Much Ado About 500 & 1000

8:59 pm, November 9, 2016, By Shilpi Choudhury

500/1000 Brand storytelling NaMo

500-and-1000-rupees-banned-in-india“Friends, [Indians], countrymen, lend me your ears!” Mark the date today. Today is 9/11 of a different sort.

This day would be remembered in history for two major events. Far away from home, US votes for Trump. Closer home, NaMo pulls back Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes with immediate effect to curb down on corruption. Yeah, you read the previous one right!

While none of us are political or financial experts here, we do read the news. And to our limited understanding, the first news sounds wrong. The second however, sounds good (though with some inconvenience in the near present).

Since last night, be it our social media handles, message inbox, mail inbox or for that matter all other ways we connect to the world digitally, have been inundated by NaMo’s historic decision. Brands are leaving no stones unturned to reach out to customers.

Amidst the clutter which is our digital world today, some brand communications made a mark:

Lemonade in Summer Paytm 500 1000 NaMo

Paytm is clearly celebrating and for reasons well known. Its Facebook and Twitter handles are a testimony to that!


Lemonade in Summer Bluestone 500 1000 NaMo

Notes may come and go, gold remains…so says an early morning email from Bluestone


Lemonade in Summer Hindustan Times 500 1000 NaMo

And this is how today’s Hindustan Times looks like…thanks to rivals Paytm and Freecharge


Lemonade in Summer Amul 500 1000 NaMo

Amul, the master in topical brand communication nailed it in a butterly way


Lemonade in Summer Big Bazaar 500 1000 NaMo

While most e-commerce companies decided to give COD a skip today, Big Bazaar utilized the opportunity and kept its stores open till midnight on 8th, to allow its shoppers to utilize their 500 and 1000 notes.


Lemonade in Summer Snapdeal 500 1000 NaMo

Snapdeal gives its users 10% discount for payments done online.


Lemonade in Summer driveu-and-pitstop-sms 500 1000 NaMo

Several other startups too joined the bandwagon to promote a cashless future.


For an India where 70% of the population still comes under rural, with limited to no access to the digital world, is a cashless future a pipedream? Will the Paytms of India be able to connect with the consumer from Amrori? (And before you google, Amrori is not a fictional place but a real village in Bihar with real people.) What will be the effect of the new Rs.500 and Rs.2000 currency notes? Will those with money under their mattresses really go bankrupt?

The answers to these questions only time can tell.

For what it’s worth, the decision now seems like a bold one and in the right direction. We are all for it. And our urban digital world is for it too. Let’s hope the real India can cope up too.

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