Nestaway’s campaign for its products came with a twist – they were only props
Did someone refuse to rent you their house because you are a bachelor/ eat meat/ have a pet/ dress ‘modern’? Next time, you could probably try buying Nestaway’s products that promise to help solve these problems, if only they had not been used merely as props for its ad campaign!
For single people, especially, finding a home to rent often comes with annoying inquisitions about one’s lifestyle. It is an age-old problem but “no one’s talking about it except as a joke”, says Rishi Dogra, the startup’s Chief Marketing Officer. Nestaway only lists homes “friendly”, among others, to bachelors, pets and non-vegetarians, and ignores home-owners with such hang-ups.
Its recent ad campaign ‘unboxed’ its products designed to help home-seeking urban migrants – an Instawed kit (with mangalsutra, sindoor and even a book of mantras), a ‘Sacha Paneer Spray’ to fool the home owner into thinking you are having a paneer feast even as you’re tucking into meat, a Sanskari Nari kit with ‘tattoo-concealing smart sleeve’, saris and traditional jewellery, and a mouth plug to shut your dog up. You could buy these on Amazon, or choose to use Nestaway, the campaign said.
“These products are living testimony to the narrow-mindedness that one encounters while looking to rent a place,”says Priya Shivakumar, Vice-President and Executive Creative Director at JWT, Nestaway’s ad agency.
‘Homes that don’t discriminate’ is a very powerful proposition, and humour is a wonder way of reaching minds and being provocative as well, she says.
Dogra says the limited edition products, made by a firm called Nativebag, sold out in 6-8 hours. Nestaway got comedians and performers Mallika Dua, Sahil Shah, Abish Mathew and Danish Sait to unbox these products on the Internet. The campaign, he says, resulted in a 100 per cent rise in reach and impressions, 72.4 million in all, on social platforms. JWT’s Shivakumar says, “This is a very fresh take on the issue, to actually go out and design a product.”
Abroad, a few campaigns have capitalised on the tongue-in-cheek approach to sell merchandise. Organic Valley, a US-based cooperative of dairy farmers, ran a campaign called ‘Save the Bros’, urging consumers of protein shakes to go for its natural product, Organic Fuel, rather than those that contained chemicals and artificial ingredients. Even as it mocked the hunks, it sold merchandise using the slogan.
Professional US cyclist Ted King leveraged the popularity of his blog I Am Ted King to develop a line of merchandise called I Am Not Ted King, which supports a charity for adults living with brain injury. The recent Presidential election in the US also saw much colourful merchandise sold to raise money for various candidates’ campaigns. Kentucky senator Rand Paul’s campaign, for instance, marketed a ‘Hillary’s hard drive wiped clean’, referring to Clinton’s involvement in the e-mail scandal, while right-wing Texas senator Ted Cruz sold a bumper sticker that said ‘This vehicle makes right turns only’.