With No Real Stories And A Digital Initiative, Jabong’s “Be You” Fails To Connect With Youth

Jabong extends Be You campaign to reach out to youth by celebrating individualism and breaking through societal norms. However with no real stories and digital campaign, it fails to connect with youth.


Ecommerce sales in India are expected to grow by 45 percent to $7.69 billion (roughly Rs. 48,840 crores) this year, research firm eMarketer said. Another report by consulting firm Technopak pegs the $2.3 billion (roughly Rs. 14,607 crores) online retailing market to reach $32 billion by 2020.

With the growing digital and mobile economy, Indian consumers buying habits have changed over the years. Having seen this trend ecommerce companies have been aggressively positioning themselves as the default choice for online shopping. From Flipkart to Amazon to Snapdeal every Ecommerce brand is trying to influence the buying behavior of the customer. However it hasn’t been easy, with every brand selling the same products, the consumer more or less falls for the discount mechanism.

Jabong, the brand launched in 2012 also had to face a similar marketing challenge - how to differentiate themselves from other online destinations who are talking about deals & discounts. In a bid to consolidate its position as the ultimate fashion destination online keeping the youth in mind, the brand launched “Be You” brand campaign in the third quarter of 2014. The campaign reiterated the idea of individuality in a unique expression to inspire and encourage the youth of India to be comfortable in their own skin.

The 360 degree campaign was powered with a 2 minute long digital film which captured the personal styles of youngsters, and emotions derived from the sense of empowerment and confidence from fashion, the commercial showcases the latest styles and trends across clothes, shoes and accessories. The message was clear in two simple yet assertive words, “Be You”.

Seven months later, Jabong is making a statement again by extending the “Be You” campaign. The new campaign urges youth to appreciate themselves and be proud of what they are without following others said Praveen Sinha, Founder and Managing Director, Jabong.

To begin with the brand in association with Bang In The Middle has launched three TVCs. The first of the three TVCs features a young couple in a live-in relationship and enjoying each other’s company to the fullest. The insight behind the campaign is ‘love is more than a ring and a piece of paper’.


The second TVC features a young woman who breaks stereotypes, juggling a technical job while following artistic pursuits. The final one is about a young guy who is a director and he believes that the world is full of stories only if one is ready to listen. Again in all the three TVCs the core positioning is still ‘Be You’.

All the three TVC’s will be aired across various channels, have been creatively scripted and shot across the length and breadth of India.

But is Jabong really connecting with today’s youth?

As a brand, Jabong states that it knows the pulse of young India, of what they think, believe and aspire for, and this campaign is an execution of the same. But it is high time that Jabong questions if it really understands the youth or is just trying to give clothes to their thoughts labeling it as youth.

The latest campaign has three TVC’s and the brand states that they are stories of individuals who appreciate who they are. But if the objective of the brand is to tell stories then why have a half-hearted approach by featuring models in the stories, why not tell real stories that could inspire today’ youth.

Concept of a live in relationship is no big deal, today’s youth or for that matter youth of any generation want to be bold, take risks and create their own presence. Jabong really needs a reality check in what the youth wants and what it perceives that the youth wants.

With approximately 10 million registered users, Jabong in this campaign is targeting consumers between the age group of 18 and 32 years in the category SEC A, B. Today’s youth is hooked on social media and Jabong has quietly ignored the medium till now. Apart from sharing the TVC’s on Facebook, the brand is busy doing the regular sharing on social media and running Twitter contests. Why can’t the brand have a community driven campaign where it asks fans to tell their stories that could inspire others?

Last year after Nescafe launched #ItAllStarts ad on social media, the brand asked fans to tell their stories of resolve to be a part of the Nescafe Journeys: 50 Twitter stories of resolve. From one story, very smartly the brand had thrown the ball in the court of its fans for more interesting stories.

A recent study revealed that 84 percent of millennials don’t like traditional advertising nor do they trust it. Jabong needs to understand this and if it really wants the young Indian to buy clothes from its store then it has to think and be where the youth is present.