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Clearing clutter

Reviewer: Emmanuel Upputuru

The founder and chief integrated officer at ITSA Brand Innovations Pvt. Ltd, Emmanuel Upputuru started his career in 1993 and has worked with brands like Nestlé, Nokia, Cleartrip.com and Shell.


The latest campaign for OLX.in, an online marketplace for used goods, by Lowe Lintas shows a typical middle-class house cluttered with old things—a woman is using a child’s stroller as a coffee table. Her sister suggests she sell it on OLX.in by downloading its mobile app. The entire family gets involved in clicking and uploading pictures of the junk around the house while dancing to the tune of the song Oh Womaniya. Tag line: Phone ko banao sell phone (use your phone as a sell-phone).

Your first thoughts on the campaign?

The campaign has got all the symbols of a good popular film. Good casting, good direction, a good hummable jingle. I see that the campaign is trying to attract women specifically.

OLX as a brand participates in a very obscure category—the second-hands goods market—that has not been creatively defined before. Does that pose a challenge for the agency?

The lesser-known the category, the easier the job of differentiation becomes. You just have to tell what you bring to the table. Look at Fevicol. On the other hand, you can only mess it up. So that’s the challenge for the creative team.

There is a strong portrayal of the quintessential middle-class, value-conscious wife and the goods that crowd houses.

Yes, this film is clearly targeted at the middle class. I can see the middle-class floor in the film. The middle class is always the prime target audience for almost everything in India. They have the money, they have aspirations. They believe that with a little more effort, they can move forward in life and make progress. For a brand like OLX the middle class works well, because in their attempt to move ahead in life, the money that can come from selling old stuff can actually help people buy newer stuff and move ahead in life. So that’s a nice little cycle.

What would you have done differently?

Nothing much. However, there is one thing that sticks out like a sore little finger.

The main protagonist while taking the phone says, “Yeh toh phone hai. Phone ko banao sell-phone." The whole idea of “sell-phone" and “cell-phone" is a visual idea and not an audio idea. I think that was a bit forced. And I also would bring the idea of womaniya outside of television.

Any other brands in this category that caught your attention?

There are only two brands in the category. Quikr and OLX. And both are trying to out-shout each other. Because it is a winners-take-all business; it remains to be seen who remains standing.

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