Paytm, one of the brands cashing in on - no pun intended - the ongoing demonetisation discussion, tweaked a recent ad; "drama bandh karo" was replaced by "chinta mat karo". A look at the spot.
The demonetisation of higher denomination notes by the government has given a fillip to e-wallets and other fin-tech brands, and it appears as though the excitement will last long. Following the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, market leader Paytm (as per Nielsen) responded with just two words, 'Paytm Karo' as its founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted "Welcome to truest digital cash India".
As these critics began uninstalling the Paytm app, the brand took note of their grievances and withdrew the ad immediately. This is not the first, nor is it going to be the last time, a brand has withdrawn an ad following a digital backlash. Some of the recent examples include the #OlaMicro ad that was lynched for being sexist, Havells' 'Main Pankha Hoon' which found itself in the midst of controversy for taking a stand against reservation and, rewinding a little more, Kalyan Jewellers' print ad that got bashed online for being racist and pro-child abuse.
Talking of brands that changed their communication based on feedback, one of the examples that comes to mind is that of Mahindra & Mahindra TVC. The original version of the ad showed the XUV500 with an Indian (Maharashtra) number plate in a South African setting. The anomaly was rectified later.
That said, there were two sides to the Paytm story. While there were some who criticised the ad, others spoke for it, and still others shared pictures of small vendors such as the 'panipuri-walas' and 'chai-walas' using Paytm, as if justifying the ad's execution. Following are some snapshots...
As reported in Business Standard, buoyed by a sudden surge in demand for digital transaction, Paytm said it has touched a figure of five million payment transactions per day.
"Backed by a large payment ecosystem of customers and merchants, the company registered a 700 per cent increase in overall traffic and 1,000 per cent growth in the amount of money added to the Paytm account over the past couple of days. During this period, the transaction value continued to be 200 per cent of the average ticket size, while the number of app downloads went up 300 per cent. The number of transactions per user also went up from three to 18 transactions in a week," the report said.