‘The world is now pretty much living between two screens - phone and TV’

Shaadi.com’s latest ad campaign talks about the platform’s evolution by going back and narrating the first success story, says Adhish Zaveri, AVP-Marketing

e4m by PRANAB JYOTI BHUYAN
Published: Jul 13, 2022 8:03 AM  | 4 min read
Shaadi

Adhish Zaveri, AVP-Marketing, People Interactive at Shaadi.com, takes us through the journey of its campaign and shares why Founder Anupam Mittal himself has appeared in the film

Excerpts:

Could you give us an insight into your latest ad campaign?

We’ve recently hit this pretty incredible milestone of 7 million success stories. As a category that is all about serious matchmaking, we are often faced with the issue of high success rate and low advocacy. Advocacy drives a different sort of perception. So, when we go out and tell the world that we have 7 million success stories on Shaadi.com, it further re-establishes the fact that our platform has worked. Thus, if someone wants to find the right life partner, Shaadi.com is a great place for him or her. So, the campaign informs the world about the number of success stories.

We also have our Founder, Anupam Mittal in the film, and hence, a lot of things added up pretty nicely. After Shark Tank (and even before that in some form) a lot of people want to start something of their own. Shaadi.com is a start-up, which was started 20 years ago, and we thought it would be really interesting if we talk about its evolution by going back and narrating our first success story.

What’s the reason behind taking your Founder, Anupam Mittal in the ad film?

There are actually a couple of reasons. The first is a no-brainer - many people recognize him. Not many brands are in an advantageous position where their founders have a mass appeal. If you look at the early-stage companies in India, their founders might be popular within the business. But when it comes to reaching out to households or being a part of Indian television, very few brands have that opportunity. So, we said that we should absolutely make good use of that. Secondly, as the Founder of the brand, Anupam stands for certain values, and, eventually, those values rub off on the brand itself. So, we practically see him as a celebrity ambassador for us. Also, in a film when you have the person who has built the company, you get a different level of impact.

In the past your site was accused of caste discrimination. Can you please throw some light on it?

The accusations were pretty baseless. It was almost a smear campaign and we responded strongly. We do not discriminate on any front. When people come and create profiles on Shaadi.com, they choose who they want to meet. We don’t discriminate by saying you will be shown this person or that. In the case of people who don’t select a partner preference, we don’t explicitly state what kind of people they should meet. We default them to their community. That’s the simple way of looking at it.

Of late, there were multiple news articles wherein genuine users are cheated on matrimonial sites. How do you look at this menace?

As far as our records are concerned, 99.67% people do not experience any sort of misuse on the platform. We have a five-step process for eliminating any misuse. First, we have a machine verification process, and under this, ‘suspicious’ patterns are monitored and acted upon, depending on the severity. Second, we have a manual verification and that further ensures that we minimise any slippages. Third, we also do some rule-based IP screening to ensure that there is no scam happening there. Fourth, we have a process called Community Reported Misuse. For the few cases that make it through our robust systems, we encourage users to report any suspicious activities on the platform through a two-click feature that we immediately act upon. Fifth, we also have a strong outreach programme which is based on the consumer life cycle, and the life-stage of a person on the platform. We inform them about different safety measures, such as, what’s the right way to deal with people on the platform, why they should not share bank details or give money to unknown people, etc.

Can you please give a brief about your marketing mix?

One big evolution that has happened is that the world is now pretty much living between two screens - phone and TV. We strongly believe that just by utilizing these two, we can practically reach out to people the way we want to. So, our marketing media mix is largely centred on Television and Digital. To be precise, we spend around 90% of our marketing budget on Television and Digital, while the remaining 10% goes to Print and cinema advertising for very specific markets.

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