Ubaid Zargar

How Rapido touted the entire bike taxi category with its IPL ads

Brand’s VP of marketing spills the tea about Rapido’s push to promote India's e-mobility space through the campaign.

For a lot of the brands, IPL serves as a yearly advertising carnival with an unparalleled reach. Most advertisers concern themselves with building brand awareness, and standing out from a clutter of competitors. 

Rapido’s approach to this year’s IPL was slightly different. The brand didn’t just promote itself, it also aimed to elevate the entire bike taxi category in India. For instance, the tagline for the campaign, ‘Bike Wali Taxi Sab Se Saxi’, plugs the entire two-wheeler cab ecosystem. Of course, the visuals of the ad films don’t shy away from positioning Rapido as the go-to choice for commuters. 

Rapido’s VP, marketing, Pawandip Singh reveals that the campaign came about after much deliberation on how to promote the category at large. “We wanted to do an intensive, high reach campaign, through which we could take bike taxi to the lengths and the breadths of the country. The tagline also alludes to how the campaign is really about the category, and since we are the leaders we take the biggest credit for it.”

Pawandip Singh
Pawandip Singh

The ad films from the campaign showcase three quirky use cases of bike taxis. One of the films demonstrates a commuter’s way out of a crowded bus, making the commute much more convenient through bike taxis.

The second ad film pulls the protagonist away from a queue of auto seekers on a street, a metropolitan inconvenience that has been around for decades now. And the third ad film empowers elderly to take an easy way out of their daily road struggles.

Singh opines that micro-mobility is a major concern in the top 20 cities of the country. “How bike taxi as a concept caters to this entire proposition comes from the convenience, price, and the safety elements of it. The campaign captures those nuances very subtly, either directly or indirectly.”

The campaign was first aired on JioCinema, and has now been extended to television as well. Speaking on the media mix of the campaign, Singh reveals, “We wanted to do a digital first campaign which is why we started it out with Jio. Since the tournament was being aired free, it helped us reach the maximum audiences.”

For the first month of the IPL 16, Rapido maintained its presence in isolation on JioCinema. Since May 3rd, the brand has now incorporated television into its media mix as well. But what prompted this change? 

Singh answers, “Television has always been the go-to medium for advertisers. But the type of targeting, and call to actions (CTAs) you can do on digital can’t happen elsewhere. So, we wanted to try this aspect of marketing, and now we have augmented Jio with Star.”

With the kind of advertising prowess IPL brings to the table, the influx of variegated advertisers leads to an inevitable clutter of ads. The chances of standing out from the mix are often thwarted by the count and frequency of ads. Singh believes that away from the noise and saturation of the IPL, the only true way of standing out is to either be liked or disliked.

“IPL has become a tentpole event in the country. And since it is cricket, it has the ability to bring the entire advertising fraternity together. But it also creates a lot of saturation. For a brand to stand out, it either needs to be liked or disliked by the audience. That is the only way you can guarantee a reaction.”

For Rapido, the aim was for the campaign to become a ‘mindbug’ and an ‘earworm’. 

Commenting on the target group for the campaign, Singh points out that the entire bike taxi category is finessed to support the commutation systems of metropolitan cities. With a lot of reliance on the metro railroads of these cities, the concerns of first and last mile mobility become more evident. 

“A person might need to travel a few kilometers to reach their nearest metro station or hubs in these cities. This is where bike taxi thrives as an alternative. The consumer reception within the category has also been very empowering, with people showering praise for the services.”

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