The great Indian sales are nearly upon us, and the three biggest players are going all out to woo the Indian consumer. Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal all have their big sales at the beginning of October, and competition is fierce. And given that the sales coincide, what perhaps matters more than the actual discounts is the branding – the site that can draw the most consumers will probably rake in the most sales.
And the big three are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that customers land up at their doorsteps when the sales arrive. The push seems especially pronounced on digital – the internet, after all, is where a majority of the young, savvy audience of these sites hangs out. And while Amazon and Snapdeal have their share of gifs and images around the sale, one bit of digital marketing stands out – Flipkart’s 360 degree video.
Now 360 degree videos aren’t exactly a new technology. They were introduced by Facebook earlier this year, and allow users to see all 360 degrees of a scene – you can use your mouse to scroll all over, up, down and sideways. While the technology looks undoubtedly cool – it especially shines for panoramas – these videos haven’t really taken off yet.
But Flipkart’s gone ahead and shot one of these to promote its Big Billion Days sale. It involves a trip through the Flipkart office, where users are encouraged to find offers hidden in the video. Those who manage to find the hidden offers win prizes.
The response to the video has been great – within a day, it has been shared over 2,000 times and has garnered tons of comments by eager users looking for discounts. Here’s why the video is a big win for Flipkart’s digital marketing team.
1 . It natively uses 360 degree video
Lazy digital campaigns can often simply transplant a video shot for TV on the internet. While videos work great in all formats, Flipkart’s 360 video could’ve only happened on Facebook. And the video leverages the 360 degree format well – the idea to find hidden offers within the video by looking around is a great way to use a technology that’s native to Facebook.
2. It poses a challenge
Psychological studies show that people value things more when have taken some effort to acquire, as opposed to things they have received for free. This is why FreeCharge asks users to pay Rs. 1 for its coupons – founder Kunal Shah says that charging a token fee for the coupons causes usage rates to skyrocket. Flipkart too isn’t giving anything away for free – finding the offers in the video is genuinely challenging. But it’s very doable, and once you spot an offer, you’re awash with a warm glow of satisfaction. Definitely feelings you’d want to arouse as a company.
3. It has virality built in
No amount of marketing money can have as much of an impact as something that goes viral organically. And Flipkart has virality built into the concept. Getting people to comment on the video when they find an offer will help the video propagate on Facebook. Each time someone comments, the video will show up on their friends’ timelines, who will see the video and perhaps comment. The cycle will thus propagate, without the need for high marketing budgets.
4. It uses a sense of humour
The video is fast-paced, and crams in a lot in four short minutes. And it’s packed with quirkiness and humour – there’s a segment with Rajnikanth looking down from behind the host, and there are easter eggs that prod you in the right direction as you’re finding clues.
5. It shows off the Flipkart office
Flipkart has one of the swankiest offices in India today, and it forms a great setting for the video. In addition to being a promotion for the sale, the video could well be a great recruitment tool – it gives prospective employees a virtual tour of the office, and drives home the point that Flipkart is a cool place to work at. And the smiling employees in the video give the promotion a human touch – to see the people behind the sale makes the whole thing a lot more real and likable.
While only time will tell how Flipkart does in the Big Billion Days sale, one thing’s for sure – as far as its digital marketing efforts go, it’s already winning.