Ashwini Gangal
Advertising

Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets

In its first ever marketing campaign, TV commerce player DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop addresses India's "non-internet savvy" consumer.

TV commerce player DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop - a 50:50 joint venture between Jasper Infotech (holding company of e-commerce portal Snapdeal) and cable television distribution network DEN - has launched its first marketing campaign.

Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
The tagline is 'Kal Ki Wish Aaj Pao, Phone Uthao Khushiya Mangao' - 'Don't postpone your happiness, Buy Now'.

Created by Adept Media (an advertising agency), the campaign targets consumers who have little or no access to the internet, and consequently miss out on deals that brands typically offer on e-commerce portals.

Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets

Target markets comprise Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat. The media mix of this campaign includes TV, print, outdoor, radio, social media, and in-office branding.

Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets

About the film, Maneesh Goel, CEO, DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop, says, “We’re all ‘bargain hunters’ who have been taught to start saving from a very young age.” The good ol’ ‘gullak’ (desi piggy bank, if you will) is shown as a symbol of “postponed happiness” in the ad. The message is: Don’t postpone your happiness; shop on DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop instead.

Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets

According to Vandan Chopra, CEO Adept Media, the objective was to come up with a "geography agnostic" idea that does justice to this shopping platform. His team hopes this campaign will lead to sales conversions.

For the record, the channel has over 20 MSOs (multi system operators) and is presently available on DEN's cable network, Reliance Digital TV, GTPL (Gujarat), Fastway (Punjab), Incable, etc. The channel will be extended to other cable networks and DTH platforms over the next six months.

DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop claims to have a growth rate of 50 per cent, month-on-month. The goal is to reach 80 million households by the end of this calendar year. The increasing disposable income of consumers in tier 2 and tier 3 markets, we learn from the team at DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop, is helping this category (TV commerce, that is) grow.

Does the film work?

Says Kushal Sanghvi, head, World Wide Open (Reliance Digital and Entertainment's digital/new media agency), "It's great to see an initiative like this from a Snapdeal... it will definitely be worthwhile to see what a Flipkart or an Amazon will do to reach this segment."

The film, in his view, is a lot like the kind of ads one sees on "say an India TV or other regional, Hindi news channels."

Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
Snapdeal, DEN go mass; target internet-dark markets
Sanghvi adds, "Perhaps stronger messaging, about the convenience of shopping through this medium, could have been incorporated. Since it wishes to take on CJ and other such channels, they will need another commercial to illustrate this."

Sudish Balan, business director, Tonic Media Digital, a digital agency, the film manages to speak to the intended TG "in a context that they will understand." The TG, he surmises, comprises an "older audience in 'Un-metro' India."

Should the brand have focused more on the process/ease of shopping through this medium, and on discount-related aspects, than on intangibles like consumers' attitude towards money/saving?

"Though playing out the transaction process is important, it can be done in the second phase of the campaign, through a follow up film," answers Balan. He decodes the current film as one aimed at driving "discovery and sampling" of the channel.

From an execution perspective, Balan appreciates the screenplay, casting and direction but feels the film could have been shorter, with a sharper edit and a crisper narrative.

DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop competes with other home shopping channels like Shop CJ, which recently released an ad campaign that touches upon consumers' emotions. "While Shop CJ's ad positions the brand as a shopping destination for latest trends, DEN's film is trying to grow the category... it's trying to create awareness around home shopping," infers Tonic Media's Balan.

To Pranav Harihar Sharma, executive creative director and head of creative, Delhi branch, Grey Worldwide India, it's a fun, entertaining spot. He identifies and appreciates execution techniques like "loud narrative, loud shooting style and caricature-ish characters", which used to be popular around five years back.

However, when he applies what he calls his 'marketing filter', he wonders, "What problem is this communication trying to solve - limited internet access or limited money? If it's the former, the ad fails."

The tagline, he says, is all too generic, something that can easily work for brands across categories. Mutual funds, for instance. He adds about the film, "They could have written something in the 'Snapdeal on TV' area; people who aren't internet savvy do know about Snapdeal and other e-commerce platforms... thanks to the million dollar TV budgets of these websites."

Interestingly enough, Sharma critiques the agency's choice of voice-over artist: "We should now move on from Vijay Raj's voice. He has been exploited so much; all his VOs sound similar - same punctuation pauses, voice modulation... In these kinds of films especially, the VO is almost like a separate character in itself, one that can give the ad a whole new dimension."