Suraj Ramnath

"Paytm QR Code is a revolutionary concept": Shankar Nath, senior VP, Paytm

The brand highlights the ease-of-usage factor across consumer touch points, in its latest ad film.

Paytm, the mobile wallet application (app), in its previous campaign, focussed on the comfort of using the app for money transfers, bill payments, and gifting options. Those were days when the mobile wallet was just making its foray into the minds of consumers, carrying the message that they (the consumers) need not walk to an ATM all the time to withdraw money, or walk all the way to pay their electricity bill, phone bill, nor be hassled about not having the right change to give the taxi driver. All transactions could simply be carried out through the app.

And, this time, Paytm, is back with a new TV campaign with the tagline 'Paytm Karo'. The ad has been conceptualised by McCann. In this ad, the characters are shown using the Paytm QR (Quick Response) code to pay their auto rickshaw fares, grocery bills, or even petrol bills. Although the message is the same as the previous campaign, the TVC also highlights the QR code, the added feature being offered by the company. The QR code can be seen behind the rickshaw driver's seat, at a grocery shop, and at a petrol pump, which customers can scan on their mobile and pay their bills.

"Paytm QR Code is a revolutionary concept": Shankar Nath, senior VP, Paytm
"Paytm QR Code is a revolutionary concept": Shankar Nath, senior VP, Paytm
"Paytm QR Code is a revolutionary concept": Shankar Nath, senior VP, Paytm
Commenting on the brief given to the agency, Shankar Nath, senior vice-president, Paytm, says, "The brief was simple - to highlight how Paytm makes daily chores so easy for the masses. From money transfers to electricity bill payments, from paying auto fares to booking movie tickets, Paytm helps you do it all in just a matter of seconds."

Adding further on the objective of making this ad, Nath says, "We also wanted to show how our platform reduces the dependence on cash. When you can do everything from paying at your local 'kirana' (grocery) store or for your fuel at a petrol pump, the need for cash is significantly reduced."

Paytm QR code: a new product feature?

Nath says, "The Paytm QR code is a revolutionary new concept, which makes payments easy for the masses. It just takes four-five seconds for someone to scan the code through one's mobile phone and make a payment. However, one can also do this by inserting another person's mobile number. So, in that sense, payment can be made in different ways."

We asked our experts if the ads are well-executed.

"Paytm QR Code is a revolutionary concept": Shankar Nath, senior VP, Paytm
"Paytm QR Code is a revolutionary concept": Shankar Nath, senior VP, Paytm
Jagdish Acharya, founder and creative head, Cut The Crap (an ad agency), says, "The Paytm ad is a mixed bag. Dudes and duds. The strategy to cover a whole range of possibilities with the product had to lead to a montage."

He further adds, "The film ambles along a rather listless melody through non-scenes like auto rickshaw and 'chutta' (change). Just as the drone makes you feel drowsy, the smart ones kick in and wake you up like coffee. The selfie and cash-back scenes win the orange and purple caps of a plain-Jane IPL (Indian Premier League)."

Upasana Roy, head of strategy, DigitasLBi, India, says, "In this ad, Paytm has tried to answer the quintessential question of what sets its service apart. In a world where a simple payment solution is not a unique concept anymore and multiple wallets/banking apps are pretty much doing the same for you, as a consumer, you start thinking about the limited real-estate in your smartphone. This is where the idea for a one-stop-shop payment ecosystem comes into play."

Roy further adds, "What I like about the ad is the segmented communication approach across multiple age groups, which showcases the maturity curve of the consumers in their product adoption cycle. It does a good job demonstrating the solution driven nature of the service."

Is the ad relatable?

Acharya says, "The ad is easily relatable and takes any remaining mystique out of the product which is one thing going for it. The execution meanders like the script into good and not-so-good. You can sense the director's excitement on the well-written pieces."

He further adds, "On the whole, given the long-format of the ad and its challenge to hold attention, highlights would have worked harder for the brand than the entire match."

Roy says, "On the topic of futuristic vs relatable, I think relatable everyday behavioural observations go a long way in building top-of-mind recall, but too many of them may dilute the whole point of latching on to the same. While the execution of some of these relatable insights were interesting (like the cashless rickshaw and the nephew receiving money), it still felt like a force-fit in some situations (the petrol pump and movie tickets)."

She further adds, "Personally, I would have loved to see this ad just continue on the path of futuristic and fun applications of the mobile wallet in a single storyline, and close the loop on one service - pay, book, or transfer."

(Additional inputs by Ashee Sharma)

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