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Brands would like to motivate and incentivise people to adopt specific types of consumption behaviours that benefit them. One such behaviour is purchasing on impulse, responding to desires and feelings in the moment as contrasted with planned and thought through purchasing.  

Purchasing on impulse can be unpredictable and that's its downside. But the upside is that impulse purchases in response to desires can take place often, more often than planned purchases that are need based.  Desire can be stimulated by clever marketing tactics, while needs cannot be.  Typically, offers and deals are used by brands to stimulate impulse purchases in conjunction with last day, only for one day type of time limited offers.

However, brand communication can also focus on impulsivity. In this case, impulsivity is portrayed as a quality or trait of the young and is presented positively as spontaneity, living in the moment and an overall, optimistic outlook towards life. Thus story-telling converts a desired behaviour for brands into a personality trait of not just one person, but a whole cohort of people.  From this, it is a short step towards glorifying an ideology of living in the moment as a core value of youth culture.

In this week’s article, we look at communication and storytelling about impulsivity and spontaneity, focusing on four brands—Oyo Rooms, Fastrack, Slice Credit Card, and Zepto.  

1. Oyo Rooms: Memorable story and clever use of a celebrity to highlight spontaneity as a value in youth culture.

Kalki Kal Dekhenge | OYO Rooms Official | SquadTrip

The ‘Squadtrip’ campaign by Oyo Rooms features one content piece with Kalki Koechlin in a quirky video titled ‘Kalki Kal Dekhenge’. The video cleverly puns on the name of the popular Hindi actor. The marketing film portrays friends in their early to mid-30s who are together on a trip. They have all their stuff packed in cars and are sitting by a scenic lake. Because the scenery is so beautiful, one of them suggests cancelling the hotel booking for the next day by saying, ‘Kal-ki booking cancel karte hain’ in Hindi. 

Thus, the video highlights the impulsive nature of youth, who tend to go with the flow. They are willing to change their plans based on how they feel in the moment, which is a characteristic of  Gen-Z and young millennials. It simultaneously manages to showcase the key feature of Oyo Rooms - how customers can cancel a booking even a day prior to their stay, without any hassle.

However, Oyo faces challenges in this video due to weak branding. We only see the Oyo logo briefly towards the end. Additionally, the absence of the red background in the Oyo logo may have contributed to weak brand association. In marketing, creating a strong brand image is essential for establishing credibility and enhancing memory recall among consumers. By neglecting this aspect, Oyo missed an opportunity to etch its brand more prominently into the impulsive youth audiences that they were targeting. 

2. Fastrack: Smart use of innuendo and wordplay to highlight living in the moment

Fastrack Reflex Play+ | Do More With Your Hands

Fastrack, a popular lifestyle brand that is centred on the youth,  effectively leverages communication to engage consumers and drive impulse purchases. Their product, Fastrack Reflex Play+, a smartwatch, is marketed with the tagline "Do More With Your Hands." 

The video features actors Sanya Malhotra (of Dangal fame) and Rohit Saraf in titular roles. Sanya parks her blue Vespa scooter right next to Rohit’s bike. It appears both of them live in the same building, and after realising that he is at home, she calls him up using her smartwatch. He picks up the call using his own smartwatch and tells her that he is at home, he is working and has a lot on his hands. 

Sanya then asks her if he wants to put his hands “to a better use”, clearly suggesting a sexual innuendo. The scene immediately cuts to Sanya knocking at his door, and Rohit opens the door with a smile on his face. This video clearly portrays the impulsive nature of young adults who, while they may have work on the table, are open to sexually engaging at a moment’s notice. 

Overall, the embedded message that the video conveys is that Fastrack Reflex Play+ is not just a smartwatch but a lifestyle accessory that empowers young adults to embrace their impulsive nature, stay connected, and make the most out of their busy lives.

3. Slice Card: Creating urgency

Slice Card uses effective communication strategies to create a sense of urgency and appeal to consumers seeking fast-paced experiences. Through their marketing campaign, "Nothing like a credit card," Slice manages to visually depict the fast-paced nature of its technology by comparing the credit card with the pop of popcorn. 

The video’s scene is set at a house party, young people are playing games and drinking in the background while the protagonist of the video is making popcorn. Everything else appears to be in slow motion except the girl who is making the popcorn. To her, everything seems slow, even popcorns that are supposed to take just 2-3 minutes to make. She takes out her Slice card and showcases it to the camera while the rest of the mise-en-scene is in an almost freeze-frame.

While the message of the campaign is quite simple - they need to highlight the speed of their product which is a credit card; it is in the visual depiction that we understand that the product is targeted towards young consumers. 

In other videos of the same campaign as well, we see well-made graphic cartoon characters that are driving cars in traffic. The protagonists in those videos are horses that want to overtake the snail who is blocking the traffic, which is again a metaphor for speed. But the way the campaign is packaged shows a clear intention of targeting the youth. The use of cartoons, graphics, and funny metaphors is what youngsters stylistically prefer. 

Even the colour of the credit card is purple, which not only makes it stand out but also is a deliberate deviation from conventional colours for credit cards, such as blue, black and red, which signify trust and a certain sort of professionalism. The purple card is intended for the youth that breaks the mould.

Coming back to the point of impulsivity - The reason that Slice highlights the fast-paced nature of the cards is that they understand that the youth is largely impulsive and impatient. They want things as fast as possible and are not ready to wait for anyone else.

4. Zepto: Fast-Buying and Convenience


Zepto, a grocery delivery service, understands the importance of convenience and time-saving solutions for consumers. Their TV commercial highlights the speed and efficiency of their service, emphasising fast buying as a key benefit.

By targeting time-conscious consumers, Zepto taps into the impulse to streamline daily tasks. The commercial effectively communicates the message that Zepto offers a convenient and efficient solution for grocery shopping, enticing consumers to make impulsive decisions based on their desire for convenience.


Living by impulse can be thought of, both positively and negatively. When glorified as a positive, impulsivity is spontaneity, living in the moment and making the most of the here and now. As an ideology, it focuses on the here and now of life. Philosophically speaking, the past is over and cannot be retrieved, the future is yet to happen, so now is really all we have in which to live our lives. It also connects with passion, emotion and living life in response to emotions felt in the here and now, as a kind of authentic living. It also makes for a more unpredictable, hence exciting life.

The contrast to living in the now is living through planning and structure, giving thought to decisions and their consequences, thus bringing more order, structure and predictability to life.  

The negative critique to spontaneity and living in the moment is being fickle, indecisive and not knowing what you want.  

The paradox of today’s youth is that they are both spontaneous and decisive. That’s what the communication of the above brands tries to tap into, in order to highlight impulsivity as a desirable aspect of consumer culture.