Why BharatPe signed up 11 brand ambassadors for their new campaign

The brand is spending Rs 15-20 crore on the campaign that is expected to run across mediums throughout the IPL and festive season

e4m by Neeta Nair
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 4:18 PM

At a time when most brands are into cutting costs, BharatPe has launched a brand campaign by signing up not just one or two but 11 cricketers as brand ambassadors — Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shubhman Gill.

These players have been seen in a series of four commercials, which will play during IPL, devised around the concept of #TeamBharatPe. The brand is spending Rs 15-20 crore on the new campaign that is expected to run across mediums like - TV, Print, Radio and Digital throughout the IPL and festive season. 

Talking about the concept behind the ad campaign, Abhishek Shah, AVP- Marketing, BharatPe says, “The idea came up in an internal discussion. The brain storming session was around how we can disrupt the cluttered marketing in IPL and create a high impact. We had seen that to associate with IPL, multiple brands try to pick up logo placements in different team jerseys in the IPL. The costs tend to be high and the ROI may not be in line, and also it is done to death already. The discussion was to do something that is unheard of, so we can stand out and make a big impact. Cricket was a good bet as it is a great unifier and connects across our diverse cultures.”

The TVCs were shot post the lockdown at six different locations, including one international spot. The entire project was managed by the production team of ArtE MediaTech. But how difficult was it to link a merchant payment network to cricket, without making it look forced, Rohit Sakunia, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Art - E Media explains, “For Indians in any part of the country, Bollywood and Cricket are the biggest unifiers. The target group for BharatPe is small merchants, and cricket finds great resonance with them. Hence, building a connection with the said target audience was not even an issue. The idea of signing up 11 cricketers was unique and unheard of.”

But didn’t having 11 cricketers as brand ambassadors stretch budgets. Responding to that, Shah says it is in fact a cost-effective idea. “I believe our idea is disruptive and it will enable us to carve a niche for ourselves in this cluttered market. When majority of other brands were following the trend of getting their logos on the jerseys of IPL teams, we decided to think differently and build our own Playing XI that can power us to promote our suite of products. I am confident that this cost-effective idea will create ripples in advertising.”

Adding to that Subhasis Beura, Head - Brand and Commerce, BharatPe, says, “In India, the first thing that comes to one’s mind when one hears the word ‘team’ is the Indian Cricket team. The idea of signing up 11 cricketers as brand ambassadors had the genesis from that central thought. This gave us the right connect to leverage Team BharatPe to showcase our team of financial products for the small merchants. We were the first fintech brand to do so. We believe that this concept will help us break through the clutter and carve a niche for ourselves in the busy fintech industry. We understand that conventional brands in the FMCG sector used this strategy successfully in the 1990s. Also, Jio has successfully run campaigns with a team of cricketers in the recent past. I believe that this TV campaign will help us get the much needed attention amongst merchant community in the country.”

The campaign is meant to drive awareness around BharatPe’s range of financial products for small shop owners across India, including QR based payment acceptance, no collateral loans, card payment machine with 0% transaction fee, and loyalty program. The ad despite having celebrity endorsers has kept the focus on the merchants and the issues that they may face and how BharatPe can come to their rescue. The screen time of the 11 cricketers however appears to be largely minimal, and doesn’t stop one from thinking if they should have been better utilized and woven into the story as characters for more impact. Responding to that Shah says, “This was the creative call that we took, creating a team that supports the merchant in their business growth. The entire concept is around creating #TeamBharatPe - Jo deshke har dukandar ke saath hai khade. This has been communicated well via our TV advertisements.”

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