‘OLX pe bech de’ can be called not less than an anthem when every user turned into an adman selling their products on the platform. OLX India advertising journey depicts a blend of apt consumer insights and creative prowess.
What do you do when you want to get rid of that old wooden sofa or a desktop that isn’t functional? A typical middle class Indian would think twice before giving it to the ‘kabaadiwala’ for a 5% of its original price and sometimes because of personal attachment. One brand tapped on this very trait. OLX India advertising journey abridges different facets of branding and marketing while competing each hour to stand out amidst the well-known.
‘OLX Kiya Kya’ and ‘Bech De’ have redefined OLX India’s messaging for the consumers and the core thought behind its positioning in the multi-crore retail market. The idea and the platform both struck a right chord with its target audience and they slowly but steadily latched onto the opportunity to become a salesman or a saleswoman and sell their products in the best way possible.
OLX India journey kicks off
OLX was co-founded by Fabrice Grinda and Alec Oxenford in 2006 with an aim to create a secure platform for trade featuring no costs for the users. The company profile boasts of connecting local people to buy, sell or exchange used goods and services by making it fast, easy and free for anyone to post a listing through their mobile phone or on the web.
It was only in 2009 that the founders voyaged into Indian shores to bank on the ‘desi mindset’ and there has been no stopping since. The brand’s success story has been featured as a case study in many marketing journals and is available in more than 50 countries and over 50 languages.
Building Brand ‘OLX’ in India
Since the company was launched back home when internet penetration was still gaining grounds, OLX resorted to TV campaigns with a simple message of ‘OLX pe Bech De’, educating prospective consumers on the best utilisation of platforms. Later it banked on 360-degree marketing strategy involving OOH, radio, print with a primary focus on television. OLX India advertising journey has been a diverse one.
The first TVC was rolled out in 2011 in both English and Hindi audio-video 30 seconders, featuring father-son duo debating over how OLX offers the best deals for used products.
OLX started 10 years back with a task. “The task was to make people realize that they have tons of stuff that they own which they no longer use. That too in the digital world at a time when there wasn’t much internet penetration in India if we compare it to today”, said Santosh Mishra, Branch Head – North, iProspect India (OLX India’s current digital agency).
Bech De’ which was a clear call to action ad campaign asking people to get rid of those feelings that obstruct one’s action of dissociating with stuff that one no longer needs.
The TVCs weren’t the only highlight of the brand communication. OLX India’s YouTube page boasts of consumer testimonials about their experience on the online platform featuring users across age groups.
OLX India’s marketing strategies have been centered on considering small and big markets while also penetrating in tier 2 and tier 3 cities apart from garnering urban attention. Post the advertising galore, OLX claimed to have grown three-fold with multiple offline associations and activations with high profile events like IPL and loyal consumer customer community.
While the ‘rap’ culture seemed to have gained the much-coveted fame and support earlier this year with Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’, OLX as a brand bet big on the ‘rap’ and hip hop potential 6 years ago through a user-generated activity. The participants had to submit a video hip-hopping on a rap score tagging it as ‘On the go Rap Amateur’ Video for OLX’s Bech De campaign.
From short ad-tutorials on ‘How to place an ad for different products’ on OLX to making people understand what OLX stands for through ‘Bechshaala’ to weaving occasion-based long-form campaigns like Mother’s day, the online retailer has leveraged opportunities with interesting insights and consumer data.
OLX has always maintained being a middleman but rather a marketplace. According to online data, in India, the website got 2.5 billion page-views a month, as of August 2015.
In a quest to empower the female faction, in 2014 OLX joined hands with Lowe Lintas to launch its’ Womaniya’ campaign. It showed the selling power of women, an audience that has always been looked upon as the ‘buyer’.
Of consumer success stories, Happy Faces, and celebrity connection
Apart from hard selling and offline traditional marketing, OLX has been consistent in engaging consumers throughout while showcasing testimonials about their successful buy and sale profits on the platform.
It should be noted that OLX did not chase famous celebrities to be the face of the brand but occasionally roped in ‘into the moment’ stars like Kapil Sharma and Dhanush, partnered with films to reach out to a larger base.
With #PuranaJayegaNayaAyega (let the old make way for the new’), the central thought was that change leads to progress. Only when you let go of the old, you create the opportunity for new things to happen in life. The inspiration for the campaign is based on our habit of stacking stuff at home which we might not be using. It is only by letting go of the old that you make way for the new. In fact, it is the extension of the “Shaadi Ke Funde” campaigns.
From ‘selling on OLX to buying on OLX’
After a lot of market studies, OLX India later defined a scope wherein people were buying on the platform as much as they were comfortable selling. Therefore, the subsequent campaigns saw messaging mixes like OLX karo, aagey badho, No more dekhte hai, Set Hai, and Shakal Dekhi hai which is a very recent one.
The narrative changed from selling on OLX to buying on OLX with campaigns like Kal Kare Jo Aaj Kar, OLX Pe Khareed kar.
In March 2019, the Argentina-based product and tech company and classifieds business underwent its first rebranding exercise. The new tagline ‘SET Hai’ was kept in line with its new brand proposition to empower people to make smart choices. The new identity incorporated a new logo to better represent the idea in collaboration with Enormous Brands.
The very recent one ‘OLX Dekha Hai’ was launched in September 2019 has seven different languages Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu, the 360-degree brand campaign will run across TV, outdoor, digital, social and radio.
OLX continues to charm its consumers with ads that are upbeat, appealing to millennials because that’s where our next set of growth will come from. Its 6 months break up the challenge too created quite a stir with celebrity icons narrating their own versions of it.
“In terms of its digital marketing journey, it has come a long way in terms of platforms and mediums it is present on. The focus has been to be on platforms where voice, video and vernacular come together to create a compelling story for OLX’s campaigns,” shared Mishra.
Treasuring emotions and relationships with a digital touch
OLX’s #LetWhatYouLoveLive campaign ‘Keemat Bhi, Kuch Keemti Bhi’ focused on the real value provided in the online classifieds platform – connecting buyers and sellers over a shared passion.
The campaign was further extended on social media by releasing ad films on Facebook and Twitter wherein the brand asked users to narrate their stories and memories association with the product.
With stories like #Daastan, #SoundofSelling, and #SellForSmiles, OLX India joined the long-form storytelling bandwagon delivering untold stories with an aim to ring the right note in users’ hearts.
iProspect has only recently joined the digital journey that OLX has been on for a long time. OLX has a very agile and nimble way of working, at any point in time, the agency is engaged in multiple experiments and tries to learn from them quickly as well.
Mishra commented, “The work environment for us is also very productive and collaborative, we brainstorm on new ideas in the morning and put them to test by the evening”.
In September iProspect executed the brand campaign for OLX where the larger goal was to improve the adoption of the platform from users. The agency-brand duo was also tracking improvement in DAUs and an increase in installs of the app.
After multiple rounds of brainstorming and evaluations and one unique approach, iProspect took was the Hashtag Challenge in TikTok. On the insight behind the campaign, Mishra informed, “Though we had initial inhibitions of the platform, due to it being not tested enough, we were convinced with its reach with the young audience especially in tier 1&2 cities and the format itself, which was engaging and encouraged user interactions”.
Till date, the campaign has gotten about 8.6 billion views and hundreds of UGC generated content.
While online facts state that OLX is at par with social media sites like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook in obtaining more than 200 million monthly visits, the web page views of OLX are more than 8.5 billion and has procured more than 25 million listings – OLX India advertising journey has been no less but strategically carved and nurtured.