Brand Saga: Big Bazaar's odyssey redefining retail

Sneha Yadav
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Big Bazaar advertising journey

From ‘Isse Sasta Aur Acha Kahin Nahi’ to ‘Naye India Ka Bazaar’, Big Bazaar has become one of our own and how. Big Bazaar advertising journey is here to dazzle.

Diwali is just a week away and my home is already stocked up with sweets, ration for home-made delicacies, diyas, new dinner set, and whatnot. What would we be doing if it weren't for our favourite hypermarket - Big Bazaar. Today is all about reliving two decades of the Big Bazaar advertising journey of becoming an alternative to the desi mandi

Re-writing India’s Retail Chapter

It was in October 2001, Kishore Biyani, now founder and CEO of Future Group thought of presenting Indians with an alternative and a more advanced version of the local markets and opened Big Bazar's first hypermarket retail outlet in the then Calcutta. The first generation entrepreneur had first designed the format thinking of naming it just ‘Bazaar’ but owing to the size of the market ‘Big’ was added.

The idea was further expanded and executed in the form of more stores in Hyderabad and Mumbai in the same month.

While researching more around the brand’s establishment, we stumbled upon a book review of ‘It Happened in India’ penned by Kishore Biyani which revealed that the bazaar outlets were intentionally designed to look crowded. The company’s TG were middle-class people who found comfort in the herd and tend to follow the crowd. (If everyone is buying here, it must be really good since so many people can’t be wrong. Let me also buy something).

‘Isse Se Sasta Aur Achha Kahi Nahi’

This was just the beginning of Big Bazaar advertising journey

With the vision of being a ‘trendsetter’ and ‘cost-efficient’  in the retail category, Big Bazaar’s tagline, ‘Isse Sasta Aur Kahi Nahi’ was locked down even before the creative agency came on board or the logo was designed.

Initially, the parent company focussed on opening more stores and expanding the franchise across India. It was only in 2004 that Big Bazaar came up with an advertising strategy including TVC roll-outs, print ads, OOH, and in-store communication.

With an insight that TV advertisement would connect emotionally with customers in a better way and compared to print, television offers larger female viewership, the campaign was executed largely on television. Portraying a family shopping theme further strengthened the brand’s tagline, ‘Isse Sasta Aur Acha Kahi Nahi’.  

The TVC was helmed by VK Prakash and conceptualized by Mudra Communications.

Of Discounts, Dhoni, and Causevertising

In 2005, Big Bazaar launched a shopping program, ‘The Big Bazaar Exchange offer’ inviting customers to exchange household junk at the story.

This funny one-minute commercial marketing a similar scheme was directed by Anupam Mishra and launched in 2014, conceptualized by DDB Mudra.

Through this offer, Big Bazaar touched the monetary benefit of selling quality products in ‘sasta daam’ with a maximum value which struck the right chord with a lot of Indian households and women of the house.

With a mission to becoming a people’s brand and riding high on affordability with high accessibility, Big Bazaar now wanted to do something for the community. The company in 2008 initiated ‘Power of One’ to help raise funds for ‘Save the Children India’.

Launched on

the occasion of Children’s Day, through this program a Big Bazaar

customer can voluntarily donate Re.1 to Save The Children India to aid the

education of differently-abled children from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Further ‘Wednesday Bazaar- Hafte Ke Sabse Saste Din’ and 12 months free shopping festival became an instant hit among the female groups.

With the launch of ‘Fashion at Big Bazaar’ in 2008, the brand roped in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Asin as ambassadors.

For Big Bazaar‘s Price Challenge launched in 2010, Vidya Balan was brought on board as she was considered as one of the bankable faces for brand endorsements during those days. The aim of this ‘Price Challenge’ exercise was to bring out the authenticity of the campaign.

The brand also leveraged audiences’ affinity and fondness towards Balan by organizing interactive and meet and greet sessions with the star on occasions like Rasha Bandhan.

Enter - ‘Naye India ka Bazaar’

Commemorating 10 years of its existence, Big Bazaar in 2011 unveiled a new logo designed by Bengaluru-based design house Idiom, with the new tagline ‘Naye India Ka Bazaar’ by Mudra. The rebranding was supported by the launch of a 360-degree campaign and revived the idea of amalgamating the look, touch, and feel of Indian bazaars with the choice, convenience, and hygiene that modern retail provides.

‘Sabse Saste 6 din’ and ‘Maha Bachat’

Big Bazaar has been aggressively leveraging Republic Day and Independence Day to lure consumers with great deals on Sabse Saste 6 din’ and Maha Bachat’.

The Republic Day strategy was kickstarted initially with discounts spanning three days and was later extended to ‘Sabse Saste 6 din’. A brainchild of Sadashiv Nayak, the then President of Big Bazaar and Rajan Malhotra, President – Strategy, and Convergence, Big Bazaar. The duo believed that ‘Consumers are always looking for the best value for their money.

These three days have come to signify freedom from high prices for consumers in the country.

For Independence Day, ‘Maha Bachat’ was introduced in 2006 and is still running, also touted to be one of India’s mega shopping campaigns.

‘Making India Beautiful’

In 2014, Big Bazaar and DDB Mudra joined forces to line up the biggest campaign by the brand yet. Titled 'Making India Beautiful', the campaign consisted of 52 different TVCs, released once a week for 52 weeks! This TVCs showed one specific product from Big Bazaar's offering every week.

This time around Big Bazaar wanted to shift its focus from being an operation-centric brand to a product-centric one. The company wanted to showcase itself as part of that change and highlight how, through different products it offered, it had made life simpler, easier and faster for the aspirational Indian.

The campaign had a budget of INR 100 crore

Romancing Occasions and


Be  it showing the budding romance between a young couple during Valentines’ Day or portraying a father-son duo decking up to meet their better halves for V-Day or striking an emotional chord with exemplary storytelling during Eid, Diwali, and Holi, it would not be wrong to call Big Bazaar as one of the pioneers on festive marketing.

From the perfect voiceovers with strongly structured narratives and soundtracks to support the creative script for Mothers Day to spreading goodness during the holy month of Ramadan to putting out a strong message of ‘oneness’ during Holi, Big Bazaar has time and again proved its mettle at creativity combined with insights and storytelling.

Big Bazaar’s Diwali campaigns truly deserve a special mention. Adopting the right consumer sentiments and packaging them with an apt concoction of relatability and greater good insight, Big Bazaar Diwali campaigns aimed at spreading the festive cheer with a noble thought. Be it ‘Paper Patakha’ or Shubh Shuruat or the Anurag Kashyap directorial ‘Diwali Aa Rahi Hai’, these films profoundly integrated the core thought of #HarTyohaarMeinBigBazaar.

Big Bazaar advertising journey - Digital Chapter

After spending over a decade as a price warrior, Big Bazaar kept the communication constant when kicking off its digital strategy and concentrated on integrating online with offline.

In 2018, announcing ‘Sabse Saste Din’ during Republic Day, it also rolled out a digital campaign, “#IndiaChalaShopping” riding on nostalgia. A series of ad films were rolled out with people sharing their personal accounts of Sabse Saste Din.

As a teaser to the campaign, the brand had launched a pre buzz activity on social media, trigerring consumer sentiments by portraying people’s love for chai and ketchup and Maggi to interesting past trivia.

Further leveraging Facebook Live to engage with consumers in real-time,  Big Bazaar organized one of the world’s first 24 hours of Facebook Live Shopping Carnival. The 24-hour session was designed as a carnival with popular celebrities giving out offers on products across all categories.

According to online reports, Future Group, which began with spending just 1% of its total advertising budget on digital 2-3 years ago, was spending 18-20% on digital in 2018.

Big Bazaar kick-started this year collaborating with rapper, Emiway Bantai for the announcement of Sabse Saste 5 Din leveraging the fandom around Zoya Akhtar’s rap inspired film ‘Gully Boy’.

Pawan Sarda, Head of Digital, Future Group in an earlier interaction with Socia Samosa had asserted that digital is all about topicality & how best a brand can integrate the same in its storytelling.

The campaign was conceptualised by L&K Saatchi and Saatchi, also the agency behind Facebook 24-hour LIVEs, Twitter Decide Your Price promotions and the Google Smart Search.

Apart from topical and occasion-based marketing on social media, the brand churns out finite series on new launches and in-store shopping roping in celebrities like Bharti Singh.

Also, the Diwali chatter is on with a revival of Karwa Chauth from the past.


Big Bazaar has believed in growing with the society, participating and celebrating festivals like one of its own and has positioned itself as a ‘value for money for Indian family’ retail store. From deep discounts to bringing everything under one roof, Big Bazaar advertising journey truly redefined India's retail category.

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