Our marketing budget for BBD is no where near what is being quoted: Kunal Dubey, Flipkart

Big Billion Days Marketing Strategy

Flipkart’s Kunal Dubey shares interesting insights on Big Billion Days Marketing Strategy taking through the nitty gritties of the campaign

“I have been reading a lot of articles these days about us and people quoting huge numbers on our spending for Big Billion Days (BBD). I can reassure you we are nowhere close to that,” asserts Kunal Dubey as he opens up about the budget allocated to market Flipkart’s BBD 2018. 

At the heart Flipkart still has very frugal marketing set up, the number of celebs on board doesn’t mean that the money has been blown up. It is about how smartly and intelligently you using your dollars Dubey shares. Instead of buying the reach, the e-tailer looks at how can it can get more reach by using the content that it creates.

“If I compare it to last year if our sales number is x multiplier, the marketing budget has not been spent in the same multiplier. It is far lesser than last year. So it’s definitely whatever the people are guessing out there right now it is nowhere close to that,” he adds. 

From Virat Kohli to Amitabh Bachchan to South  Stars, Flipkart has roped in a huge number of celebrities to market it’s offerings in during the sale.

kunal dubeyDubey shares, “We at Flipkart keep our bar high when it comes to crafting the consumer proposition, formulating the campaign design and rolling out brand campaigns – in terms of ensuring the proposition is relevant, the campaign design is unique and led with innovations that create market disruptions. For BBD, we keep our bar even higher. For us, BBD is not just a sale. It is a brand in itself. It is the biggest retail phenomenon that this country has ever seen”. 


For BBD the e-commerce giant is not settling anything less than 10/10. 10 in Hindi is known as DUS, meaning DISRUPTIVE, UNIQUE & SCALABLE. The intent also is to set the benchmark for how marketing fraternity campaigns are designed, planned and executed.   

Also Read: Campaign Face off: Flipkart’s Big Billion Days v/s Amazon’s The Great Indian Shopping Festival

The Big Theme and the insight behind ‘Ab India Hoga Budget Se Mukt’ 

From the theme perspective, the company has considered certain guardrails for BBD. These are: it needs to be colloquial, it needs to match the stature of BBD and its scale, and it needs to solve for people’s shopping needs. 

In 2016 – Itne Main Itnaaa Milega (when the norm is itne main sirf itna hi milta hai) and in 2017 it was Ab mehengaai giregi (when inflation is the one thing that nation cribs about). In both these cases, it presented campaign ideas where the intention was to see how Flipkart could come up with something that showcase that during BBD the value of the money goes up. Rs 100 should look like Rs 1000. Hence, keeping the same guardrails, this year Flipkart came up with “Ab India Hoga Budget Se Mukt” since the budget has always been this monster on it’s back which does not allow many to fulfill all their shopping needs. 

“To present this idea to the nation, we wanted to come up with a campaign design that not only has scale, but creates massive disruption and serves as a new way to present the BBD as a brand to the country,” informs Dubey. 

Campaign Strategy 

  •  Go beyond just advertising to integrate with the content that people consume
  •  Own India’s biggest passion points: Entertainment & Sports
  •  Use tech to reach out to mobile-savvy Indians and create disruptions

Overall Flipkart is making 200+ TVCs. To add coherence to this Flipkart has few unifiers. 

  •  BBD music
  •  Creative format – meme on TV. An event as popular as this, with faces as popular as the ones Flipkart have needs a take from Flipkart to bring them all together. That where internet memes come in, the ultimate validator to all things mass India has found love and excitement about. For a technology brand like Flipkart with an audience that depends on mobile phones, the company found this to be the perfect formula

Human Insight (HI) meets AI (Artificial Intelligence) 

Dubey stresses here, “We also strive to make pivots the way the data-led marketing is planned. It is all about HI meets AI (Human Insights meeting Artificial Intelligence). For instance last year we started the trend in the country with 1 lac+ personalized videos using 58 cohorts and 12 data signals. This was a first-ever in the country, which was later adopted by various brands but not on the same scale. This year we are going a step further by creating 2 million+ personalized videos using 200+ signals.” 

Flipkart also partnered with Google Zoo, reputed for its industry-disrupting ideas, to create the ‘Big Billion Days Ka Boss’ campaign. The company will select four products daily for users to choose from. A customer can then bargain and negotiate with Google Assistant to lower the price of their product down to an acceptable level. At the end of the day, the customer with the lowest price is crowned ‘Big Billion Days Ka Boss’, wins the product for themselves for free, and the price they negotiated becomes the price of that product on Flipkart’s platform.

How does one become the Big Billion Days ka Boss? 

Just long press your home button to open up the Google Assistant app, and say ‘Talk to Flipkart’. Once you’re in, choose a product of the day and try to convince Assistant to give you the lowest possible price by engaging in a fun haggle. If you manage to set the lowest price on a product, then that’s the price India pays for it during the Big Billion Days.

Leveraging Digital 

When it comes to entire content development for the campaign Flipkart’s digital play has been in the ratio of  60:40 or 55:45 –  spends on digital vs offline. Keeping that in mind and the tremendous data that the company imbibes have, it becomes imperative that it uses digital natively and set the benchmark of how digital marketing has changed in India.

Dubey adds, “On digital, we are betting big on personalization. Using over 200 odd signals we are intending to create 2-3 million personalized videos in the market. I don’t think anywhere in India has even attempted doing it. Last year we did one lakh videos and no brand has come close to that.” 

Dealing with the Competition 

“We are happy that we are leading the way for the entire industry on this one. For the last many years you would be seeing everybody announcing the dates when Flipkart does it. So the competition doesn’t bother us much,” exclaims Dubey.  Whatever Flipkart has attempted doing during the Big Billion Days, the competition catches up that into that 3-4 months time to utilize it for the next event. “We are pretty happy to set the benchmark for the industry. The equity that BBD enjoys in the market is humongous,” he concludes.