Agoda ropes in Rashmika Mandanna to launch first ad film in India

Mumbai: Agoda has launched its first-ever digital ad in India, featuring popular actress Rashmika Mandanna. The campaign film was launched on Facebook and YouTube on 7 November.

The campaign is designed by McCann Worldgroup. The agency leveraged their deep cultural understanding of evolving India to create a concept that resonates with families throughout the country.

The ad film addresses pain points faced by many when trying to plan a family holiday. It features a lighthearted reenactment of classic Bollywood scenes while highlighting the difficulties in incorporating everyone's needs into the final destination decision process.

The ad messaging seeks to focus on the ease of planning and booking travel on Agoda’s hassle-free platform and app. This campaign has the theme, "Holiday Bookings? No more drama" encourages travellers to try Agoda, and is part of its growing focus on the India market, following successful influencer campaigns across the country over the last year.

In a nod to real life’s obsession with capturing everything on camera, the ad opens with Mandanna in a home setting surrounded by her "reel" family, trying hard to book a vacation that satisfies everyone’s needs.

Her family is seen debating over different aspects of the vacation and their personal preferences, including affordability, activities, spacious rooms, and free breakfast, among others. Over the top and quirky personalities that mimic relatable characters Indians have grown up watching—a mother with a thali in her hand, brothers dressed like bickering warriors, and a father "balancing the books" or "holding the purse strings"—are saved with the help of Mandanna using the Agoda app to find solutions to their woes.

Agoda senior vice president of marketing Matteo Frigerio explained, "India is a dynamic market and one where we have seen real growth for our accommodation and flight products. We want to connect more with Indian travellers and partners alike, and we hope this collaboration with Mandanna will reflect the fun side of our brand, endearing us to Indian customers in a memorable and relatable way. The ad strikes a chord because it weaves in the real-life dilemmas faced by many people booking a family getaway, while working with Mandanna gives Agoda added authenticity and profile to reach new audiences in India."

Speaking on the partnership, Mandanna said, "I love to set off on new adventures whenever my filming schedule permits, and I need a travel app that lets me plan those trips easily. When travelling with family or friends, as I'm sure many people can relate, you want to make sure everyone is happy and their needs are met, but it can take a lot of back and forth to make that happen perfectly! I loved Agoda’s approach to this ad, which played on those real-life dilemmas in a fun and engaging way. We had fun filming in a Bollywood-esque style with me as the heroine who manages to use the Agoda app to find a holiday spot that suits my macho 'brothers' need for a gym, my ‘mother’s’ request for free breakfasts and of course my ‘dad’s’ desire for great value deals. I am thrilled to have partnered with Agoda for their first-ever digital ad in India, and hope you #TryAgoda while planning your next trip."

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