Ruchika Jha

Flipkart advertises the lightest smartphone with an aerial billboard in Mumbai

Raghav Bagai, co-founder of SW Network (Sociowash), shares that the strategy was to execute it offline and ensure it gets traction on the internet.

On May 31, SW Network (Sociowash), an advertising agency, launched a unique campaign in collaboration with e-commerce platform Flipkart, featuring a flying billboard. Yes, you heard that right - a flying billboard. It was created to showcase Samsung’s ‘lightest’ smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy F55. The creative read Phone as light as this ad.

The billboard was put up at Mahim Koliwada, near Mahim Bay in Mumbai, and was there only for a day. Raghav Bagai, co-founder of SW Network (Sociowash), shared that the campaign was a mix of both offline and online elements. He believes that success lies not in the choice of platform, but in employing the right strategies for each platform as a whole.

He says, “We are looking at doing things offline that land up online. I think that is something that has worked very well overall for us and Flipkart.”

Initial discussions

Bagai states that Flipkart was clear about what it wanted. The new product was the lightest in its segment, and this was conveyed to the agency as a brief. They were tasked with creating buzz about the product and its features.

“We came up with two campaigns. In one, we collaborated with Bollywood actor Neha Sharma and executed a fun stunt. We worked with multiple paparazzi who pretended to be more excited about the new ‘model’ in town which piqued her curiosity, leading to a discussion about the Samsung Galaxy F55. The other campaign involved the flying billboard showcasing the lightest smartphone,” he adds.

Talking about the campaign’s creative strategies, Bagai explains that one of them was the billboard itself, where he wanted to take the exaggeration route of showing how light the phone was through the balloon. He claims that this has not been done in India as far as he knows.

“Stunts on social media have been probably done quite a bit often but doing it right is the key there. As mentioned before, our core strategy was doing these things offline and then making sure they landed online and got viral,” he comments.


To conduct an on-ground campaign, especially something like a flying billboard, it is important to seek permission from local governing bodies. Bagai says that after the agency presented relevant points to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the organisation extended its support and granted permission to execute the campaign.

“Executing the campaign was a little bit tough because, on the first attempt, the weather did not support us. We kept our patience and kept trying and on the second attempt, we were able to fly the balloon,” he shares.

With the scorching heat prevailing over the majority of parts of India, the question arises: were there people around the area who witnessed the flying billboard? Bagai says that gone are the days when one wanted to put up billboards just for the offline reach. Nowadays, the focus is on creating activities that people will watch and share online.

“Today, the ROI of offline innovation lies in ensuring it goes online and viral. We were lucky enough not to have bad weather that day. The offline reach we got was, in fact, a bonus, but our sole focus was being noticed online. This trend is prevalent across social media, where the reach and visibility numbers will always surpass those of offline activity,” he adds.

According to him, several people came across the billboard, clicked pictures, and put it up on social media.

At an execution level, Bagai realised that all the challenges encountered in doing something like this would be lessons for him and his team in the future. He says that he has seen a lot of potential for innovation like a flying billboard, which is something that has not been happening much in India.

“Getting so much reach and love for this campaign tells us that it is a good route that we are on and I think that if we continue doing this, we will get a positive result. We are quite excited to continue doing some of these offline,” he conveys.

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