Benita Chacko

“Rohit Shetty’s love for cars makes him an ideal fit for our campaign”: Siddharth Agrawal, OLX Autos

In its first celebrity-led campaign, the used cars platform’s country head - marketing didn’t want to rope in a star just for his following.

Seeing cars fly and topple in director Rohit Shetty’s films, a question often arises in viewers’ minds - what happens to these cars after performing those gravity-defying stunts? If one is to believe the recent OLX Autos ad, he sells them on the used cars platform.

Featuring Shetty and actor Sharman Joshi, the campaign, titled ‘Shetty Ke Car-Naame’, once again drives awareness about its ‘best price’ proposition through a humorous take on the common trope found in Shetty’s films. ‘Car-Naame’ is a wordplay on the word ‘Kaarnama’ (meaning acts or antics).

Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas Delhi, the multi-film campaign showcases Shetty as a consumer, who is keen to sell the cars from his movies to Joshi, an OLX Autos employee evaluating car sales.

Siddharth Agrawal
Siddharth Agrawal

Siddharth Agrawal, country head - marketing, OLX Autos, says that the brand wanted to create a digital-first campaign featuring a celebrity, who has a good digital following and is also closely associated with cars.

“We didn’t want to use celebrities just for their following. Instead, we wanted to make some clutter-breaking advertising. We wanted to work with a celebrity who's known for his love for cars.”

This is OLX Autos’ first celebrity-led campaign.

“A celebrity helps create rapid mass awareness for any campaign. But we wanted to do it at the right stage. Now, our business has some scale and we are, by far, the second largest player in the used car business. So, we thought this is the right time to reach our consumers through a celebrity,” adds Agrawal.

The year-long campaign will include four digital films that will be released around marquee topical days to capitalise on the key months when consumers are actively looking to sell their cars. For example, consumer interest in this category is very high at the end of the year (November-December). Similarly, the interest is high during Diwali, an auspicious time to buy a new car.

“There are unique situations and events in every market. We will take advantage of that, and make our communication more relevant and contextual by putting out communication when the consumer is interested,” Agrawal mentions.

The ads will feature across social media and OTT platforms, including Disney+ Hotstar during Indian Premier League (IPL) matches. “After television, our next step is to reach out to the consumers through digital medium,” Agrawal adds.

This is also OLX Autos’ first association with sports. “Sports has a huge fan following amongst the male audience. That’s our larger TG, as they take the decision for buying or selling a car in the Indian market. Our association with cricket is the first step and we will be building on it over time,” Agrawal says.

The first ad, highlighting the ‘best price’ proposition, was released in November last year. Titled ‘Price nahin, surprise milega’, it used the element of drama and exaggerated disbelief. The central message was reiterated through the characters' caricatural astonishment and repeated questions.

The latest campaign deviates from it to effectively use humour to convey the same message.

“The deployment is going to be digital and the message has to be more contextual to the format. All the communication has to be made digital-first friendly. We want to make the new creative engaging and an extension of what we have communicated in the past,” Agrawal says.

OLX Autos wanted to refresh the communication, while sticking to its core messaging of ‘Price is the hero’. “Consumers don’t enjoy the same creatives if it over-runs its own life. We wanted to give it a fresh look, without changing the proposition. We want to stay true to the proposition, build it over a period of time, and make it more fun and engaging,” Agrawal says.

Vasudha Misra, regional creative officer, Lowe Lintas, added, “It was an exciting campaign to work on, from the start. When the team first pitched the idea to me - to bring in Rohit Shetty, someone known for his action stunts with cars, to promote OLX Autos - I was immediately sold. Like OLX Autos' great price, this has also turned out to be a great surprise.”

OLX Autos has partnered with Star Sports, the IPL broadcaster, to leverage the fall of wickets and DRS (decision review system) features, and showcase the brand contextually. The campaign is based on the ‘Out & In’ concept.

“Once a wicket falls, a batsman goes out and another one comes in. To us, it was symbolic of a car going out, and the best price coming in. So, we decided to build this as an event and associate it with a high impact property (IPL),” Agrawal concludes.

Have news to share? Write to us