Launched in 2010 by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, FirstCry.com, an online and offline brand providing range of products for babies, kids and moms, out of a desire to solve Indian parents’ problem of not having access to the best brandXs and products for their babies and kids. No one back then would have thought that kids products which are the most difficult to buy considering the fast changing size would be bought Online. No one thought that Indians would have access to best international brands catering to kids. And 4 years later, FirstCry.com emerged as the clear leader in its niche. Being Asia’s largest online portal for baby and kids products, FirstCry.com has an inventory of more than 70,000 items from over 700 top International and Indian brands. FirstCry.com is like a megastore for parents.
Business Objectives of FirstCry
- Vigorous expansion and to be the clear market leader for baby product market in India. FirstCry was very clear from the beginning to make themselves a ‘One stop shop’ for all kids shopping needs.
- Second objective was constant innovation and improvement.
- And thirdly, to increase offline presence, which considering the segment that they cater to still has very high Demand.
Strategy Adopted by FirstCry
FirstCry TV Star contest. (How FirstCry used Digital Marketing for the campaign success)
Despite being in business for over 5 years, FirstCry was dealing with issues like Low awareness about the brand. Thats when nearly Rs 100 crore were budgeted as its annual advertising budget and the campaign including 6 films featuring Bachchan.
“An internal research showed that FirstCry was low on awareness despite the fact that repeat purchase on the website is 50% higher than our closest competitor,”. So the marketing problem they had was to increase the brand awareness and the entire campaign is built towards that. The campaign was planned keeping in mind to increase instant brand relevance and recall.
The company selected Lowe Lintas following a 5-month multi-agency pitch process. The agency’s Johnson & Johnson team which is headed by creative director Vasudha Narayanan was working on the Firstcry campaign, said Supam Maheshwari, CEO and founder, Firstcry. “We needed an agency which has strong perspective in the kids and babies category in India.” He is targeting 200% growth is in terms of revenue in this fiscal year and 150% growth in terms of online subscribers on the back of the new campaign.
Talking about roping in Bachchan, Jain said, “We needed to create maximum impact with the campaign. Amitabh Bachchan brings huge credibility to the brand. He has a pan India appeal and he is a doting grandfather.”
In May 2015, firstcry.com signed Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador. Websites and Business Newspapers were flooded with the news of one Bangalore based rapidly growing e-commerce company roping in one of the the biggest celebrity of the Hindi Film Industry. Along with the signing of Amitabh Bachchan , the company also started looking for another face for the campaign-The Baby to feature along with Mr Bachchan. Casting agencies in Mumbai were given a task to screen for babies in the age group of 8-12 months, who could sit without any support.(I personally got a call for audition for my daughter).
After the auditions that went on for a week, the company did not get much success looking for the child model through walk=in Auditions. That’s when Firstcry company launched a Digital Marketing contest on 28 May 2015 through the website ‘World of Moms’. The online contest had a call for entries strategy that had the communication:- Think your kiddo’s a star in the making? Take part in the FirstCry TV-Star Hunt and you could see your little one on TV! Limited Time to upload pics till 31 May coupled with an opportunity to have your kid featured in an ad with Amitabh bachchan ensured over 1000 entries in a span on only 3 days.This ensured sudden traffic to the website along with surge in the number of the page likes of FirstCry Facebook page as parallel communication and updates were happening on the page. The page today has over 500,000 likes and followers.
The super cute kid that ws selected equally became the face of the campaign which was a seamless blend between how Amitabh Bachchan is as a grandfather at home and the character he is essaying in the ad films. The company made 6 television commercials around the theme “Bachchon ki shopping, bachchon ka khel nahi” (kids shopping is not child’s play) that ran for the next 3 months. The communication also opened up the Indian Parents minds on experimenting kids shopping online and exploring imported products that were not available easily offline. The campaign used TV, radio, out-of-home and tactical print legs for its media campaign.
Results Achieved by FirstCry
The campaign drastically increased the brand awareness and brand credibility. FirstCry received $10 million in funds earlier this year which was its fourth round of fundraising.
Even a brand as big as FirstCry suffered from factors like low awareness despite the fact that repeat purchase on the website was 50% higher than our closest competitor.In order to increase brand awareness, recall and relevance, the brand had to invest 100 crore in a campaign.It coupled the idea of a full blown campaign with a very smart contest using Digital Media to engage with its TG. What is important here is that the campaign made sure it does not have a ‘vote in for the cutest baby’ model for the contest which could have spammed our FB pages and could have garnered negative publicity.The contest was kept very simple, with very simple instructions and tips on how to click the best pictures.The final decision was held with the brand making the contest very credible.
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