IndiaMart ad: Making an emotional pitch

The new IndiaMART campaign taps into the aspirations of small and medium businesses to position itself as a business enabler

Campaign: India ki Khoj
Brand: IndiaMART
Agency: Bang in the Middle
Company: IndiaMART

The TVC opens with actor Irrfan Khan pondering over how everyone is searching for something. He moves into a tech office, pointing to a budding entrepreneur saying, “Azim ko Premji ki khoj hai.” In similar situations, he points out how ‘Ratan’ is looking for ‘Tata’, ‘Mukesh’ is searching for ‘Ambani’ and ‘Lakshmi’ is looking for ‘Mittal’. The last vignette shows a young boy practicing cricket, with Khan observing, “Sachin ko Tendulkar ki khoj hai,” later highlighting how all searches end at IndiaMART.

Our Take 

Clearly, this TVC hopes to portray IndiaMART as an enabler of business growth. Brand ambassador Irrfan Khan is the strong point of the commercial, creating the pull factor and the monologue is certainly attention grabbing. But is the value proposition of IndiaMART as a business facilitator that powers the khoj for growth coming across? The creative looks like it hangs on a thin idea. However, the insight behind the ad is a strong one — the eternal search — which somehow salvages the otherwise weak narrative.

This is IndiaMART’s attempt to change the brand’s tone of voice from functional to emotional. Its earlier campaigns were focussed on brand awareness and establishing IndiaMART as a one-stop shop for buyers. While its first campaign was about brand awareness, the second leg of the campaign, which was launched last year, was about giving a push to its mobile platform. “We wanted to move forward in the brand journey and further strengthen our positioning. So we decided to showcase our legacy and capture the ambition of small and medium sized businesses,” says Sumit Bedi, vice president, marketing, IndiaMART.

It is no doubt challenging to play on an emotional pitch in 30 seconds. The campaign tries to capture many stories in a very short span, which looks a little far-fetched. The concept of an enabler, therefore, gets lost somewhere midway. Using the names of well recognised personalities is attention grabbing, sure, but the parallel drawn looks a bit forced. Had the same insight been used in a better manner, the story (pun notwithstanding) would be different. “We have been in this business for last 19-20 years and have closely seen the success stories of many SMEs who have grown with us and become big. The
campaign connects these entrepreneurs to their role models, whom they idolise,”
explains Bedi.

All said and done, the tagline Kaam yahin banta hai coupled with brand ambassador Irrfan Khan successfully convey the no-nonsense and serious nature of the portal, which is a B2B marketplace connecting entrepreneurs and business owners. At present, 40% of IndiaMART’s business comes from small and medium sized businesses. Big corporates, which use IndiaMART for sourcing needs, now contribute around 30%, followed by 10-15% by individual and foreign buyers.

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First published on: 01-03-2016 at 03:30 IST