IT’S been raining e-commerce ads this festive season with brands going full throttle on television. But what was supposed to be an invitation to consumers to look the e-tailing way as they shopped for the season, turned out to be an overkill. With no unique positioning adopted by any player, the advertising has failed to leave any imprint on the minds of consumers.
“Any e-commerce player advertising at this point in time on traditional media is not looking at building the brand, but is only concentrating on catching the consumers’ attention,” said Nabankur Gupta, founder and CEO, Nobby Brand Architects & Strategic Marketing Consultants.
Most of the television commercials are on the similar lines with minor variations. So while the ad from ShopClues, the online marketplace, talks about offering products at “wholesale prices”, the Snapdeal ad talks about ‘Diwali Bumper Sale’. The Amazon ad again promises a variety of offers during the on-going festive season. All this when companies are placing bigger sums on the table to woo the consumer.
This year the e-commerce sector is expected to spend close to R2000 crore on advertising, higher than the expected spend of R1500-1700 crore of the auto sector.
Snapdeal, the second largest e-commerce company in the country, launched as many as 40 television commercials featuring a range of celebrities such as actors Alok Nath and Mandira Bedi and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle in the past few weeks.
“We have strategically chosen the most popular characters from the best loved TV shows across India to connect with our wide consumer base. The idea was to talk about the Diwali Bumper sale, using characters that everyone can related with,” said Sandeep Komaravelly, senior VP marketing at Snapdeal.
Amazon too has worked on the same plank using celebrities. “After the launch of the mass media advertising campaign in May this year, we released our second campaign for the festive season. We are very delighted with the response we have received so far from our consumers,” said Manish Kalra, director integrated marketing, Amazon India.
With television advertising rates witnessing a jump of 15% during the festive season this year, e-commerce players have shelled out R1.5-2 lakh for a 10-second spot on Hindi general entertainment channels such as Star Plus and Colors and R1-1.2 lakh on channels such as Zee TV, Life OK and Sony. Moreover, separate deals have been signed with broadcasters for R3-4 crore. The deals not only provide e-commerce players access to popular television artists, they also include ad spots on the channels during prime-time, that is, 8-11 pm.
Online classifieds site Quikr too is happy with its strategy. Pranay Chulet, founder and CEO of Quikr, says that being on prime-time has helped the classifieds website to reach out to its target consumers directly, especially during the festive season, when consumers tend to sell or give away old household items and buy new ones. “The audience is closely attached to television artists and when they promote a brand, it lends more credibility,” he added.
However, Nobby Brand Architects’s Gupta points out that ultimately it is the steep discounts offered by the e-commerce companies which is actually getting the eyeballs and pulling in the footfalls. “Deep discounts is the only factor which is working in their favour this festive season. So whether a brand has a popular face in its commercial or not does not really matter, it is eventually about how much discount is being offered. If one e-commerce site is offering a 70% discount, it will definitely get noticed,” he said.