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As coronavirus clouds over IPL, how PhonePe plans to spend its Rs 800-crore marketing budget

The brands will go for a mix of ATL, BTL, TV, digital marketing and other advertising mediums

As uncertainty hangs over IPL 2020, on which e-wallet brand PhonePe was banking in a huge way, the company, which has marked Rs 800 crore for marketing in this calendar year, will spend on a mix of ATL, BTL, TV, digital marketing and other advertising mediums.

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Television has always been the most effective medium for the brand as it has the largest reach in the country, said a PhonePe spokesperson.

“We will be using this medium heavily to reach our audience,” the spokesperson said.

The choice and use of media across TV, print, digital, OOH and radio for the brand usually depends on the audience mix, efficiency and storytelling opportunities they have to offer. 

“Besides, our brand and platform have the ability to influence change and interact with consumers across different needs on a daily basis, be it at a merchant store, via our offers or content on our platform. So wherever our consumers and partners are, we would want to engage with them using the right channels,” the spokesperson said.

Apart from this, the brand recently launched four TVCs under its “Karte Ja Badhte Ja” campaign that has already gone on air on TV.

The “Karte Ja Badhte Ja” brand campaign is a reflection of PhonePe’s role in helping millions of Indians progress through its innovative digital offerings. According to the spokesperson, IPL is a very promising platform for the brand to promote it.

The brand has roped in Alia Bhatt along with Aamir Khan as the face of the campaign this time, hoping to leverage the superstar duo’s mass appeal to create awareness about its product and its features. The ads have been adapted in regional languages such as Bengali and Telugu.

PhonePe has 200 million registers users and aims to add significantly to it through this campaign.

“Our vision is to liberate the flow of money and services so that everyone can unlock opportunities to progress at pace. Crafted with this belief, our new brand campaign is a reflection of everyday stories of progress with PhonePe,” the spokesperson said.

Since its inception in 2019, a lot of the PhonePe’s competitors that entered the market later created a degree of ubiquity that might be tough for any brand to diminish through communication. In fact, PhonePe's arch-rival Paytm has set aside Rs 1,200 crore for marketing this year.

Being the first payment app built on the Unified Payments Interface, would it be right to say PhonePe has somewhere been left behind in terms of not being too visible in the market as compared to others?

“We had launched our first brand campaign last year and it was very well received by the ecosystem and we saw a significant spurt in awareness levels and transactions on the platform. Also, the assumption that “PhonePe has been left behind” is incorrect. We are a leading digital payment platform in India. Over the past four years, we have grown our user base to over 200 million (pan India) and merchant base to over 10 million across 400 cities in the country,” the spokesperson said.

It has 76 million monthly active users and has crossed 5 billion transactions on the app where 69% of transactions are coming from tier two, three cities and beyond.

The brand has Leo Burnett as the creative agency, Digitas as the digital agency and Essence as the media planning and buying agency on board this year.

“Being a fast-growing organisation, we work with strategic creative partners immersed in our platform and purpose and consistently help shape our consumer understanding, pitch and storytelling on a retainer relationship. We work with experts and specialists on a project basis to help us with the desired outcomes on specific challenges. We will continue to engage with partners who are doing splendid work in their areas of expertise with rigour, commitment and creativity across digital, content and innovation,” the spokesperson said.

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