Mock­ing the Great In­dian OTP

The brand has re­leased a new dig­i­tal cam­paign tar­get­ing the north-east mar­ket.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL | CONTENTS - By Ashee Sharma feed­back@afaqs.com

Stand-up co­me­di­ans make a case for PayU, the pay­ment gate­way brand.

Myntra, the on­line fash­ion des­ti­na­tion, has re­leased a new dig­i­tal cam­paign tar­get­ing the north-east mar­ket. The three-minute video fea­tures Novi - a fash­ion en­thu­si­ast and home­maker from Aizwal (Mi­zo­ram).

Given the geo-cli­matic and so­ciopo­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics of the re­gion, it has largely been un­der-rep­re­sented in the me­dia, advertising in­cluded. Haven’t all of us, at some point, been em­bar­rassed about rav­ing and rant­ing over non-is­sues while a flood dis­rupted life in the north-east? What’s in­ter­est­ing is that, the more sig­nif­i­cant news was de­liv­ered to us through the in­ter­net which has played the role of an equaliser for the seven sis­ters.

This de­vel­op­ment how­ever, has been so sub­tle that some­times even brands were able to spot it only in hind­sight, thanks to the mea­sur­able na­ture of the dig­i­tal medium. Myntra’s cam­paign is based on datadriven in­sights which in­di­cate that Novi had been a con­sis­tent shop­per on the plat­form, es­pe­cially during the EORS (End of Rea­son Sale) – Myntra’s flag­ship bian­nual sale. She also pur­chased her daugh­ter’s first dress from Myntra.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with afaqs!, - part of the Mar­keters’ Spe­cial Is­sue (afaqs!Re­porter mag­a­zine, June 16-30, 2017), Gun­jan Soni, Head, Jabong and CMO, Myntra, said, “We now see close to 50 per­cent of our sales com­ing from tier II and III cities – this is a big shift. Pre­vi­ously, this rev­enue used to be pre­dom­i­nantly con­trib­uted by the met­ros. We have seen dis­pro­por­tion­ate growth and pop­u­lar­ity of in­ter­na­tional brands over the last 12 months. Myntra sees very high trac­tion com­ing from the fash­ion-for­ward north-east mar­ket.”

For the next set of 10 mil­lion con­sumers, Soni is bet­ting on tier II cities and smaller towns. Sujith Sud­hakaran, se­nior di­rec­tor - brand mar­ket­ing at Myntra adds, “As the most fash­ion-for­ward mar­ket, the north-east was al­ways on the radar. How­ever, look­ing at the data, we re­alised it needs a fo­cused ef­fort now.”

Shar­ing some in­sights on what dif­fer­en­ti­ates this mar­ket, he tells us that be­cause north-eastern so­ci­eties have gen­er­ally been ma­tri­ar­chal and more pro­gres­sive, the per­cent­age of women shop­pers is higher in the re­gion. Also, as com­pared to other

Sud­hakaran cau­tions against con­sid­er­ing the north-east a ho­mo­ge­neous mar­ket be­cause of cul­tural dif­fer­ences that de­fine each state.

“As the most fash­ion-for­ward mar­ket, the north­east was al­ways on the radar. But look­ing at the data, we re­alised it needs a fo­cused ef­fort now.”

SUJITH SUD­HAKARAN

mar­kets, there is more de­mand for in­ter­na­tional brands.

Ex­plain­ing the sec­ond ob­ser­va­tion, Sud­hakaran states, “The north-east is usu­ally con­sid­ered a ‘me­dia-dark’ re­gion. There is TV, but with­out any re­gional chan­nels. So, peo­ple mostly con­sume English en­ter­tain­ment be­cause they are more com­fort­able with the lan­guage. In­ter­net proved to be the game-changer and to­day, a lot of in­ter­na­tional con­tent is be­ing con­sumed on the medium. Hence, from a me­dia buy­ing per­spec­tive, the re­gion can be cov­ered well be­tween English TV and Dig­i­tal.”

Sud­hakaran, how­ever, cau­tions against con­sid­er­ing the north-east a ho­mo­ge­neous mar­ket be­cause of the cul­tural dif­fer­ences that de­fine each state. For in­stance, while cus­tomers in Guwa­hati un­der­stand Hindi and also like to pur­chase In­dian wear, Aizawl with its large Chris­tian pop­u­la­tion is heav­ily in­flu­enced by in­ter­na­tional trends and per­son­al­i­ties. Christ­mas is the buy­ing sea­son there.

BULL’S EYE?

Ac­cord­ing to Mikhail Verma, as­so­ciate cre­ative di­rec­tor, Dig­i­tasLBi, while it’s easy to mis­take the ad for another consumer tes­ti­mony, delv­ing deeper makes one re­alise that it is a suc­cess story of sorts, for the brand and the consumer.

“On the brand side, it’s the suc­cess of en­trench­ing it­self into a consumer’s life­style and for the consumer it’s about find­ing that per­fect one-stop-shop for her en­tire fam­ily’s fash­ion needs. The ti­tle sug­gests that this is pos­si­bly a se­ries, so I’d like to see how they give more mean­ing to ‘Myntra Un­for­get­ta­bles’ as a ti­tle,” he states.

Ap­pre­ci­at­ing the doc­u­men­tary style treat­ment of the film which gives an hon­est per­spec­tive into Novi’s life, he adds that a more the­matic ap­proach to the edit, per­haps, car­ry­ing on the jux­ta­po­si­tion of old world charm and new world fight from the open­ing line, or a shorter edit could have en­sured a higher video com­ple­tion rate.

Com­ment­ing on whether brands have ad­e­quately lever­aged the dig­i­tal medium to reach out to the north­east, he shares, “The north-east is home to a ge­o­graph­i­cally re­mote consumer set, whose grow­ing needs and de­mands are on par with, if not more than, the rest of In­dia. It has huge growth po­ten­tial. While brands have boosted their pres­ence in the re­gion, its rep­re­sen­ta­tion has fallen way short of the mark com­pared to the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion. There is a trea­sure trove of un­tapped sto­ries, and Myntra is one of the few brands, apart from Sam­sung and Ama­zon to name a few, who will reap the long term ben­e­fits of be­ing first movers within this space.” ■

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