consumer behavior to come up with some enticing offers for the festive season. It designed its communication plan intelligently to highlight the goodness of our gifting tradition and propagate thoughtful selection of gifts among its consumers.

Citi Bank

While other brands were banking on 'buy more gift more strategy' to induce sales in the festive season, Citi took the different path and invited consumers to inspire passion, nurture talent, and embrace newness among their loved ones via Diwali gifting. They showcased a grandson choosing to gift a Kindle to his grandfather who loved reading, and similarly, a father identifying a true shutterbug in her daughter & gifting her a DSLR to encourage her to pursue her passion; on the occasion of Diwali.

The core idea was to encourage customers to indulge in 'doing good' this Diwali. And to bring alive the concept, Citi leveraged the social expression #WhatsGoodThisDiwali and took a number of on-ground initiatives.

It joined hands with leading lifestyle brands - Amazon, Myntra and Snapdeal during their flagship Diwali sales to give added incentive to Citi card consumers and make the deals even sweeter for them. Further, it got into an exclusive partnership with Apple to launch iPhone 8 and provided pre-order, launch at the store and post-launch offers to customers across online & offline retail touchpoints. It also tied-up with Gourmet flavors, which enabled thousands of its customers to enjoy a luxurious meal with their loved ones.

Citi also rolled out exclusive offers with Makemytrip to make sure that the people who live far from their families could travel back and celebrate the festival with their loved ones or plan a memorable festive getaway during the holidays.

Besides, in order to ensure that campaign breaks through the media clutter and reaches the relevant consumers, Citi adopted the social first approach. It contextually targeted consumers with customized communication on Facebook news-feed.

Citi Bank

Citi rendered 1-on-1 offer assistance via Citi page Facebook messenger. It was exclusively made live during the festive campaign in order to encourage customers to engage in conversations to identify the best-suited offers for them via real-time personalized assistance on Facebook. The activation was quite successful with a customer spending more than a minute on average conversing with brand while figuring out the best gift for their loved ones.

Citi Bank

Citi also ran an engagement activity on Facebook to drive the concept of thoughtful gifting. Under this, it crowd-sourced gifting ideas, i.e., encouraged customers to share their ideas & stories about what they are gifting their loved ones, with the hashtag #WhatsGoodThisDiwali.

Citi didn't limit the #WhatsGoodThisDiwali expression to just gifting ideas but extended it towards doing actual good for the society at large. It tied up with St. Jude India child care centres to help an ailing child every time a consumer used his/her Citi credit card by contributing Rs.100 for every 5 or more transactions of Rs.2500 each. This program was planned to benefit 5000 individuals which include 1700 kids.

Citi Bank

It followed data-driven approach to deploy owned media and targeted consumers basis their affinity to Citi & it's festive offer's line up. The campaign could be spotted across all relevant touch points; right from emails, SMSs, to bank branches, Citi ATM network, Citi outdoor media network in high affluent footprint locations like airports, malls, social centres like Gurgaon cyber hub, etc. This ensured that no consumer misses out great offers which Citi was offering during the campaign period.

Brilliantly planned and executed, the campaign saw Citi recorded highest ever credit card spends in October 2017 growing at 10% over last festive season and whopping 25% over September 2017. Using Facebook extensively as the delivery vehicle for this campaign helped Citi in driving exceptional performance. In-spite of the cut-throat competition during the festive season when varied brands try to attract the same set of target audience, Citi emerged successful in ringing good numbers. Citi cards recorded over 5.1 million overall impressions along with generating more than 63K conversations over Citi Facebook messenger during just 10 days campaign period.

The average time spent by each consumer interacting with Citi on Facebook messenger was more than 1 minute, in times when brands crave for consumer's attention for 5-10 seconds. Participation in the engagement activity was further overwhelming - the crowdsourcing of gift ideas contest as Citi reached over 1.3Mn people and Citi recorded the highest ever engagement rate of 39% during this campaign.

Overall, it was an insightful campaign that showcased how a brand could emerge successful in communicating its core idea by making the messaging and media vehicle extremely relevant & engaging for customers while keeping the brand identity intact.

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