People Shopping in a Mall

There are sales.  And there is Amazon Prime Day.  At least that’s what Amazon’s marketing strategy team is aiming for with their second Prime Day sale (July 16 & 17) in India. Intrigued by the sheer volume and variety of pre-Prime Day marketing I caught up with Ravi Desai, Director – Mass & Brand Marketing, Amazon to understand Amazon marketing strategy for India for this sale.

The Sale showcases the huge volume of things that Amazon sells, and its attempts to go local. Prime Day will feature over 200 exclusive new product launches from top brands, small businesses & Indian startups, all available first exclusively to Prime members. Amazon Echo family of devices, Fire TV Stick, All New Kindle, Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite will be available at the lowest prices of the year. There also a bunch of blockbuster releases on Prime Video with 7 blockbuster titles launching over 7 days and the launch of Prime Original show, Comicstaan, a reality TV show to find India’s next stand-up comedy star. Amazon Prime Music is launching specially curated playlists in several Indian languages.

There’s an equally wide variety of activities on to build up interest in the Prime Day Sale.  Ravi Desai explains that the program is truly omnichannel with

Interactive video: The intro video is interactive and allows viewers to choose one of 3 areas to explore. It builds on the Boxtropolis installation creative. 

Amazon Installation Prime Day Sale 2018
  • Installations: Experimenting with some pop-up shops in the top malls. These are virtual reality stores where you can just walk in, put on special glasses and enter the Prime world. You’ll be in this boxtropolis world where you can experience products.
  • Larger than life installations of a few elements of the Boxtropolis world (peacock, rainbow, and auto) were put up in different locations of different cities, with just the Prime Day date displayed alongside it. On the fourth day, 7th, the reveal happened – Amazon boxes popped- up next to these installations which announced the Amazon Prime Day 2018 dates.
  • An element of engagement was added to these installations in the form of a QR code. The onlookers were invited to scan the code to see these installations and their magical world come alive
  • Radio: The RJs will be inviting listeners to send in selfies with the installations along with their theories on what they think these are all about. 
  • Social media hashtags: The #16July trended nationally on Twitter driving a reach of 13MM (47MM impressions) with over 7k conversations. Some of the conversations around the hashtag were – “Katrina Kaif birthday on #16July”, “Is the peacock a symbol of the next Android update”, “Is a Salmaan Khan movie releasing on #16July”.
  • Reveal 7th July – Trended on Twitter again on 8th July, with a reach of 27MM on Twitter with over 6k conversations.
  • #SelfieRun contest – Ran between 8th – 10th July. We saw great response on the contest with hundreds of selfies coming in (over 200) across 3 cities organically. We also had people asking for the installation locations in tier 2 cities they not present in Bihar, Kolkata, Punjab, Pune)
  • Person using Amazon VR in a Cab
    Amazon VR for Prime Day

    Mobile AR: tied up with Uber and will be using their Uber pick points at the airport to reach out to customers, in Mumbai and Bangalore. Once the customer boards the cab and puts on the AR headset they will be able to experience the world of Prime come to life highlighting the date and time of the event, prime benefits and the top releases on Amazon Prime Video. 

The creative theme of Boxtropolis runs through all the channels of the campaign. I was curious about the choice of location – malls – for the AR installations. Ravi Desai said the locations were chosen based on where Prime customers frequent. (So Prime shoppers are shoppers in general, not just online deal seekers. Interesting.)

The campaign is also multi-lingual with local language adaptions of the marketing collateral, a part of Amazon marketing strategy for India.

Most brands today talk omnichannel, multi-lingual campaigns, but very few have been able to make them come alive in this cohesive manner. Amazon’s marketing strategy team has put in a lot of effort to differentiate Prime Day from yet-another-sale that screams discounts from the front page of the newspaper. AR, VR, interactive videos – the future is here now. 

Ravi says that all their marketing is “customer backwards”. This is what shoppers want.  Right now. Right here in India. Is everyone else ready? How to  Get ready for the prime sale

Post Sales Results

“Prime Day offers us a unique opportunity to thank Prime members with a celebration of our best deals, exclusive selection as well as new Prime Video and Prime Music content…We also want to thank our sellers, brands and our content partners who helped to make Prime Day bigger and better,” said Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India.

Based on a press release from Amazon, the marketing strategy for India worked out well with results such as:

  • Customers in India purchased over 5X as many Fire TV devices this Prime Day than last Prime Day. July 17 was the best day ever for Echo devices on Amazon.in.
  • Wireless grew over 5X, offering members brands like OnePlus, Redmi, Huawei and Honor.
  • Large Appliance grew 9X and included selection from Bosch dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Everyday essentials saw 3X overall growth with Amazon Pantry finding strong customer favour. Members enjoyed brands like Nestle’s new breakfast cereal NesPlus, Saffola Oats, Dettol Liquid Handwash and Nivea Fresh Active Deodarant.
  • Fashion saw an over 2X growth with new brand launches including brands like Marks & Spencer and New Balance.