Decoded: The Samsonite India Content Marketing Strategy

Samsonite India Content Marketing Strategy

With campaigns such as #KeralaIsOpen and #TheWeddingJourney, the Samsonite India Content Marketing Strategy has worked time and again. Social Samosa speaks to the brand-agency duo understanding what goes behind its video content.

If we voyage through Samsonite’s YouTube presence, 90% of the content is dedicated to product-specific chatter, tutorial video guides, and TV commercials. From how to travel in style with Samsonite bags as your accomplice to explaining how to pack a suitcase, the videos serve the purpose of being apt audio-visual customer care support. Samsonite India Content Marketing Strategy covers it all.

Additionally, the brand has hit a home run with its long format campaigns on a number of occasions.

In 2011, Samsonite launched its global campaign ‘ Step Out’ in India unveiling its new communication worldwide. The campaign aimed at inspiring the “inner nomad’ in everybody who strives to achieve his dreams despite the odds, be it in their career or while traveling the world.

Thereafter, the brand rolled out gems like #TheWeddingJourney which followed the protagonist as she prepped for her dream destination wedding and a surprise.

#KerelaIsOpen urged people to rebuild the state’s economy and revive its tourism post the devastating floods in 2018, #EkDinKiChutti encouraged citizens to take a day off and travel home to vote. Its latest communication asked viewers to join in wishing those who could not travel back home and continued fulfilling their duty for a #HappyDiwali through #DiwaliKaSafar.

To understand the insight and rationale behind these stories, we get talking to Samsonite India and Autumn Grey, diving into the very sagacity.

Emotion Backed Strategy

Samsonite claims to have time and again introduced innovative products to make the traveler’s journey comfortable and easy. This core brand proposition has helped Samsonite India Content Marketing Strategy take a stand for a larger picture.

“This can happen only when the emotions are involved which can touch their heart and inspire them to take any action,” exclaimed Pradnya Popade, Head Marketing Communications – Samsonite South Asia Pvt. Ltd.

In today’s world what the brand stands for is as important as what the brand offers. Autumn Grey wanted Samsonite to be a thought leader in spreading the message of ‘goodness in travel’.

Bodh Deb, Vice President & Branch Head, Autumn Grey briefed, “We identify opportunities in which the insight is relevant to the brand. In the case of the campaigns, our endeavor always has been to stay true to the insight. All our campaigns were backed with powerful insight and we focused on telling human stories which every Indian could connect with”.

Campaign Insights for a higher purpose

#TheWeddingJourney had a very simple insight that we all have old luggage pieces in our houses that have turned into treasure troves. Samsonite introduced The Wedding Journey based on how our grandmother’s & mother’s cherish their old “Shaadi Wala Samsonite” as they pass on the legacy of their family heirlooms like a Ghunghat, Jewellery (and Samsonite) from Mother to Daughter.

#KeralaIsOpen happened when the company was thinking of making the campaign for “World Tourism Day” and at the same time, Kerala was facing huge set back due to calamitous floods. Like most individuals, corporates too were chipping in their own capacity to help Kerala in trying times. Samsonite was also thinking about ways to help but most of the ideas had limitations and that is when our agency Autumn Grey came up with the thought of reviving Kerala’s tourism as while Kerala was on its feet, tourists still not considered it as an option.

By first checking the ground reality, Samsonite decided to take up the initiative to launch a campaign focusing on reviving tourism in Kerala which contributes hugely to Kerala’s GDP. It incepted a campaign capturing the essence of every individual involved in the tourism sector – from taxi drivers, lodge managers, elephant mahouts, and others eagerly waiting to welcome their guests thereby urging people to Travel to Kerala.

For #EkDinKiChutti, the first stem of thought came across when the team read the article that “91% of people in urban India are not yet registered to vote in the cities they live, especially after their move to urban location”. This immediately sparked a thought that these people will have to travel back to their home town (where they are registered) to cast their vote. The travel relevance was quite strong here and the campaign was born.

With #DiwaliKaSafar, underlying thought was born out of the fact, “Citizens travel back home for Diwali to be with their loved ones. But in our journey back home, we often forget the ones who take us home, the Travel Enablers, who make it possible for us to reach home. We most often we forget the fact that it is their Diwali too.” #DiwaliKaSafar was conceptualized to show Samsonite’s gratitude and respect to them. 

“In fact, Samsonite has January-December financial cycle, so our budgets were actually over,” Popade added. “The insight and message were so powerful that budget concerns became secondary and we went cracking with the idea”.

In most cases, Autumn Grey identified an opportunity for the brand, then cracked the insight followed by the campaign idea. Deb shared, “As a digital and social media marketing agency we are keen to leverage on topical moments relevant to the brand. The key is to always be active and always have the thinking hat on. What can we do for the brand next that will help it be on top of the mind? That will make it talking point, part of conversations. Of course, you need a gem of a Client like Samsonite who is always open to experimenting and taking risks”.

According to him, if you are truly passionate about the brand you are working for, you don’t need a client to always tell you what to do.

Also Read: Decade Samosa: Eternal campaigns from the last 10 years…

Key campaign objectives

The objective for each campaign has been to enable people feel so relevant/familiar and connected with the thought that they own the campaign as their own and take the desired action

While #TheWeddingJourney is the example in itself of the actions done by moms/grandmother, in #KeralaIsOpen everyone had to spread the word that Kerala is waiting for them to visit so that it revives their life, economy and the trip which they postponed can take it now. Samsonite India Content Marketing Strategy covers many such topics.

Popade asserted, “All the campaigns required people’s contribution in their own way and this approach, we thought could help the brand embed in their subconscious mind with positive and actionable thoughts”.

Creative Thought Process and Ideation

Taking us through the creative brainstorming process, Deb shared that first, the team decides which is the story they want to tell through Samsonite. “We try to keep the stories as real as possible and a good hashtag creates a great impact.”

Throughout the year Autumn Grey looked for opportunities that are relevant for the brand. Once they lock on the opportunity, the story sometimes just flows out of the insight.

“A powerful insight is the foundation for all our campaigns,” said Deb.

Going BTS 

The flat lay video shooting and not showing sob emotional story around Wedding worked well for the Wedding Journey campaign, especially for the digital audience. According to Popade, it generated a lot of engagement among the female audience, as this was Samsonite’s first focused attempt to connect with women as the predominant TG.

For all other campaigns from the stem of the thought to populating it to the audience, the teams had a fortnight or less than that, so decision making was really fast and they worked day and night.

All campaigns had a message in storytelling format so “digital media” could do justice to it. While all platforms worked, due to “WhatsApp” the company understood that they became truly viral as more and more video sharing took place on the app.

“They say that great thoughts come on the pot and we are not shy to admit that the idea and the WhatsApp pitch to the client originated from the bathroom,” exclaimed Deb.

Consumer Response 

Popade stated that the response to the campaign has been good with 99% positive sentiments across all social media platforms.

She added further, “It has been our conscious efforts to not force-fit the product in the communication and also the time it when the message is more relevant and not looked at the actual purchase season. As a responsible company, we took up the thought and tried to create something with a purpose.”

Building Brand Samsonite

Since Samsonite operates in the premium segment of the luggage and backpack industry, the brand while high on top of mind awareness did not engage with the wider audience all these years. These campaigns opened up the wider audience to the brand without eliminating the core. While Samsonite claims to have advertised innovative concepts/products in the past, the series of these campaigns have moved the lens towards thought-provoking stories.

Digital Marketing Strategy

Popade agreed that digital is vast and provides an opportunity to tell one thing in many different manners. 55% audience of Digital are in the age group of 25 to 44 years and another 35% are Samsonite’s potential audience.

Since everything is measurable, one can opt for the platform/app/ network which can do justice to present the content in an interesting, appealing and engaging manner leading to call to action.

Basis of the communication objective, content strategy, and KPIs, the company chooses the platform. Their digital mix consists of, influencer marketing, native articles, populating video content across social and other platforms, gaming, eCommerce optimization, SEO, SEM, digital collaborations, instant messaging marketing, and blogging.

Popade believes that one needs to be watchful and experiment and keep exploring.

Samsonite as a brand has managed to leverage storytelling for a higher-recall, social media engagement, and creating good content. Understanding the brand’s content creation processes gives an insight into why Samsonite’s content work.


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