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Industry: Retail & Distribution
Style: Minimalism
Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Over the last decade, Flipkart established itself as the e-commerce leader by building disruptive, unique, and scalable solutions for the uniquely Indian shopper. These solutions often satiate consumer needs by simulating offline experiences the competition eventually “borrows” - cash on delivery chief among them. Innovating for Indian shopper habits soften the perceived blow of e-commerce disruption, making India the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world. Obsession with Indian solutions has propelled Flipkart as the largest player competing for a trillion-dollar Indian retail market. This year, Flipkart took on an age-old Indian virtue to drive excitement around their flagship sale


India’s cultural diversity is now noticeable in everyday internet use. Flipkart, the e-commerce leader, realized its current users bear no resemblance to its next 100 million in every key metric, notably, income, internet maturity, brand engagement, and smartphone usage.

Now, 2018 was touted to be gloomy for the category. With Walmart’s record acquisition and reports of an impending industry-wide slowdown, the race to excite a trillion-dollar retail market was in full swing. The competition — no less than the biggest company in the world — Amazon.

India’s festival shopping season is centerstage for Flipkart in generating demand for its marquee online shopping event, The Big Billion Days (equivalent to Single’s Day and Black Friday). It’s a period where media buying determines success for the competition. With new users looming, Flipkart decided to take on an age-old Indian virtue, to bring thrills to shopping for the country online once again.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Introducing Hagglebot. The world’s first-ever online bargaining experience.

Where Indians brought their bargaining best to set prices on products for the rest of India. Only this time, not over the counter, but over their resident voice assistant of choice, Google Assistant.

In the lead up to the country’s biggest online shopping days, when users instigated Google Assistant with ‘OK Google, talk to Flipkart,’ they could be crowned the country’s craftiest bargainer by Hagglebot. Flipkart challenged the hearts and minds of users in their quest to squeezing deals on top products, simulating the importance of feeling like they’re driving the value in a deal.

Instead of seeing another checkout page, users were surprised with a completely gamified bazaar hosted by Hagglebot. It was the only place in the world to satiate thrills of a bargain, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to liberate India off its budget constraints on The Big Billion Days.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Shopping in India hasn’t been the same since Flipkart started building disruptive, unique, and scalable solutions. This approach propelled the brand to influence behavior, overcoming marketing and technical hurdles at every turn.

Our task was to:
1. drive interest in the category for new users, while exciting current users.
2. create a disruptive solution to nullify competition outspending us 4:1.

First, we identified the singular, unique trait every Indian believes in: bargaining! Indians love bargaining hard on every single purchase: right from a hairpin up to a house. This set the foundation for the retail experience we could simulate.

Secondly, we noticed the evolution of voice technology as a paradigm shift in smartphone use in India, where it overcomes the barrier of typing for the next 100 million.

To grow excitement and use, we decided to tap a latent desire from the category: to get a full market experience online.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We built a game for uniquely Indian virtues. We travelled across 30 bazaars in India to build a robust foundation for responses. We realized bargaining is about reaching a middle ground, and that Indians have a mental utility belt of responses to get to the best deal. 8 commonly used bargaining strategies were shortlisted.

Google Zoo’s teams across four countries then translated each API for India and Hagglebot. Bargaining strategies like Blackmailing and Lowballing was handled with panache; GIFs and sounds helped recreate the feel of a shop. Even brownie points for words like “please” was built-in.

Hagglebot was ready for India. Drop-offs, a known barrier for the tech, was finally overcome. A pledge in the beginning. Mini games to solve for monotony. A demo to educate. All to let over 1200 contextual responses shine, and let users take the spotlight. Ultimately, a scoring algorithm definitively rewarded the best bargainer.

List the results (30% of vote)

Flipkart managed to successfully redefine user expectations to create a branded experience that shattered records.

1. The average Google Assistant experience lasts for 2-3 seconds, but with an average engagement time of 6 minutes and 5 seconds, Hagglebot was the most engaging Google Assistant experience yet, worldwide.
2. Over 4 days, users bargained with us for over 75 days, indicating the right amount of depth in the experience.
3. India saved over $1.4 million on merchandise sold during The Big Billon Days, with average savings of over 50%. Flipkart’s total GMV of products bargained on Hagglebot was $1.23 million.
4. Flipkart achieved record-breaking numbers to emerge as the #1 player in the festive season. Flipkart’s CEO also emphatically claimed, “the competition is nowhere close. We had a 70% share this shopping season.”

All in all, Hagglebot is the most in-depth and immersive branded voice experience till date.
Production Company:
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Brand Experience & Activation
New Realities & Voice-activation
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Creative eCommerce
Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Brand Experience & Activation
Single-market Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Creative eCommerce
Single-market Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Media
Single-market Campaign
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