An online retailer Flipkart is a good reflection of India itself. Unlike many others e-commerce sites, it tries to surprise its customers with amazing colorful campaigns. Trying to be a pioneer, Flipkart first posted a 360-degree video on Facebook as a part of its annual flagship sale. However, the Indian market is also occupied by Amazon, which continues to gain popularity in India. Which tools uses Flipkart to conquer the market? And does it manage to do that?

Annual campaigns

October is known as a shopping season in India, and Flipkart runs a big sale festival «The big billion days» this time every year. This tradition is three years old now. For example, last year Flipkart launched a campaign “#TheBigBillionHunt,” and used multiple Instagram accounts to attract audience’s attention to the platform and sales. Within 12 hours the number of Flipkart’s subscribers on Instagram increased by 350%. Inspired by the last year success, Flipkart now made a breakthrough in video marketing. As a part of the sale festival campaign, it posted a 360-degree video on Facebook. The video gained over 728,000 views within just two days. “After the success of last year’s campaign, we decided that we should have a new version of the hunt every year. The idea is to make the latest social innovation, in this case Facebook 360-degree video, the main driver,” said Prashant Gopalakrishnan, associate vp at Dentsu Webchutney.

Flipkart. 360-degree Videos

Engaging with viewers

The 360-degree format is not the only exciting thing about this video. The contest is even more interesting. The video is four-minute long. That’s enough to guide a viewer on a tour to the office’s lobby, conference rooms and many other worth seeing places inside. Each location contains different offers, and a view is suggested to find and screenshot them. It can turn into a real game: for instance, an offer can be found on an employee’s T-shirt or on a Michael Jackson’s poster. You need to find all 10 offers and post them on Facebook, and them maybe you are the lucky one to win the competition.

Video is really taking off in India, but we wanted to take it a step further and make it interactive, not just have a passive audience on TV,” said P.G. Aditya, creative director at Dentsu Webchutney. Indeed, it seems like a new era for digital marketing. People need and do love to feel involved. The role of a mere consumer attracts nobody. “For us, engaging with our users with a compelling story is as important as sales,” said Shoumyan Biswas, vp of marketing at Flipkart.


Flipkart. 360-degree Videos

Future plans

As you may guess, this campaign was a success. And the company doesn’t want to stop. Just after the end of the sales festival Flipkart announced that it plans to raise a large round of funds before the end of the year. The final amount is not decided yet, but it probably be something between $500 million and $1 billion in fresh funds. Flipkart has a strong intention to engage more investors, and it’s easy to explain: its main competitor, Amazon, has almost two times more investors to collaborate with. This decision is a hard one, as some familiar people say. “The problem till now was that sales had slowed down and the (e-commerce) market also declined. In a young market like India, that is shocking. So Flipkart was in no shape to go for a fund-raise. The plan was to go all in on BBD and if that worked out, to do a fund-raise’.

Nevertheless, Flipkart is taken today by many marketers as the most valuable and fast growing Indian startup. And many of them are convinced that such creative approach will undoubtedly lead to boosting the sales in future.

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