Yatra.com has donned a desi avatar in its latest campaign with the online travel portal switching on Bollywood nostalgia and brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor dancing to the tunes of evergreen songs. We see the leading man emote and sing aloud popular songs such as “Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe” and “Meri umar ke naujawano”—two of the best known numbers of his grandfather Shammi Kapoor and father Rishi Kapoor, respectively. The actor does a karaoke of the two songs, paraphrasing original words to reinforce Yatra’s brand positioning of being “India ka travel planner”. With some clever word play, the television commercials (TVC) highlight the company’s eCash loyalty programme and other unique features including protection against drop in prices.
The campaign comes on the back of Yatra.com’s brand revamp as part of which the company now has a new look and a refreshed website. Of late, quirky adverts by its competitor MakeMyTrip—featuring actors Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh—has upped the advertising game for the online travel space. With storytelling getting a new lease, what inspired Yatra to follow the Bollywood song and dance routine in its campaign?
“We wanted to showcase certain key customer features. Rather than just talking about promotions and making it a tactical communication, we picked specific examples like e-cash loyalty programme where you can transfer the cash to friends and family, and put it in an entertaining format,” says Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer (B2C), Yatra.com.
Given Kapoor’s flamboyant persona that evokes aspirations, Bollywood and entertainment were obvious thematic picks. The actor personifies energetic, young customers. At the same time old Bollywood songs which are part of the commercials help Yatra connect with the older lot, adds Dhall.
The TVCs promote eCash loyalty and also the airfare-drop protection feature, which shields buyers from fluctuations in prices of air tickets etc.
The campaign has been conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather. Dhruv Mookerji, creative, Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, says, “While talking to Yatra customers as a part of our regular connect exercises, we realised that while they seek hassle-free, memorable experiences, they also look for more value from their travel and want to make the most of every penny they spend. Hence, we wanted to appeal to these value-conscious minds by promoting two key, industry-first features which Yatra has launched—airfare-drop protection on international flights and eCash loyalty points.”
A deliberately modern and funky attitude was added to the vintage charm of Indian cinema. By roping in Ranbir Kapoor, the two films combine the melody of evergreen Hindi songs with new lyrics announcing the features and services offered by Yatra.com. The treatment of the communication was carefully chosen, keeping the brand ambassador in mind. The lyrics with karaoke subtitles not only encourage viewers to sing along, but also helps them remember the services, adds Mookerji.
About 70 per cent of Yatra’s business comes through air travel bookings, with the rest accounted for by hotels, holiday packages, and rail and cab bookings. The fastest growing segment in the online travel category is hotels and packages. Dhall points out that the focus on business front is to run a sustainable business by introducing the new innovations and driving customer loyalty, rather than relying on it through upfront discounts.