A quick chat with group CEO and co-founder Aloke Bajpai about the latest outdoor campaign for ‘ixigo assured’.
Due to the COVID pandemic, there was anxiety and uncertainty among the travellers with respect to planning their next trip. To address this pain point, leading travel aggregator app ixigo launched ‘ixigo assured fares’ last year (2020), guaranteeing full refunds on cancellations of all domestic flight bookings.
The app has now rolled out #CancelBefikar campaign aimed at anxious travellers across India. It encourages them to use ixigo for a flexible, stress-free booking experience. The outdoor campaign is aimed towards increasing brand awareness, with a focus on free cancellation product ‘ixigo assured’.
The campaign encourages users to let go of their inhibitions related to heavy penalties on flight cancellations. It has been crafted using popular Bollywood songs and dialogue references to create a series of quirky targeted billboards with messages like, ‘Apna refund aayega!’, ‘Hum refund de chuke sanam’, and ‘Kabhi booking, kabhi refund’.
Conceptualised and designed in-house by the marketing team of ixigo, the campaign has been launched on outdoor mediums, including high-impact sites in cities across India.
Speaking to afaqs! about the campaign, Aloke Bajpai, group CEO and co-founder, ixigo, says, “Our brand tonality encompasses featuring witty content captured in a casual narrative, and that has been the main inspiration behind designing this campaign. Using Bollywood and travel as our main theme, allowed us to create interesting and eye-catching content that adds value and is in sync with the brand’s philosophy of enriching our users’ travel journey.”
The brand team informs that the campaign has received encouraging feedback from the customers.
However, it must be noted that the app guarantees refunds on cancellation of domestic flight tickets up to Rs 5,000 only.
According to Bajpai, the demand for festive travel (September-October 2021) has seen encouraging growth in all three segments - flights, trains and buses (MoM as well as YoY).
He adds, “The reason for growth in the recent travel bookings is a mix of visiting friends and family, as well as leisure travel. Growing travel confidence has also resulted in a shift to advance purchase pattern trends. Share of bookings for travel beyond 30 days has increased in October, indicating pre-planned advance purchase behaviour, which had become last-minute purchase behaviour during the pandemic.”
Bajpai points out that Ladakh, Kashmir, Goa and Jaipur are some of the popular domestic leisure destinations being booked for festive travel this year. For international leisure travel, ixigo saw about 15-20 per cent increase in search queries for destinations like Dubai, Maldives and Russia.
Talking about ixigo’s marketing strategies, Bajpai explains that content marketing has been a growth hack. The platform will continue to create relatable and share-worthy marketing campaigns that connect with its audience and maintain brand recall.
To engage with its audience when travel was under strict restrictions last year, the brand rolled out public awareness campaigns. They informed travellers about the new etiquettes for flight and train travel to encourage safe and guarded travel.
“Currently, we are launching social media campaigns on updated travel policies of the destination that the people are traveling to, as well as vaccination policies for international travel. We have also created a dedicated COVID help centre, guideline section and dashboard to provide timely information to the people on the latest domestic and international travel guidelines,” Bajpai informs.
ixigo has also introduced a vaccine slot finder. It allows the users to conveniently search and book vaccine slots directly on the app. This will encourage travellers to get themselves vaccinated before they put on their travel shoes.