Abhinav Anand
Advertising

"Want to guide consumers back to the category": Prasun Kumar, Magicbricks

Why is a website, which people use for buying, selling, or renting properties, advertising during lockdown? We spoke to the marketing head of Magicbricks about the new ad film.

The lockdown has forced most brands to stop, or scale down, their marketing activities. Meanwhile, Magicbricks, one of India’s leading real estate listing websites, is looking to drive category narrative by creating a contextual connection with the consumers during these challenging times.

"The visuals in the ad have been sourced from homes across 15 locations in the US, Dubai, and India."
Prasun Kumar

Magicbricks has come up with a crowdsourced brand film ‘Ghar main reh ke ghar ko dekha’. The film packs in a message about the house that we all desire to own, while we're indoors (in our homes) during lockdown.

Speaking on how the pandemic has affected the realty sector, Prasun Kumar, CMO, Magicbricks, says, “The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the real estate industry deeply and fundamentally. Before the crisis, the industry was on the path to recovery after tough 4-5 years of downslide. However, that was halted completely with the lockdown. The supply side dynamics were the immediate casualty, with all construction work stopping, whereas the demand slowed down considerably. The uncertainty has been the most difficult part to deal with... According to a recent consumer sentiment survey done by Magicbricks, about one-third of property buyers have exited the category, as of now, while the rest have extended their buying horizon by 3-6 months.”

Prasun Kumar
Prasun Kumar

It's the ideal time for a campaign likes this. “... about two-thirds of property seekers are still in the market, and want to go ahead with their decision. It was our responsibility to kick-start the category narrative again. Currently, it's a lot about category rebuilding, and consumers look up to the leader brands to handhold them through difficult phases. Hence, we decided to work on a strong contextual consumer insight, which every Indian locked inside their homes would identify, empathise, and relate with. As a brand, we believed the right approach during a crisis is to not abandon the consumer, but to handhold them and guide them back to the category,” says Kumar.

On the ideation and the difficulties that the brand might have faced while putting together the crowdsourced video, he says, “Executing this was extremely challenging, as we did not have production budgets, so it had to be done at no cost. Besides, all the stakeholders, including the agency, production partners, were locked inside homes. We wanted the narrative to be very authentic, without any layering, and hence, decided to crowdsource it. We invited partners to contribute to this film on a voluntary basis, and asked our friends and families to click and share candid moments from their lives confined inside homes.”

“The images have been contributed by people from 15 different places, including the US and Dubai, besides many cities in India. Once we got the raw material, it was all put together by (our) partners from their homes... Technology was the real glue that held it all together, whether it was video conferencing platforms, or simple mobile recordings,” Kumar concluded.

Ankur Suman, Partner, RK Swamy BBDO (the agency behind the film) said: “We saw lockdown as a phase where the relevance of Magicbricks was actually amplified! Everyone was talking of staying home and home became the centre of our universe, indeed."

He continued, "But staying at home can be a difficult experience if you are not comfortable in it. This powerful insight was the cornerstone and lyricist Pankaj Bora built a poetic narrative on it. As the lockdown put many restrictions on production, we chose to crowd-source the visuals and the rest. We wanted this campaign to be realistic and truthful. After all, it is nothing but a reflection of the consumer truth.”

Film Credits:

Agency: RK SWAMY BBDO

Concept: Ankur Suman

Writer: Pankaj Bora

Production House: Morse Code Films

Producer & Director: Mehul M Atha