It’s an ad that will gladden the hearts of any Hindi movie buff, who will exclaim, “Is mein action hai, drama hai, emotion hai.” Makemytrip.com’s new viral to stress on lowest airfares on the travel site is a humorous take on Bollywood blockbuster ‘Sholay’.
Taking cue from the current line of advertisements, the viral takes potshots at popular Indian imagery. The opening scene has all the drama of masala Bollywood fare – armed dacoits chasing a train on horseback a la ‘Sholay’ accompanied by typical action movie soundtrack. After a good chase, the dacoits climb aboard the train and warn the passengers not to move. “Koi apni jagah se nahin hilega,” says the gang leader menacingly, only to realise a moment later that the compartment is empty.
His equally perplexed henchman moans, “Sardar, yahan to koi nahin hai.” That very moment the hapless gang sees a plane flying by full of happy passengers.
Even as the dacoits stare at the plane, one of them asks, “Kya ab hawai jahaj ko lootiyega ka?” (Will you now loot the airplane?)
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The creative team at Webchutney has used exaggerated comic situations like a third-class compartment, one of the bandits being knocked off by a pole and happy faces poking out of the airplane. This is literally a home production from Webchutney since the characters are members of the creative team (their faces were shot using digital cameras) and the recording too was done in their office.
Said Webchutney CEO, Siddharth Rao, “It was a viral which we made on the concept of the lowest airfare guarantee. It is a humorous viral. The moving train sound and the background of the viral reflects the movie ‘Sholay’. The viral has been used in the online media and tongue in cheek advertising.”
“One of our colleagues in HR was very excited about an ad that was forwarded to her by her husband. The mail to her said ‘brilliant ad, must see’. So, she excitedly called her colleague in the marketing team and the latter was pleasantly surprised that all the excitement was about the Makemytrip ad that was yet to be officially released. Even its unofficial release it had spread like influenza,” Rao quipped.
Sachin Bhatia, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Makemytrip.com, said, “This is a true incident and really establishes the power of virals as marketing tool and at Makemytrip we have used it most effectively. Not one or two, but scores of colleagues at Makemytrip got the link back into their mailbox, which indicated to us how far and wide the viral had spread.”
He further said, “We had used the viral very effectively as part of our launch communication in September 2005, and since then have created four of them. All the virals have been around our low airfare guarantee and a perfect extension to our tongue-in-cheek advertising. Of all our online marketing creatives, virals have been the most edgy in their communication style. Virals get interesting only if they are topical or are centered around popular imagery and hence, have larger appeal. Till date we have been able to maintain the sizzle in our virals and needless to say they either get rave responses or offend. Either way they get talked about.”
“The success of any viral execution is in the number of times it is forwarded. And each time we know that our viral has been sent ahead by recipients 5,000 times in a 4-5 day period. This is besides what people forward directly through their mailboxes. The current one has already generated over 60,000 page views in two days. We received record number of unique visitors in the last two days since the viral has been out,” Bhatia added.