Yash Bhatia

How Lenskart is capitalising on Peyush Bansal’s ‘Shark Tank India’ appearance

We spoke to Lenskart’s Aanchal Jain and Anupam Tripati about the latest campaign, brand strategy and business impact, after the co-founder’s appearance on the reality show.

Eyewear brand Lenskart and its CEO/co-founder Peyush Bansal shot to fame following his ‘Shark Tank India’ appearance last year. Post-season 1, all the ‘sharks’, including Bansal, attained celebrity status and, as a result, viewers aspired to be like them.

“Last year, when Peyush was on ‘Shark Tank’, he wore a pair of glasses designed by us. Google search volume and search volume on our app for ‘Peyush Bansal Shark Tank glasses and Peyush Bansal glasses’ shot through the roof following his appearance on the show,” Aanchal Jain, head, global brand experience, Lenskart, tells afaqs!. 

“This year, we launched a specs brand, called Hustlr, which comes in multiple sizes and 11 colours. It has done well for us. For many people, Peyush represents the true spirit of entrepreneurship.”

New campaign 

Last month, Lenskart released a campaign of four ads that coincided with the second season of ‘Shark Tank’. The campaign featured brand ambassador and filmmaker Karan Johar, who was seen proposing ideas to Bansal. The ads garnered the attention of netizens, due to the script’s quirky (witty) tone. Johar’s inimitable style also elevated the campaign.

The campaign was conceptualised by Tanmay Bhat, Puneet Chadha, Devaiah Bopanna, Deep Joshi and Vishal Dayama.

With the four ads that had a distinctly different message at the end, Lenskart pointed out its USPs: no middlemen, luxury brands at fair prices, 1,000-plus frames which can be tried using AR technology, and delivery in just three days.

For its current set of ads, Lenskart found inspiration from the latest season of ‘Koffee with Karan’, where Johar is seen wearing fashionable eyewear. 

Anupam Tripathi, media head, Lenskart, mentions, “‘Koffee with Karan’ is an aspirational show, but its reach is limited as it’s aired on an OTT platform. In our previous ads, we have talked about our USPs. In every ad, we’ve talked about one core USP that nobody else is offering at that scale.”

The campaign’s 360-degree media planning includes digital, TV and OTT. Lenskart planned a 60-40 strategy, where 60% was focussed on TV and 40% on digital.

“TV, as a medium, can’t be planned with a low-ticket price, but in digital, we can target people, even at the pin code level. That’s how the whole sheet of TV works. If you don’t operate at a certain frequency, then there’s no impact,” shares Tripathi.

The campaign aired during ‘Shark Tank’ episodes.

Lenskart flirts with brand ambassadors

The brand succumbed to the celeb charm in 2017, by onboarding actress Katrina Kaif as its ambassador for the first time. In 2019, it onboarded YouTube sensation Bhuvan Bam, as he aligned with the youth. He was also Lenskart’s first male ambassador.

In September 2022, Lenskart launched a new campaign, featuring actress Alaya F, with a message to associate the eyewear business with the world of fashion and style.

In November 2022, Aqualens, a Lenskart brand, roped in another actress Kiara Advani, as its ambassador.

Does onboarding too many brand ambassadors dilute the brand’s message? 

Jain says, “I don’t think it will dilute the message. We’re in the eyewear business that has many categories and caters to two-thirds of India. We have a separate brand for athletes, kids and women. If the brand’s purpose and ambassador are in sync, it won’t lead to dilution.”

“It (dilution) will probably happen when 10 celebs deliver the same brand message in 10 different ways. We’re launching a sports brand, named Lenskart Boost. In this case, we will work with athletes. For Aqualens, we looked at someone like Advani. Coloured lenses for women are becoming the next lipstick.”

Creating sub-brands: a go-to strategy

Lenskart is onboarding various brands in the sunglasses, reading glasses and contact lenses categories. It has invested in many brands. Is the brand looking to go for a ‘multi-brand’ strategy?

“As a D2C brand, we should own brands. A distinct purpose is attached to each of our brands. Lenskart Boost is a sports brand, Hopper by Lenskart is a kid's brand. Then there's Lenskart Air, which is for innovation in eyewear,” Jain says. 

“There should be a purpose attached to a brand. Only then can it reach the consumers. Only then will the consumers look at the sub-brands. Recently, we launched Lenskart Studio, which will have creative eyewear experiences.”

Talking about athleisure, Tripathi says, “We will soon collaborate with athletes for Lenskart Boost, as this is an important category for us.”

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