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What ad campaigns of ecommerce players say about them

When was the last time you bought a gadget from a brick and mortar store? Ecommerce players believe that the time is deep buried in the past and consumers are aggressively transacting on the ecommerce platform in India. The Indian ecommerce industry is expected to cross INR 100,000 crores in 2015, according to a report by IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India). Marketing experts also believe that ecommerce ad spends are amongst the highest across television and print in India.

Over the last few months, we have seen an evolution of the branding message of different ecommerce players across India. Players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, Amazon and Olx are all trying to lure the consumers with different marketing messages.

“Today a lot of of the digital audiences are watching commercials on YouTube, so brands like Amazon and Snapdeal are capitalising on this fact and creating TVCs that cut across media- digital or traditional. They create image and value for the brand,” said George Kovoor, Senior Creative Director at OgilvyOne Worldwide.

Differentiation on USP
In their advertising campaigns, ecommerce brands seek to explain the business model of the ecommerce platform and build on differentiation only after more players enter the market, according to KV Sridhar aka Pops, Chief Creative Officer of SapientNitro.

When a number of players are competing for the same pie of consumers, they cannot differentiate in terms of products but it comes down on logical and rational aspects of differentiation. Snapdeal through its campaign ‘Dil ki Deal’ is building on its brand and portrays how it is connecting consumers across all strata of society.

Meanwhile, Amazon is focussing on product evolution. The ad campaign of Amazon – ‘Aur Dikhao’ speaks of the wide variety of products it offers at the best prices. Amazon is not building on its brand name or any attribute of the platform but only announcing its wide offering in the market, which sets it apart from other players in the market.

“I feel the Amazon ad works better because Indian audiences respond better for value propositions and hence react better to deals than pure emotions. I feel the Snapdeal ad is trying create a certain kind of image hence they are trying to tap emotions,” added Mr Kovoor.

Another category of advertising that has emerged in the market involves product innovation which announces ecommerce platforms pushing its mobile application in the market. Ad campaigns by Myntra and Flipkart have always pushed consumers to download its dedicated app and how it will make them eligible for different offers. This does not come as a surprise as both Flipkart and Myntra are dedicated towards the app-only approach and they seek to build on the same premise via its advertising.

Pushing for app-downloads
Other players in the ecommerce space which are going heavy on advertising include Yepme, Quikr, and GoDaddy. Marketers tracking the development in the ecommerce industry will have to closely look out for attributes of advertising by these players and which category of messaging are they engaged in. For instance, when ecommerce players had introduced the ‘Cash on Delivery’ service, players such as Flipkart and Jabong had advertised heavily on the feature to push more consumers towards ecommerce.

Avinash Jhangiani, Managing Director of Digital and Mobility at Omnicom Media Group, also sketched another differentiation within Flipkart and Myntra. “Flipkart is more open in terms of its audience, where as Myntra is dedicated to fashion and lifestyle. Marketers cannot adopt the same strategy for other.”

“The understanding of the audience has become extremely important in order to increase effectiveness and relevancy. The brands need to understand their end audience. Therefore, the marketers must leverage data when crafting advertising message for an ad campaign,” he added.

Despite, the buzz around digital media in India, ecommerce platform will not skip the traditional media space and join digital marketers but remain committed to larger audience base of television and newspapers. Pops explained that before ecommerce brands can compete on brand differentiation they need to create a stronger brand presence and get incremental viewers on television and print.