TataCLiQ’s camel campaign clicks on YouTube

Executed by Cartwheel Creative, the campaign shows camels as surrogates for multiple products

TataCLiQ has entered a growing but intensely competitive Indian e-commerce market which is dominated by Amazon and Flipkart.
TataCLiQ has entered a growing but intensely competitive Indian e-commerce market which is dominated by Amazon and Flipkart.

New Delhi: Tata Group-owned multi-brand e-commerce marketplace TataCLiQ’s maiden digital campaign, titled ‘Sure Thing’, has managed to fetch over 2.1 million views on YouTube in just four days. The campaign was uploaded on the company’s official YouTube channel on 30 May.

Executed by Mumbai-based advertising agency Cartwheel Creative, the campaign opens with a young woman getting a camel home-delivered. In subsequent shots, the camels are shown acting as a surrogate for multiple products, ranging from apparels to electronics.

The execution centering on a camel as its unlikely protagonist represents the company’s proposition that everything one buys on TataCLiQ is a C.A.M.E.L (Certified Authentic Merchandise Everybody Loves). The film is further enhanced with a quirky jingle Get the Oont.

But will such an execution confuse the consumer?

D. Ramki, founder, Cartwheel Creative disagrees. “We did a dipstick research and found that people actually understood the relevance of camel in the campaign. It is memorable and clutter-breaking. There is a lot of ‘me too’ advertising when it comes to the e-commerce space. We wanted to stay away from showing apps and products in the ad,” he said.

Currently, the campaign is being promoted on the digital and social media. The company is closely gauging consumer response and plans to leverage mass media platforms in the coming months. Its agency roster includes digital agency Digitas LBi, media agency Maxus and digital marketing agency Interactive Avenues.

TataCLiQ has entered a growing but intensely competitive Indian e-commerce market which is dominated by established players such as Amazon and Flipkart. The e-commerce market will account for 2.5% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, growing 15 times and reaching $300 billion, a Goldman Sachs report said in May.

The new e-commerce company differentiates itself as a “curated marketplace” which works on a “phygital model”. This model integrates virtual and physical assets giving consumers an option to buy online and pick up or return products from partner brand stores.

Prathyusha Agarwal, marketing head, TataCLiQ, said, “Unlike most marketplaces, TataCLiQ deals with brands directly or through their authorised sellers. We are a curated marketplace of branded products. There are many undifferentiated product listings on e-commerce sites today. Consumers are tired browsing through products from unlisted unknown brands. Cliq aims to address this need gap.”

TataCLiQ is targeting 25-40-year-old consumers from SEC A, looking for authentic brand product experience. Owing to its phygital model, it currently works with 12 partner brands across 500 retail outlets across the country. Some of these brands include Westside, Croma, Killer, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Only, Metro and Mochi, among others.

However, a phygital model comes with its own set of challenges, said Agarwal. Integrating the inventory of retail stores and scaling the consistency of services at these stores remain the primary challenges. Using data analytics to identify a consumer who walked in a store having browsed the CLiQ site and being able to serve him is another challenge.

K. Vaitheeswaran, e-commerce consultant and founder, Indiaplaza (India’s first e-commerce website), raises a pertinent question on the phygital model. According to him, unlike in the UK and Europe where it works well, an omni-channel retail approach might just not take off in India owing to poor urban infrastructure.

Talking about the campaign, Vaitheeswaran said while the camel is an interesting symbolism for authentic products, the proposition is not new. Recall Flipkart’s “Bilkul pakka” and Amazon India’s “We Indians Love Asli” campaigns which are also created around authenticity.

Meanwhile, Sambit Mohanty, creative head, DDB Mudra North, said that e-commerce companies are trying to outshout the competition and hence resorting to outlandish advertising.

“But there are pitfalls in this approach as exemplified in this ad for TataCLiQ. One doesn’t get the connect between the oont and what the site has to offer. Wait, did you say ‘Camel’ isn’t a word but a fancy acronym? Well, sometimes it’s best to spell things out rather than leave it to a blink-and-you-miss super at the end. It’s a nicely produced ad, but greatly confusing, and that’s a real pity,” he noted.

According to Anirban Chaudhuri, senior vice-president and executive planning director, J. Walter Thompson Delhi, TataCLiQ should have focused on the “Phygital” platform, which many think could be the driver of the next wave of e-commerce.

“Tata is a corporate name that evokes trust beyond doubt. So TataCLiQ trying to reassure about ‘certified authentic merchandise’ is a redundant effort. The acronym C.A.M.E.L too appears too contrived, especially the ‘Everybody Loves’ bit looks like an exertion just to make it become a camel! The oddity of using the animal in the advertisement will surely offer executional cut through,” he explained.

Chaudhuri believes the campaign, in its impact of creating brand equity and driving persuasion, is at most “oont ke muh mein jeera” (too less for too big a need).

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