Yatra Tried Replicating Volvo’s Famous Superbowl Campaign, But Was It Successful?

Back in 2015, Volvo conceptualised a simple, yet a very intelligent idea. Now we all know that Superbowl advertising spots are amongst the costliest in the world. Millions are spent, and not always do the brands get the intended return on that investment. So Volvo decided to ‘steal’ the buzz instead of putting in all that money. Here’s what they did –

Every time a car commercial was shown on TV during Superbowl, Volvo invited viewers to tweet to the brand tagging a loved one to whom they wanted to gift a car, with a personal story specifying why. Volvo would obviously then gift their Volvo XC60 to the stories they connected to the most. Volvo received over 50,000 tweets within 4 hours and earned more than 200MM media impressions. That’s not even it, the campaign also won the Grand Prix Award at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival.

Sounds like a very cost effective campaign, which we could run back at home too right? Probably during our version of the Super Bowl, the IPL? I mean, why wouldn’t a brand try to do something similar. Break away from the expensive TVC spots, and drive engagement using the game anyway. While Yatra does have a TVC running, they did decide to opt for the social media drive to get some of that user engagement as well.

Now we don’t know if the idea was inspired or not, but the concept was largely the same. Here it is :

1. Tweet when you see a travel ad – check.

2. Tag your friends – check.

3. Stand a chance to win a vacation – check.

It’s actually a great idea, and we would have loved to see it materialise into a great campaign, except in our opinion it isn’t happening. We were eagerly awaiting to see one of our Indian brands bring this concept to life and prove once again how creating meaningful social conversations could be a far better brand campaign than simply throwing money on TV ads during IPL. But the only conversation we are seeing are influencers asking other users to take part in the competition.

And you know what, even Harsha Bhogle tweeted about the contest.

But do you know what he tweeted right before this.

In fact, we made it easier for you to see what’s happening. If you click here, you will see the top posts with the hashtag #YatraBigBreak. You will notice that most of the posts are actually inviting other people to participate in the contest.

You will also notice that the audience participation hasn’t been restricted to just travel ads. The responses received have been pretty varied which goes to show how the targeting has also been a miss.

Yatra seemed to be ‘inspired’ by the idea, but doesn’t look like it’s being able to emulate the success of the Volvo campaign. While Volvo was able to steal the buzz away from other brands during Superbowl, refocusing the viewer’s attention to social conversations, Yatra’s campaign up until now has been largely influencer driven. The campaign at the end of it isn’t being able to connect with people the same way. What do you guys think?