Facebook recently launched its new campaign in India - Live What You Love, across television, digital, and OOH platforms.
Whoever said imitation is the highest form of flattery, must certainly not have been a millennial. Known as members of the generation who are comfortable with the unconventional and unbeaten paths, millennial pride themselves for their individualities.
As per a study, when it comes to choosing words to describe themselves, 33% millennial chose the word “unique.” The said study also suggests that millennial take pride in doing things that allow them to stand out from the labels, and says marketing efforts that recognize or facilitate this behavior could be effective.
Facebook too seems to have realised that this audience which accounts for 27 percent of the global population, considers living a life of originality instead of pretense, as the norm than an exception. Facebook recently launched its new campaign in India, namely ‘Live What You Love’.
The two TVCs rolled out so far share an insight into the lives of two protagonists, who seem to be in the age group of 20-30. The narratives touch upon various trends amongst millennials such as donning various hats, feminism, commitment phobia, to name a few.
It’s always Sunny in Manali
The first commercial is a window into a day in the life of Sunny Brar, who hails from a small town, Manali. A multi-tasker in the truest sense, Sunny is a bike mechanic who also doubles up as the owner of a café. While he comes across as street-smart and enterprising, there’s much more to his story. Facebook has subtly conveyed its ‘Timeline’ and ‘share’ features at the end of the commercial.
Dr. Neha, like No other Neha you’ve seen befor
A doctor by profession, Neha’s lifestyle is the exact opposite of what people would expect a doctor to live by.Bold, eloquent, and forthcoming, Neha is a feminist who enjoys watching women wrestling and is commitment-phobic. Once again, Facebook features such as Groups, Timeline and Live Video have found their place in the commercial.
“We want to acknowledge the aspects that make each individual unique”
The campaign has been conceptualized by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, to uncover commonalities in which the community is using Facebook. In addition to the TVCs, Facebook is promoting the campaign heavily across, OOH, print, and cinema.
Facebook’s social media respondent, in the comments section to their recent Facebook cover picture said, “We want our community in India to discover various ways in which Facebook can help them pursue their passions for connecting them to like-minded people, by surfacing the latest updates and information about their interests, or by providing a platform where they can explore and be more. We want to acknowledge the aspects that make each individual unique and play a small role in their constant pursuit to be better, to be more”.
Why retaining the Indian millennials is the need of the hour?
It seems that millennials are traversing away from Facebook feeds to image-driven platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. In 2018, 2.2 million 12-to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the UK. Thesenumbers are 7,00,000 fewer than in 2017, as per a report by The Guardian.
While Facebook is already losing hold of the millennial audience in the US, it can’t afford a similar phenomenon to slowly wipe away the millennial users in India – Facebook’s biggest market. Further, despite holding a strong position in India, Facebook’s penetration in the market stands at a meagre 19 per cent of the total Indian population. With the penetration of 4G and increasing smartphone devices, Facebook is attempting to capture audiencethrough the language they speak.
But has Facebook been successful in doing so is a different question altogether.
Find Your Kind Of People
Facebook extended Live What You Love, to promote its Groups feature. The narrative goes a step further now providing them a platform to find their kind of people. To promote Groups, Facebook tapped on offline mediums such as print and outdoor. Interestingly this time, the communication is targeted to appeal to senior citizens.
The imagery presents senior citizens who seem to be engaged in a laughter session, and this is likely to establish a connect with the older audience. The copy on the print ad reads, “Whether you’re into laughter, yoga, film-making or baking, you’ll always find someone that loves what you love, with Facebook Groups. Just search for the Groups that interest you and click ‘Join’ to connect with like-minded people around the world”.
Facebook’s print Ad in Hindustan Times, dated 4 Feb, 2018
Facebook’s bill-board at Juhu, Mumbai.
Tapping Traditional Mediums
As Facebook has grown older, so has its user base, which is evident with its popularity among older people. As per a report by The Guardian, the largest growth will be among older users, with 500,000 new over-55s expected to join Facebook this year. A quick look around, narrates the obvious as we see the older generations of the family now using Facebook diligently. This generation is also more likely to notice billboards and act on them.
With rising internet access and as well as launch of relatively cheaper mobile phones, India’s Tier II and Tier III serve as potential playgrounds. As per a report, almost 32% of the rural population with the above facilities access the internet on their mobile phones. Further, 25 major Tier-II and III cities currently make up for 21.3 per cent of the Indian smartphone market, as per a Business Standard report.
These favourable numbers point towards an exponentially growing base from smaller cities in India, which are potentially new users for Facebook justifying print ads.
Live What You Love – Yay or Nay?
Social Samosa spoke to a few industry experts, for their views on the campaign.
Ad Guru KV Sridhar (Pops), Founder & Chief Creative Officer at Hyper Collective and ASCI Board Member says that he doesn’t rate it as one of the landmark campaigns.
“When a campaign comes from a great brand, you expect nothing less than greatness. The story depicts what millennials are doing, such as moving from materialism to self-actualisation in order to pursue what they truly love. There is, however, a lack of thinking as it fails to explain the ‘why’ behind what they are doing.”.
Pops further suggests relevant trends that the brand could have surfaced in its messaging. For instance, the social media confidence that people lack in their real lives. “Facebook could craft a message aimed at resolving these problems and thereby helping people to become better human beings”.
“There is a need to move beyond the Call-to-Action ‘Live what you love’ to a Call for Inspiration and enable people to introspect upon a life that they would like to live.," Pops adds.
Nishad Ramachandran, Senior Vice President, Hansa Cequity says, “The new Facebook India campaign did not move me, honestly. Maybe because the ads are targeted at millennials and I am generations away from being one. So, I asked my 17 year old daughter about the “Neha” ad. As the ad rolled, she shrugged and said “Yeah! That Nike ad.”
Ramachandran points out that his daughter remembered parts of the ad verbatim, but thought it was a Nike ad (because of Neha’s obsession with sneakers in the ad), until the Facebook logo came on.
“For me the ads, they did not connect. The “Do your thing, be yourself" communication played out in these ads, lack a deeper meaning. Not sure why the ads have been done in the first place. Years ago, all of us got onto Facebook to do our own thing and be ourselves, or maybe do what everyone else was doing and be ourselves. So, is this all because Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to make Facebook about us and not about fake news and stuff that we didn’t really care about? Maybe.But that is just strategy, not creative ads that move people,” Ramachandran concludes.
Chetan Asher, Founder and CEO at Tonic Worldwide on the other hand believes that the campaign does a great job of reaching out to the millennial. “The campaign does a great job of communicating how Facebookis a platform that connects and celebrates your passions. The length of the videos is just right and tells the story effectively. The approach and narrative style will appeal to millennial audience it is attempting to communicate with,” Asher concludes.
While Facebook has been targeting India, with niche content since mid 2017, it is only now that the brand has taken up a multi-platform approach. The objective of which continues to remain ambiguous. While executed on a massive level, the campaign fails to impress the creative honchos of the industry. Does this impact Facebook’s stance in India?