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MakeMyTrip makes first night free stay offer to boost online bookings

Conceptualised by Publicis Communications, the film has a similar taste of fun like its other ads featuring Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh. The idea is to give compelling reasons to consumers to enter the online hotel booking category

Click on the Image to watch the TVC.

MakeMyTrip has added another campaign to its online push of hotel bookings by offering a free stay on the first night on the first booking.

The new TVC featuring brand ambassadors Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh tells a story of childhood friends with a dash of humour.

Through a slew of its previous campaigns too, the company has been trying hard to push its envelope for users. Conceptualised by Publicis Communications, the film has a similar taste of fun as the other ads featuring Bhatt and Singh.

Saujanya Shrivastava

Saujanya Shrivastava, Group CMO, MakeMyTrip, explains the aim behind these campaigns, “The idea is to give compelling reasons to consumers to book hotels online. We do it in two ways – one is to lower the barriers of any fear and concern regarding transacting online and the other is to give them a proper trigger to come online.”

The film opens at a coffee shop where Bhatt (Rimpy) is sipping coffee when Singh (Ladoo) meets her coincidentally. Bhatt asks Singh about his sweets business and he says that he has moved online and that he takes orders through an app. When asked where he is staying he says that he has personal contacts with the owner of the hotel (where the coffee shop was situated) and that he can get her a 15 per cent discount too. To which Bhatt says, “Online pe kamaa raha hai, offline pe ganvaa raha hai (earning online and losing offline).” Then she mentions that MMT is offering the first night free on hotel bookings.

Focussing especially on the recent campaign with characters Ladoo and Rimpy, Shrivastava explained, “In the current campaign, the operating word is ‘choice inertia’, which is a typical barrier for an offline traveller who is content with his current set of choices and is not willing to try anything new since he is convinced that there's nothing wrong in his current choice. The myths and the ignorance of what they are missing out leads to the choice inertia. The creative idea was how you tackle this choice inertia head on. The other thing that came up in the research is the duality of behaviour. People are buying online – fashion, electronics, footwear, internet banking transactions; but when it comes to booking a hotel, a lot of customers preferred banking on their tried and tested methods of visiting the hotel and booking or through a travel agent, which is direct contact negotiation.”

As the company has been looking at expanding the category and bringing in more users, its communication has been very sharp and focused.

Bobby Pawar

Bobby Pawar, CCO, Publicis Communications, said, “The brief continues to be to bring those people who book offline to see value in online hotel bookings – the difference that booking on MMT can make to them. They wanted to expand the market and the category and to bring more people into the fold. This ad shows that people do so many things online – buy online, conduct businesses online – but till they are not booking hotels online, they are missing out on something.

How do you make them aware? By building vibrant memorable characters that are creating a kind of sketch comedy piece around your message.”

Explaining the reason for bringing in Bhatt and Singh, Pawar said, “...because they are great performers. How to break clutter among the many other communications and how to make it memorable? This was the thought behind the campaign. The benefit that MMT had to offer was also very attractive. This is the second year we are doing this, so we know the zone that we operate in. A lot of MMT ads are funny and they are good. It is important to keep the level of humour either on a step above the previous one, or to the same level.”

Expected to be a five-week campaign, the company has tied up with the India-Australia series as associate sponsors and will be launching the campaign with the tournament. Upon partnering with a cricket property, Shrivastava added, “We have been on IPL for many years now. Cricket is a unifying platform, has tremendous reach and it gives us immense push. Especially India-Australia, which is marking the start of the festive season. This puts a consumer focus brand like ours to deepen our engagement and strengthen our positioning among the target audience.”

It’s a high decibel campaign – on all GECs, news, movies, cricket. Digital marketing, contextual advertising on many well-known platforms, video advertising, railway stations and customer contact programmes in tier one and two cities. MMT’s website will also be tapped through mailers and push notifications.

The TVC:


Creative Agency: Publicis Capital
CEO India : Hemant Misra
Managing Director and CCO, South Asia (Creative) : Bobby Pawar
Production house: Chrome Pictures
Director (film): Amit Sharma
Producer: Poonam Wahi
Language: Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Kannada.

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