Aishwarya Ramesh

Mondelēz and Ogilvy's new campaign brings hawkers' products online

The campaign enables people to shop for products, such as ‘diyas’, flowers etc., from a microsite.

Diwali is well known for being the festival of lights and the season of giving. Many people use this time to clean their homes, light ‘diyas’ and give back to the community.

In the spirit of giving back, Ogilvy and Mondelēz have released a Diwali-themed campaign, which comes with a technology-enabled twist.

Mondelēz’s initiative aims to help street hawkers, especially those who don’t own permanent stores. The brand is leveraging QR code technology to do its part.

A user can scan the QR code, which is available on Cadbury Celebrations gift packs, to identify nearby hawkers and the products they sell. This is to ensure that even if the hawkers can’t find a physical space to sell their products, their business isn’t negatively affected.

The media planning for the campaign has been done by Wavemaker. Ogilvy partnered with digital media company DeltaX to develop a tech platform to connect the buyers to nearby hawkers.

The consumers can also help the hawkers to set up virtual shops by adding details such as the vendor’s name, phone number and a few product images onto the microsite. Once the vendor’s products are uploaded to the site, interested buyers can shop via a phone/video call, or SMS.

Sukesh Nayak, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India, points out that Diwali is an important period for hawkers, but their business is often affected due to no permanent spot/shop to sell their products.

"Two years back, we decided to build on a global platform of generosity. Even our thematic campaigns, the Indian Premier League ones, all work around the same theme. So, building on our generosity platform, this campaign is going beyond the small businesses. It is an effort to give hawkers, the ones with no space, a permanent virtual spot to sell their products."

Over a call with afaqs!, Nayak recalls that two years back (in 2020), during the first COVID-induced lockdown, Ogilvy had created a Diwali campaign, titled ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’. In 2021, the agency decided to bring the campaign back with a star-studded twist.

Sukesh Nayak
Sukesh Nayak

"We wanted to do something different on the platform, which was Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s ad. We democratised him as a brand ambassador for small stores. It worked well for the brand."

Nayak reveals that bringing this campaign to life was a memorable learning experience for the company, and the team understood how something so simple can help so many people.

"How the idea developed was that someone suggested converting every one of the Cadbury packs into shops that support hawkers in neighbourhoods. The QR code helps one to access the entire experience site. Depending on your geolocation, you can see hawkers around you and then buy their products."

Khan's ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’ campaign was done in partnership with DeltaX and The 2020 version of 'Not Just a Cadbury Ad' was also done in association with DeltaX. For the #ShopsForShopless campaign as well, DeltaX is the partner, and is credited with putting the platform up and helping enlist hawkers from particular areas. View last year's campaign below.

"We wanted to make sure that people are represented. Right now, the campaign is in 10 cities across India. We are seeing a healthy amount of self-enrolment by the hawkers. We are also seeing voluntary consumer engagement and hope to keep up the momentum," says Nayak.

Gita Dhir, business director at DeltaX, weighs in. "Whenever we think of an idea for a campaign, especially like this one, we keep in mind that automation and technology has to empower the business. In this case, it wasn't just the business, it also needed audience participation. The most important element of this idea was to have a simple way for the sellers to use the platform and register themselves."

Dhir also emphasises on the fact that it’s important that the audience also has a good experience on the platform, while attempting to help onboard new sellers.

"The objective was to go after the unorganised market, where these are seasonal sellers. They come out during Diwali or certain seasons, and sell products like ‘diyas’, ‘rangolis’, flowers for puja, etc. We wanted to create an effortless connect between the seller and the buyer. We created a direct communication between the seller and the buyer so that the customer can purchase products from the seller, irrespective of his location."

Nayak mentions that Wavemaker assisted with the media planning aspect of this campaign. The commercial will be running on TV and digital mediums. The agency also has an influencer marketing plan in place. The media plan also includes print ads to raise awareness about the campaign.

According to Dhir, the most challenging aspect of working on this campaign was the limited timeline.

"Diwali product sellers are seasonal and are active for only a handful of days before the festival itself. It was important that we pre-test and create an optimal user experience for sellers by understanding their behaviour and prepare a platform that can support the Cadbury reach and scale. We tested it extensively before going live."

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