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Ad Review: HomeShop18’s mantra to get used to ‘clicking’ with emotions

05-September-2011
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Ad Review: HomeShop18’s mantra to get used to ‘clicking’ with emotions

HomeShop18.com has unveiled its new TV commercial, titled ‘India Shops Online at HomeShop18.com’, which is currently on air on different television channels like AXN, TLC, Discovery, etc., along with Homeshop18. The campaign is an effort of Homeshop18 to fortify its online presence along with its strong footprint as a television channel. The new campaign has been created in order to accelerate the growth of the ecommerce category and of Homeshop18.com as a consequence. Cell18 has created the new commercial, with its CEO Zubin Driver directing the whole campaign.

Client: Homeshop18.com
Product: Homeshop18.com
Agency: Cell18
Medium: Television

The Brief:
Homeshop18 reaches 30 million consumers through its television channel. While its online venture Homeshop18.com is also one of the largest players in the e-commerce space, the brand’s existence in the mind of the consumer is majorly for the television counterpart. The new campaign thus focuses on building the brand identity as a strong e-commerce player, delivering the best brands at great value at the “click of a button”.

Speaking on the creative idea behind the campaign, Sundeep Malhotra, CEO, Homeshop18.com, said, “No matter how modern in our approach we as Indians may become, deep down we are extremely rooted in culture and relationships. On the other hand, Internet is a new age, technology driven thing that has become a part of our lives. So while we are deeply traditional, we are technologically advanced. We married the two things together. The gestures in the commercial, whether it is giving your first cheque to your mother or touching elders’ feet, are all a depiction of the traditions and values with the modern act of a “click”. Being the largest e-commerce player in this country, the salience of Homeshop18 with online needed to be built. So we tried to marry ‘click’ with the normal Indian customs.”

The commercials have been directed by Zubin Driver, CEO, Cell18. Commenting on the thought process behind the creative, he divulged, “The commercials have been made with the idea of visual audio mnemonic, which would encourage people to come online and shop online. As the initiative is to become the category leader, the creative leap was to convert touch of a finger into click. The visuals of real situations accompanied with an audio mnemonic create a clutter breaking effect. We are planning multiple executions with the same idea going forward. This whole mnemonic works well for the positioning too.”

Expert Opinion:
Limiting to the idea of traditions, values and the feel-good factor was an opportunity lost, felt Jagdish Acharya, Founder, Cut the Crap.

He said, “I am sorry, but I feel this is an opportunity lost. The proposition - you will get used to clicking - is not wrong, but not sharp either. With a par idea, I was looking for a zany execution. You could have gone anywhere on the wings of an online brand and you chose to stop at feel-good! About execution, the commercial is neat in terms of production values. But the situations depicted are the been-seen-and-tired kind and that makes the idea of clicking look even more forced. The online brands have no option but to sweep the comp potatoes off their feet. It’s not so much about insights or the feel-good factor, but about how memorably can you spring a surprise. I wouldn’t budge with this one.”

Sambit Mohanty, Executive Creative Director, Bates 141 does not seem convinced either and thought that the ad offered nothing extra to lure online consumers towards the site. He added, “I found the concept of ‘get used to clicking’ lame and very generic to the online retail category at large. It isn’t engaging enough and doesn’t tell me why Homeshop18 stands out as a brand. Does it offer the best discounts? Does it have awesome customer service? I’m left clueless as to why this is the site to do my shopping from. And ‘India’s largest e-commerce site’ doesn’t do anything to make me want to check out Homeshop18. We have yet another instance of retailer/ manufacturer-speak masquerading as an ad. I’ll give it 2 out of 5 stars.”

Our take:
The idea of adding an audio mnemonic to human emotions is new and definitely registers through the commercial. However, the same should have been complemented with finding the answer to those emotions online. While the commercial showcases occasions like newborn, engagement, first job, the inventory on the website presented in the commercial displays mobile phones and laptops. Thus, the loop does not get completed. Moreover, in a gamut of e-commerce players in the Indian Internet space right now, Homeshop18.com commercial does not offer anything unique about the platform apart from saying that it is the largest e-commerce company, which is not so relevant to the consumer. Aesthetically, it is a clean, feel-good kind of commercial that viewer may skip after watching once.

Stars: 3 out of 5

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