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From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Make your presence felt this Diwali, with Citi

Entered in Financial Services

About this entry

In India, Diwali is spectacular not just in terms of celebration but also in spends. It's a time for family and friends to get together and exchange delightful gifts. Buying goods (now increasingly online) & gifting to loved ones is an age old tradition and is considered auspicious.

Usually conservative, the Indian shopper breaks all records during Diwali, with around 40% of consumer shopping is done in the fourth quarter (ASSOCHAM). High ticket shopping are put on hold, in wait of deals & deep discounts offered around Diwali.

Opportunity: Not only a high share of sale in this period is critical to a credit card brand's success, but is also a great time to acquire new customers.

While Diwali is a great opportunity for business, it's also one of the most challenging times of the year to stay relevant. With heavy marketing budget, every marketer seeks to share a piece of the pie. The language of sale and percentages is indistinguishable and it is very easy to get missed in this clutter.

Challenge: Difficult to build brand affinity in the vast sea of similar discounts.

Therefore, Citibank's communication objective was to be able to break through the category clutter, without breaking the festive codes.

Increase Citi card spends by 30% YOY
Increase Citi card electronics category spends by 100% YOY
Increase Citi card retail/shopping category spends by 30% YOY

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Understanding customers' aspirations
Citi conducted an extensive consumer research to not just understand the purchasing patterns, but also customers' aspirations during Diwali. Our insight lay in the tension between the two consumer truths we observed.
While people love to spend time with their loved ones during Diwali and like to delight them with gifts and fulfilling wishes. Not everyone is lucky enough to be with their loved ones during Diwali due to reasons away from their control.

INSIGHT: You can't travel to every place, but your gifts can.

CREATIVE EXPRESSION: #WhatsYourDiwaliDelight

Our integrated Mobile-first & Social-led marketing campaign - #WhatsYourDiwaliDelight, leverages its own as well as paid media channels to enable people to make their presence felt through their gifts.

The execution was phased out in three steps:

Building brand associationEngaging customersDriving usage


Share-Worthy Engaging Brand Videos: Catering to customers across key categories such as shopping and travel, the videos captures the feeling of nostalgia and emotional bond shared with family especially around the festive season. Showcasing how the protagonists make their presence felt via Citi cards, the branded video content was amplified across digital & social media – You Tube, Facebook & Twitter.
Branding At Strategic Outdoor Touch-Points: To amplify association with the campaign and create synergy between branding efforts across touch-points, Citi delivered a consistent brand experience with the help of offline branding at Citi branches, ATMs, malls and outdoor sites.


Facebook & Twitter Contest: The users were asked to share interesting ideas on delighting their loves ones with a gift or surprise on Diwali while also tagging their loved ones in their posts/tweets. Contest winners and their tagged loved ones were rewarded with e-vouchers from Citi.

Influencer Led Engagement: Citi partnered with key social influencers on Twitter to maximize the reach and impact of the campaign. Key influencers (in dinning, travel, food, etc.) helped seed the Citi contest, brand videos & offers among their follower base.

On-Ground Activation with a Social Connect: To spread the festive spirit on-ground a Citi Zone was created where shoppers could participate in a virtual reality game and win e-vouchers for their loved ones.


Brand Partnerships: Citi partnered with brands across categories i.e. Major Online Shopping portals, Offline Shopping & Travel to provide customers with a wide bouquet of cashback & savings led offers for delighting their loved ones & 'Making their presence felt'.

Amongst the many partnerships, the most strategic one was with Apple to launch an exclusive cashback offer at the launch of iPhone 7. This offer was an instant hit with the consumers and resulted in high incremental spends.



Highest ever jump in Citi Credit Cards spends YOY by 38%

Jump in Cards Electronics spends YOY by 188%

Jump in Cards retail/shopping spends YOY by 47%


Reach : 25MM+, Video Views : 4.4MM+ ,Impressions: 268MM+

Twitter trending at #1 on all 3 contest days, in India and Globally


Highest ever Mother Brand & Credit Cards Preference.

1. Citi brought people together in the contemporary chaos: While delivering on business objectives, we successfully exhibited that promotional campaigns can be weaved into a human story to fulfil a larger purpose of bringing people closer in the modern day schedule.

2. Integrated marketing approach: Our campaign was deployed to ensure that there is a seamless fit in the lives of our consumers. We identified touchpoints right from the start of the decision making process to the final purchase, not restricted by mediums (online/offline). Extensive partnership across categories, e-commerce portals ensured a perfect gift for everyone.

3. Hitting the bull's eye –Business, Brand and Consumers: While most promotional campaigns fail to achieve one of the three, our unique approach helped us create business, brand and consumer impact.

Citi enabled customers to delight their loved ones during Diwali by making their presence felt and in-turn differentiated itself in a category that's perceived to be a discount enabler.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Publicis Communications Pvt Ltd, India, Citibank India