Aishwarya RameshPublished: 9 Oct 2019, 12:00 AM
Advertising

“Long format digital films worked for us”: Jaskaran Kapany, marketing head -Paytm

Paytm is going back to the basics. To promote its latest UPI offering, Paytm and IPG Mediabrands have come up with an integrated campaign to help users understand how to use Paytm UPI. The main focus of these campaigns is to communicate to the audience that at a retail store, any UPI QR code can be scanned to complete a Paytm UPI transaction. The campaign consists of three ad films — a digital-first film and two TVCs.

UPI is short for Unified Payments Interface — a service allowing users to make immediate money transfers through mobile devices, round the clock, 365 days a year. UPI can be used for utility bill payments, over the counter payments, and barcode (scan and pay) based payments. The crux of Paytm’s new campaign is this — if a retail store also displays competitor UPI codes (such as PhonePe’s UPI code, or BharatPe’s UPI code), it can still be scanned via the Paytm app to complete the transaction.

Jaskaran Kapany, marketing head at Paytm, believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can work across media, so the brand team decided to experiment with a couple of formats. “The Akkad Bakkad film borrows largely from the other two TVCs that you see. Digital as a format lets us play around and gives us some time to add incremental quality aspects, so Akkad Bakkad was an experiment, we wanted to see what kind of creative content would work on social media and eventually build an ATL campaign around it,” he told us.

Jaskaran Kapany
Jaskaran Kapany

Kapany stated that the advantage of using mass media and the digital medium is that it allows you to keep a slightly open ended target group definition. “As marketers, we’re very conscious of the business objective that we have to meet. If you look at payments as a space, the TG itself is slightly open-ended. It could be as young as college-goers (18 years and above) to middle aged and slightly older users as well. That’s what you see manifesting itself in the marketing communications,” he says.

Elaborating on the campaign’s media mix, he calls it an optimum combination of two-three media vehicles. “As a medium, we’ve seen that TV works well for us. It communicates emotions well and has a high degree of credibility. When we assess the media metrics of reach and cost efficiency and long-term brand building, TV is a medium that works well for us. We’ve also realised that our brand has a strong emotional connect with audiences, so an audio-visual medium such as TV will complement and amplify this connection. Digital as a medium is gradually gaining importance and that’s where a large part of our marketing efforts go,” he shares.

Beyond digital, the campaign is live on TV and OOH in 8-10 languages in the top 10-15 cities across India. The brand also advertised the ‘Scan any QR code’ message during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and during the India-South Africa cricket matches.

Paytm ads during cricket matches.
Paytm ads during cricket matches.
Paytm's Scan Any QR Code campaign as seen during a cricket match.
Paytm's Scan Any QR Code campaign as seen during a cricket match.

Grabbing and retaining a consumer’s attention on the digital medium can be challenging, but Kapany has a contrarian point of view, “The basic tenets of getting consumer insights haven’t changed. There’s a lot of chatter about grabbing a consumer’s attention during the first five seconds of the ad, else it is money wasted on the digital medium. But 75-80 per cent of our films that have done well on digital are long format films — not five- or ten-second ads.”

For Kapany, the retail space is an important one. He declares that Paytm has a presence in over 14 million retail outlets across India and holds a 70 per cent market share in the payments sector. The company claims to have already processed over 1.2 billion merchant payments in the first quarter of this fiscal year. “The retail environment is one that’s close to our hearts. It has a set of two evolving audiences — the merchants and the customers. We have closely observed them and realised that from both sides, they’re looking at simplification of the payment process. That’s the basis of the thought behind the ‘Scan any QR code’ campaign,” he says.

The consumer profile of an average Indian consumer comes with its own set of challenges for Paytm and Kapany, as a marketer. “We’re seeing technology adoption in India happening at an incredible pace. The average Indian consumer is discerning, adoptive and more importantly, unwilling to tolerate an average product or poor customer service. The digital medium has made consumers more aware. We also see an influx of older audiences and believe that a segment of users who will drive growth will come from Tier III and Tier IV cities, beyond consumers in major metros,” he hopefully says.

Here’s what industry experts thought about the new campaign,

Saurabh Mathur, head of strategy and planning at VMLY&R India, reminds us that there are myriad consumer sets in the payment space who are at various stages of understanding and evolution. “There are ‘deal seekers’ usually with multiple payment apps who access different apps for offers. Then there are ‘convenience seekers’ who started using a particular payment app and have stuck to it. And lastly, there is a set that is still on the fence about digital payments. While these can be looked at as three different personas, we all have a bit of each in all of us,” he says.

Saurabh Mathur
Saurabh Mathur

“For the first two kinds of personas, Paytm is trying to do with UPI what they did with offers. Get complete ownership of the customer mind space. For anyone who feels overwhelmed with the number of payment apps and where to use them, Paytm is making it simple enough. ‘Use us because we are the mother of all payment apps’. It is a statement, one that is made quite effectively,” Mathur opines.

He found it interesting that they have also added a convenience and security angle at the end when talking about the money getting debited directly from the bank. “So that everyone who is wary of loading money in a wallet should be happier and by that I mean the ‘fence sitters’,” he says.

After watching the ad, Pooja Jauhari, CEO, Glitch, thought it was genius. “It’s consumer delight when you simplify our lives. I’m loyal to Paytm because of this very reason. They have made life easy and with this even more easier," she expresses.

Pooja Jauhari
Pooja Jauhari

As far as the campaign objective goes, and whether this ad has effectively communicated it, Jauhari says, “Honestly it just does one job for me. I can pay using Paytm with any QR code and that’s all the job to be done was. Most consumers don’t even know what a UPI service is but a lot will know what brand Paytm is,” she signs off.