Ubaid Zargar

How Flipkart turned iPhone 14 into the protagonist of its Big Billion Days story

The platform’s yearly carnival kept consumers guessing the price of Apple’s flagship smartphone, all in the name of discount. Here is how.

Flipkart’s Big Billion Day has concluded, and the hero of this festive arch was Apple’s iPhone 14. The e-commerce giant weaved a peculiar mystique around Apple’s flagship smartphone’s discounted price. What followed was a swarm of netizens taking to social media in hopes of getting their hands on the prize.

Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale is a yearly festive event, with discounts spanning across a spectrum of products between smartphones and fashion accessories. Amidst this treasure trove of bargains, it is the resplendent Apple iPhone 14 that has captured the collective imagination this year. It is not merely the discounts that enthralled the enthusiasts, but Flipkart's witty marketing ploys that set social media abuzz.

The platform kickstarted the entire campaign with a contest, where consumers were invited into a cerebral duel of guesswork. Whoever predicted the discounted price of the device could win the iPhone 14 for free. The campaign went live on social media under the hashtag ‘iPhone14onFlipkart’.

How Flipkart turned iPhone 14 into the protagonist of its Big Billion Days story

The platform also took to the streets to build the hype around the iPhone 14, with unusual preconditions to the discount. In an outdoor ad, Flipkart promised a Rs 3000 discount on the phone if nobody honked at the hoarding.

How Flipkart turned iPhone 14 into the protagonist of its Big Billion Days story

And then followed the collaboration with Spicejet, where another Rs 3000 could be deducted from the iPhone’s price if the passengers on a Spicejet plane kept their seatbelts on throughout the journey. The entire campaign was conceptualised and created by Talented. 

Viren Noronha, who is the co-founder of Talented’s social agency ‘The New Thing’, says that the brand brief given to the agency was to make as much noise as they could while using last year as a frame of reference. He says, “The definition of noise is now self-imposed. With this brief, the noise would be to create as much hype and conversation around the iPhone 14’s severely discounted price on the Big Billion Days.”

How Flipkart turned iPhone 14 into the protagonist of its Big Billion Days story

The campaign, stemming from the outdoors, made its way into the top X trends. With loads of consumers rushing in to guess the iPhone 14 price. Varun Khiatani, who works on strategy at Talented, points out that the agency had already anticipated the response to the campaign.

He says, “We found a lot of conversations about how when the iPhone 15 was going to launch, which was 10 days or 15 days before we started working on the campaign. People were already discussing what the price of the iPhone 15 would be in Big Billion Days next year. And there's a lot of conversation around how many kidneys should be sold for the iPhone and just general banter around the discount.”

How Flipkart turned iPhone 14 into the protagonist of its Big Billion Days story

The iPhone itself is an aspirational purchase for India. And given the price points, the decision isn’t made on impulse. Khiatani opines, “This aspiration translates into people looking for any opportunity to get their hands on a discounted iPhone. That was the core of this campaign.”

For the agency, the aim wasn’t to spark a conversation on social media that spilt over to other avenues of consumer discourse, but rather to build something offline that made its way to social media. Noronha highlights, “Social is not what starts on social, it is what ends up on social. We wanted to create something that ended up on networking sites. And then people themselves started spreading it as news.”

For the two OOH ads that sparked the entire discussion, the agency aimed to employ different communications to deliver a positive message. Khiatani says, “Those ads were local to the Indian behaviour in those particular areas. The efforts also had this overtone of being a responsible citizen.”

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