PhonePehad launched an ad series during IPL featuring actors Aamir Khanand Alia Bhatt. The ads have been well-received.
- We talk to Richa Sharma, Director - Brand Marketing at PhonePe about the thought behind the campaign and what is it that has helped the series stand out in the clutter.
- The ads have been created by
Leo Burnett India.
Every year, we see an advertising blitzkrieg when brands try to think out-of-the-box to break the clutter. This year too, we have seen a few ads that have stood out.
Online payment app PhonePe’s 5 ads campaign featuring actors Aamir Khan and Alia Bhatt have been well-received. The brand smartly created a series, which made people invested in the characters and curious about what was coming next.
The aim of PhonePe was to take a pointed message to the audience, that the platform is an easy and safe gateway for making online payments. While the ads were simply trying to showcase the features of the app, which otherwise would not have made for interesting storytelling, the way the platform chose to take its message to its audience was interesting. Having Khan and Bhatt also helped add some charm to the campaign.
Despite the campaign still running, the ads have had the desired effect. The brand is already witnessing a significant positive impact on brand recall and business metrics. We recently caught up with Richa Sharma, Director - Brand Marketing at PhonePe to understand how they pulled off the ad series and what is helping them stand out in the clutter.
Q) PhonePe's series of ads featuring Aamir Khan and Alia Bhatt have been well received, both by consumers and people from the industry. What do you think is it about the storytelling that has helped it stand apart at a time when so many brands are coming up with ads?
There are a few barriers/ reasons in consumers’ minds when it comes to digital payments that have held them back from trying it out. We wanted the campaign to address some of those questions people have in their minds in a very crisp yet engaging manner.
The creative device of a police station set-up and episodic treatment make for entertaining content that lands the message of how simple, safe and quick it is to use PhonePe and the fact that it's already the trusted choice of crores of customers and merchants across India.
Q) Who is the agency behind the ads? What is it you wanted to achieve with this ad series?
We have partnered with Leo Burnett India for the campaigns. The objective was to introduce digital payments to a billion Indians, explain its benefits such as easy to use, safe and ubiquitous to users.
The series of adverts explain the key takeaways through an engaging storytelling format that unfolds over six, 20 sec adverts. While each ad talks about a different reason to try PhonePe, yet the story picks up from where the previous ad ends. This episodic treatment was chosen to create engagement and to get customers excited and keep them guessing about the next one, while continually reinforcing the key message of using PhonePe for digital payments.
Q) A lot of brands during IPL have made use of cricketers and you have stuck with Aamir and Alia. Do you think that helped you stand out?
We believe that a great campaign comes down to the ability to tell a great story. The simplicity with which the key messages were communicated, the engaging storytelling format and the episodic treatment to get the customers engaged are the crucial ingredients in our successful campaign. In addition, the right ambassadors who resonate with our brand are key.
Both Aamir Khan and Alia Bhat are perfect as the face of our brand as they are both a powerhouse of talent and appeal to Indians across the country. They are inspiring and bold and personify values of integrity and trust that strongly resonate with the PhonePe brand.
Q) From an effectiveness standpoint, have you seen an uptick in the number of people coming onto your platform?
Our objective behind running this campaign was to reach the massive audience that’s not yet gone digital for payments. The key focus is to remind the audience that PhonePe stands at the vanguard of safe, easy and instant digital payments and financial services for each and every Indian. The campaign has been well received by all consumer cohorts - current users, category non-users alike, with the adverts garnering over 425 million views on YouTube and Facebook. While the campaign is still ongoing, there has already been a significant positive impact on brand recall and business metrics along with positive engagement and organic love being shown by audiences on digital platforms. We have already surpassed the campaign targets that we were tracking and with cricket now kicking in full flow, it's only going to deliver bumper results in the coming month. We are extremely excited to be associated with India’s biggest sporting event. Our association in the past has proven to be fruitful, giving us a platform to create visibility and high brand recall for PhonePe. It has also helped us create and increase awareness around digital payments across different user segments in the country.