Home and away

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Published: November 11, 2014 12:26:49 AM

Yatra nudges all those unwilling to burn a hole in their pocket to check out the discounts at its website with its new tongue-in-cheek campaign

Campaign: IEhsaan Mat Lo, Discount Lo
Brand: Yatra
Company : Yatra.com
Agency: McCann Erickson
The Campaign
The ad opens on a visitor at the door of his relative’s house in the hope of a free stay. But just as he is able to press the doorbell, he overhears their conversation—they are having a heated debate on planning to ask him to donate a kidney for a relative in return for the hospitality provided. Shocked, he flees from the scene. The voice-over, in brand ambassador Salman Khan’s voice, says “Ehsaan mat lo, discount lo!”. The second ad in the campaign is on similar lines. It depicts the protagonist unpacking at an acquaintance’s house where he overhears a conversation between the owners of the house and their plan to ask him to marry their overweight daughter. Which in turn causes him to start packing right away, with the tagline being displayed—“Ehsaan mat lo, discount lo”. The campaign includes a print ad,
too, on similar lines.
Our Take

Middle-class India travels on a tight budget. And even if they have the wherewithal, they would like to skim on the “non-essentials”. The natural corollary, therefore, is to choose destinations where a friend or relative lives, so that accommodation is free. After all, “Athithi Devo Bhavo” has been the credo. So, out comes the address book and you hunt down that long forgotten cousin five times removed whom you had never met but who is expected to be honoured to have you as her guest. But what happens when your host asks for her pound of flesh? In a light-hearted way, Yatra talks about the growing reluctance among people to lay out the red carpet for friends and family gratis and the reciprocal obligations that a guest has to shoulder. The execution is brilliant and the tightly scripted ad, especially the smart dialogues, gets the message across without much ado.
What’s more pertinent is that the travel portal is nudging all those unwilling to burn a hole in their pocket to check out the range of offers and discounts that Yatra.com has on its assorted inventory of hotels. A Yatra study had revealed that 36% of travellers stay at their friends or relatives’ place instead of booking a hotel, perhaps apprehensive about exhorbitant room rents, and the new campaign with the message ‘Ehsaan mat lo, discount lo’ aims to drive greater adoption of online hotel bookings with this section of travellers. Given that online hotel bookings has been around for some time now, this is a clarion call to all the fence-sitters to log on to Yatra and check out the options.

— Banasree Purkayastha

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