The brand has come out with a new communication featuring children as adults. Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, Bangalore, the new creative looks at changing fashion norms and how to tackle it. Best Media Info looks at Flipkart’s big idea and how it has fared for the brand
Roshni Nair | Mumbai | January 16, 2017
Using children to make inroads into consumers’ living rooms, their minds and buying habits is an often followed path. Children can make the dreariest of subjects interesting and infuse a touch of fun and frolic to them. Flipkart, the e-commerce brand, has used kids to its advantage very cleverly.
The children play adults, spouting lines you can’t help but smile at. It has helped the agency carve out a niche as far as ad communication is concerned. Taking the concept forward, two new ad films have been released on the brand’s official YouTube page and made an appearance on the Facebook page. The new videos, conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, Bangalore, take on the problem of ever-changing fashion norms and how Flipkart can help you sort out the issue.
Commenting on the campaign, Shoumyan Biswas, Head, Marketing, Commerce Platform, Flipkart, said, “Flipkart is the market leader when it comes to fashion among e-commerce portals. Being a market leader, it is our responsibility to grow penetration of fashion across all consumer segments and need states. Also, fashion being a profitable segment with high growth, it is one of our top priorities. Our scale and depth in this category have helped us decode some key consumer truths. One of the biggest consumer aspirations is the desire to be ‘trendy’. We realised that this desire often goes hand in hand with ‘confusion’ of finding out what is ‘in trend’. On the basis of this knowledge, we created a campaign around the proposition of ‘Being trendy made easy’ by curating trendy selection by top fashion experts and offering them at affordable price points.”
Talking about the dynamic nature of fashion and the confusion that is created in the minds of consumers because of that, Rajesh Ramaswamy, Executive Director, Lowe Lintas, Bangalore, feels the campaign addresses the issue and provides a solution.
“Fashion is something so relative, that it’s near impossible to wrap your head around it. The confusion about ever changing trends and the fashion world in general is something that everyone experiences. And yet, we are all conscious about what we wear and also about all the judgement that will be passed by our peers in the case we get it wrong. In the film, we have captured this very confusion and fear and provided a solution for it. With over 100 top stylists picking the latest trends for you, Flipkart fashion clears all confusion and lets you simply choose.”
But every story has to start somewhere and this one starts when Flipkart was all set to roll out its second campaign.
“It was the second campaign Flipkart was to put out. At that time, one of the primary things the brand needed to do was build trust. We learnt from research that suggested that Indians are culturally distrustful of online shopping. Hence in some way we had to create the category. The client decided to introduce three service benefits to challenge the lack of trust. The first one being cash on delivery to challenge people's worry of sharing their card details online; second, a 30-day return policy to challenge people's worry of what would happen if they had an issue with the product delivered and thirdly, a promise of original products with original warranty to challenge people's perception that fake products were sold online,” said Kartik Iyer, CEO, Happy mcgarrybowen.
Happy mcgarrybowen (then Happy Creative Services) was the brand behind the concept.
“Our task was to go out there and introduce these service benefits to consumers. We decided to use kids because children are among the top three topics that people love to watch over and over again. We felt getting them act as adults would only make it far more charming and wonderfully bring out the idiosyncrasies we have as adult consumers. And then the subliminal message that online shopping was a child's play. We decided to use adult voices to add that clutter-breaking punch on TV. The rest as they say is history. Or in this case history repeats itself,” he added.
Flipkart had brought Lowe Lintas, Bangalore, on board in 2014 following a multi-agency pitch. But it had also retained Happy Creative Services, which had been the brand’s creative agency since 2010, as a creative partner.
After straying for a little while from the kids behaving as adults idea, Lowe Lintas went back to using children to send across their message.
While kids have the ability to bring forth a feeling of trust and ease, it is always a tightrope walk when children are involved. What were the challenges they faced when they went about the execution of the idea?
“The worry initially was about how we were going to get kids to act naturally like adults. It’s all in the body language and behaviour. Ayappa the director actually insisted on acting workshops with the kids for a week before going into shoot. And it worked wonders. We were truly blown away by the talent and professional attitude of these seven to nine year olds. They were absolutely awesome. The other challenge was to create life like sets in the size of these kids which every art director killed with finesse on every film we produced with the kids on Flipkart,” said Iyer.
Not only did Flipkart strike gold with the idea, they have also been able to come up with entertaining films without being too repetitive. Best Media Info catches up with a few industry experts to know how they liked the idea and how long can Flipkart keep milking it.
“In advertising there is something called a ‘big idea’ and this is Flipkart’s ‘big idea’. They had moved on from this idea and tried all kinds of other ideas but eventually came back to this. The idea has a fantastic ability to resonate with people and I think it is an excellent format and Flipkart should never give it up. It is working very well for them and they should make it brand property,” said Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.
Comparing the idea to the iconic Amul girl, Bijoor said, “This idea, topically, is as good as the Amul girl. The creatives can be visualised around different kinds of brand ideas.”
But does the idea have the same shelf-life that the Amul girl has enjoyed for decades now? Bijoor feels that the idea has the potential.
“Big ideas are forever and this is one of those forever ideas. There will always be adults who will have the child in them and there will also be children who will have the adult in them, so this is a perennially good idea and I think it will pay them dividends,” said Bijoor.
MG Parameswaran, Brand Strategist, Founder, Brand-Building.com, brings attention to the fact that the idea is the Indianised version of a very famous ad by an American brand.
“A very famous American brand, one of the online brokerage houses, had used babies talking like adults in their ad communication. So I think Flipkart Indianised the concept and although it is very effective, they have also tried various things and tried all sorts of formats. So I don’t think they are very clear with their advertising.”
Parameswaran feels that the brand is confused between offer oriented advertising and brand building advertising.
“The telecom majors have figured out that there is a time to do offer advertising and there is a time to do brand building advertising. So I am not sure what Flipkart as brand is trying to say. But as a creative design, kids acting as adults is a very good device and they have also used it fairly consistently. I only wish they had used it even more consistently. But overall what is the brand, what do they stand for, I am not very clear.”
Commenting on the concept, Brand consultant, Cajetan Vaz, said, “The return of the 'children-with adult-voices' execution idea is attention-grabbing. It evokes a pleasant deja vu feeling and will certainly help viewers re-connect with the brand. I think the use of child models also amplifies the 'fussy' aspects of fashion decision making in an endearing manner.”
Vaz agrees that it is a standout idea but isn't too sure if the brand will or should continue with it in the long run.
“I'm not too sure if Flipkart will persist with this execution for all campaigns in future. If they do, it will help create a distinct execution identity and help the brand communication stand out. However one must remember that this is merely an execution idea and not an advertising idea. A strong advertising idea coupled with a strong execution idea is what will create long shelf life for the campaigns.”
Client: Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd.
Agency: Lowe Lintas
Creative: Arun Iyer, Rajesh Ramaswamy, Ujjwal Kabra, Indrasish Mukherjee, Adarsh Atal
Account Management: Hari Krishnan, Anand Narayan, Sushant Sadamate, Harish Shetty, Pooja Sharma
Production House: Coconut Films - Nupur Guha, Tushar Raut
Director: Shekhar Kamble