As a part of the #TheSocialBoom series, this article goes behind Amazon’s Diwali campaign, #BadeDilWale.

A report by Brand Equity had ad spends by e-commerce brands such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal pegged at INR 2, 000 Crore in the festive season of 2015 and in 2016, e-commerce brands are expected at contributing 8.1 per cent (Data Courtesy: Group M TYNY report) of the ad revenue pie.

A huge chunk of these ad spends might be reserved for newspaper and outdoor ad wars but for now, it’s social media. As Diwali approaches, e-commerce brands are all arms up and to our novelty and happiness it’s not ambush marketing or below the belt mockery this time.

#BadeDilwale

As their first step towards a majestic festive marketing campaign, Amazon launched #BadeDilWale on September 15. The core communication of the campaign is constructed around how we are happy to go a little overboard to make near and dear ones happy during Diwali.

A series of videos depict love and emotions as tugging at your heartstrings urging you to make it the best Diwali.

The launch video was a minute long and showed an elderly couple gifting each other, a young lad spending his entire salary on Diwali gifts and so on.

The next video was about a father buying a big screen television for his son, only to receive a big cell phone from his own father.

All the videos took the viewers towards the Great Indian Festival slated in October with a strong emotional CTA that would make you want to buy something for your loved ones, if not for yourself.

Since its launch, Amazon has been pushing creatives and short videos to keep the audience engaged and create a recall value for #BadeDilwale.

To create a bigger buzz around #BadeDilwale, Amazon went a step ahead and organised a glitzy mega launch of the sale in a televised music festival featuring stalwarts such as Badshah, Vishal and Shekhar. While the event will be aired on Viacom18 channels, the music concert has been an important talk point for Amazon on social media.

The cause marketing route

Until the previous year, Amazon was mainly focused on highlighting the magnitude of the sale and deals. Amazon this year, has taken a detour and tried to connect with their audience on something much bigger.

Along with their campaign video, Amazon roped in influencers such as Tanmay Bhat, Neha Dhupia, and Shobha De each addressing various issues while urging their followers to be #BadeDilWale. Each of them, spoke about the hatred thrown towards them through comments and trolls across social channels.

Bhat addressed the issue of being fat shamed while Dhupia shares an instance where she was subjected to negativity for an outfit she wore.

The videos culminated with the CTA to stop the hate and spread the love by being #BadeDilWale.

Additionally, Amazon published creatives urging users to leverage the festive season and gift the silent heroes of their life with something special.

Holding on to the positivity streak, Amazon further collaborated with NGOs; with this initiative the ecommerce brand called out to their users requesting them to tweet and call to make a contribution.

For additional buzz, Amazon initiated #FashionGames, an initiative where users had to guess the brand basis the image displayed on their website and stand to win prizes. The campaign was pushed through Amazon’s complementary Twitter handle – AmazonFashionIN.

On Instagram – Amazon has been reposting the same content that it churns out on Facebook and Twitter. Simultaneously, they have been running independent contests to keep editorial strategy for Instagram intact.

Social pre-emption

Amazon received flak for The Great Indian Festival majorly for two reasons – technical glitches and vendors being unprepared. Addressing one of these issues, Amazon got its vendors to testify how have they prepped up for this sale through videos. Right from Samsung and HUL to SMBs – sellers were seen speaking on their enthusiasm for the sale.

The move helps Amazon settle dust over the issues faced last year and create a trusting bond with their consumers, through these testimonial videos.

A step backward

While Amazon had defined communication points for its social media plan, the e-commerce brand too succumbed to incautious and senseless influencer marketing. #BadeDilWale and #FashionGames were tweeted about by various influencers and what we think are bots (since most accounts had no display images and bios) – all had the same copy CTA link.

The initiative adds no value to Amazon’s initiative as most of the accounts tweeting didn’t have real reach; additionally, a new age company such as Amazon, working with true influencers such as Vir Das and Tanmay Bhat and hoax influencers for the same campaign creates a paradox.

The social card

Media reports suggest that Amazon is slated to spend INR 250 crore for their marketing spends in 2016 and their Diwali campaign is a testimony to how much the brand is ready to spend to capture one of the biggest markets.

Amazon has 5,514, 937 likes on Facebook. Most of their communication around #BadeDilWale have around 100 likes on an average and a couple of thousand views on the videos. On Twitter, Amazon has 367k followers and retweets and likes ranging from 50 to 100s which is decent considering the nature of the platform.

According to data by Hashtracking – #BadeDilWale generated 9,697,672 Twitter impressions with 1,500 tweets since September 28. On Instagram, since September 03, #BadeDilWaale has garnered 30,980 likes and 100 comments on 50 posts.

In terms of engagement and recall, Amazon seems to have scored well; however, it is difficult to gauge the sentiment, since most of the interactions are tactical, focusing on Amazon, its services and the deals on the upcoming sale.

Amazon also gets brownie points for creativity and ideation – associating with something much bigger than their brand and sale brings in a breath of fresh air, amidst all the ambush marketing domination Indian e-commerce space so far.

How the sale performs will be the true test for Amazon’s social media team though. While this was how #BadeDilWale created #TheSocialBoom, stay tuned in for more stories on this. Read other stories under #TheSocialBoom here.

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