Sanjeev Kotnala: MMT needs more than Magical Advertising

13 Feb,2019

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Three years back ‘Make My Trip’ (MMT) signed Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt as Brand Ambassador in a strategic move to connect with younger customers. The audience was intrigued, as the two have not done a movie together. Gully Boy will be the first movie for the pair. The audience has seen some brilliant, interesting, engaging and straightforward advertising.


Ranveer – Alia: a Perfect MMT Choice.

The duo of Ranveer and Alia with their versatility and on-screen chemistry did justice to every possible freaky character the advertising agency served to them. The talented duo enacted a spectrum of roles with equal expertise. Each of the TVCs has an experimentative, adventurous, confident yet concerned and doubtful traveller as its mainstay.


MAGICAL Engaging Creative

All the films represent a ‘Get to the point and present the advantage loud & clear in a memorable episode’ strategy by setting up a believable contextual situation. Be it about the awesome room, helpline, discount, pay at the hotel, zero cancelling, international food  or reminding the audience that MMT also makes hotel bookings.



Each of the TVC scripts is fantastic. The script leverages the brand ambassador pair chemistry and does justice to the crazy Ranveer and the big smiling, playful innocence of Alia Bhatt.

There has been no slag or hint of complacency in creative output even after so many episodic TVC. The client-agency team must be complimented for it.  Here is the client-agency combination that knows how tough it is to deliver a higher degree of engagement once the benchmark is set. More importantly, a focussed client team has ensured a seamless migration of account from one agency to another, retaining the magic and playfulness.



The films have a template approach. There is a problem or a doubt followed by a smart solution ending with one-upmanship delivering the MMT advantage and an unforgettable lesson to the viewer.

How cool it would have been if the reel life could deliver on the real-life promise.


Ranveer Alia Can’t Solve Service Delivery Issues.

Brand MMT must watch social media chatter.  In the last few months, there has been a marked increase in MMT consumer complains on social media and reviews. Most of them deal with broken promises, missed reservations and non-transparent pricing. The overactive bots and resultant thread of communication have shaken the confidence and image of a caring company with consumers.

It’s a reality that very few travellers compliment excellent service delivery whereas the errors are over-amplified. A reality every service provider including MMT must face.

It does not matter if the ratio of service delivered and complaints are the same across service providers. The complaints consumers see and react to, are important. Being one of the largest in the field, the expectations are much higher. MMT needs to be the benchmark. It seems something is definitely slipping.

I personally had no problem with bookings and travel on MMT. But the recent hike in social chatter has shaken the confidence in even loyalist like me.

Meeting customer expectation is a hygiene requirement in a service brand. Frustrated customers have no option but to shift loyalties.  Saying sorry serves no purpose.  The urge to check other travel-hotel portals is too powerful, and Trivago has been fuelling it big-time. Something the client cannot leave on Ranveer-Alia team to playfully address.



On a lighter note, may be the social media can do with a compliment for excellent service delivery and not just crib. And that is not about MMT only.



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