5 Indian Startups Killing it with Facebook Ads

  • Post published:July 25, 2021
  • Post category:Marketing

Facebook ads are a slippery slope because most people either give up too soon or start too early.

There’s a sweet spot right in the middle where you can use Facebook ads for the promotion of just about anything.

Once you recognize that sweet spot, you can tap into the unlimited potential of Facebook advertising.

Source: Author


There are only three things that make or break your Facebook ads:

  1. Pre Ad- Targeting and setting the right goals
  2. During Ad– Copy & Creative
  3. Post Ad– Analytics to optimize

Now, I cannot see what’s happening in the pre and post ad stages. As an end consumer, my only goal is to see how scroll-stop-worthy these ads were.

If you’re wondering where this leads, let me assure you it’s something related to modern-day advertising.

Facebook Ads is one of the hottest selling virtual real estate to get your brands noticed.

After coming across tons of Facebook ads from US-based businesses, I wanted to see what startups in India are doing with digital advertising.

1. Cred

Everyone knows Cred because of their superb IPL campaigns that went viral. But, I found this gem on the Facebook ads library from the pre-viral times.

Source: Author


It is a simple ad but, I’m more interested in what it says and how it says it. It starts with “Exclusivity is a privilege.” It sits right with the brand messaging of Cred.

A brand that says it’s an exclusive community for people who want to pay their bills and get rewarded.

It indeed is a privilege to be exclusive and, this ad makes me want to get that privilege.

The video is supported with simple yet, elegant visuals mesmerized by Jim Sarab’s style.

What makes Cred so attractive is the exclusivity of the community. Not everyone gets access to Cred. There’s a threshold you need to meet and, that itself gives it a premium community tag.

Leveraging that in your ads is a great way to promote your offerings. Well done, Cred!

2 upGrad

One of the most prominent startups to come out of India is co-founded by the big daddy of the media and entertainment industry. It’s no doubt that his latest startup is always in the public eye and continues to venture towards being a media company.

I am on upGrad’s email lists and, there are at least a million webinars conducted every month by them (I’m being conservative here).

The marketing strategy is on-point and, so are the Facebook ads they run.

Source: Author


The ads are informative and match the semi-formal brand tone/voice that speaks directly to their target audience; students and working professionals looking to upskill.

The Data Science program ad above has nothing special going on for it in terms of creativity or mind-boggling copy but, that’s totally okay.

Their target audience is not here to be “wowed” by the offering. It solves the purpose with easy-to-digest pointers and, most of them answer valid questions.

The ad lists down pointers and addresses the major concerns like coding being a prerequisite for data science.

It speaks to its audience directly with a crisp and easy-to-digest copy whose primary purpose is to inform.

That’s it. The creatives do the job well with punchy colors and high contrast.

Upgrad’s ad proves that to make an ad do well creativity can be kept on the side while information takes the driver’s seat.

3 Ola 

The ride-sharing and mobility startup born out of India is in the news for bringing electric scooters to India. Honestly, they look so sleek and, I’m dying to see what Ola will bring.

Ola expanded to include autorickshaws in its lineup and, I feel that this is as Indian as it gets. It’s a great way to add an Indian twist to its transportation fleet.

Take a look at the ad Ola created for its autorickshaw services.

Source: Author


This ad had me at the headline. It brought a smile to my face and, there’s a reason why. Most copies do well not because of what is written but how it’s written. That “how” is the context.

This ad captures that context so effortlessly. “Ghar tak aayega, kahin bhi jayega.”

It took a single sentence for Ola to agitate the biggest pain points of Indian consumers and solve them in the same line.

Auto-rickshaw drivers embody Poo’s (from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham) attitude.

The refuse to pick you up from your home and drop you at the exact location you want to go to. Ola says it’ll solve exactly that. That’s how you should speak to your customers.

The USP of Ola auto becomes the absence of tantrums faced by regular passengers. It may sound funny but, it’s a game-changer for people who woke up every morning to negotiate the distance of drop.

4 Flipkart

One of India’s OG startups that captured the e-commerce industry pretty quickly and, it expanded to offer so much more than just books.

A great advantage that brands like Flipkart have with Facebook ads is the ability to diversify their campaigns with different products. The offers on these products cover almost everything up, so most people don’t even care about reading or writing a good copy.

The ad below didn’t ignore it. That’s why it made the list.

Source: Author


The graphic straight-up stands out and makes me want to stop scrolling. It has the credibility factor going for it because it’s being endorsed by “contextual influencers.”

The good part of the copy is that it calls the duo “chief tuners.”

It gives the product some level of authority. After all, it wouldn’t sound bad if EDM artists actually collaborated with Realme to tune them, right?

The copy also strikes the right chord by saying that these earphones are bass-heavy. Indians love bass and, including that in the copy makes it click-worthy. You gave them exactly what they wanted.

Lastly, the scarcity principle has been added nicely. The first sale price gives a feeling that this is a one-time price and it won’t be available again (not true, but still).

5 Razorpay

One of the most visually appealing UI’s comes from this beautiful fintech startup. Razor pay solves a big problem and, I just think it’s so smart.

What really gets my attention is the brand design. Consistent blue color and bold text paired with graphics do the job really well.

Source: Author


This particular ad is targeted towards freelancers and, I think it hits the right nerve. It starts with a phrase that is a long-lost dream for many freelancers.

“Client payments with ease” and that is a good way to grab attention.

It tells you how quickly you can get paid (in under 5 minutes) simply with a button and the best part is there is no website integration or coding required. (Phew! For non-web dev freelancers)

Razorpay’s ad is the perfect example of an ad serving its primary purpose.

To inform, persuade and sell. It does the job very well and, this carousel has some beautiful graphics that can stop you from scrolling.

Final Thoughts…

It’s great to see that most Indian startups are adopting the “every company is a media company” vibe and, it’s only going to get bigger.

Facebook ads are a great way to boost brand visibility, promote offers or stop scroll-zombies dead in their tracks.

If your brand is still not on Facebook, think again. It genuinely makes a difference and, if you can do it right, you’ll etch your brand into the minds of consumers.

The best part is that Facebook ads feel like just another post. Use Facebook ads so that your target audience becomes ready to buy from you even if they are not immediately thinking about it.

Be there when your customers need you the most and, remind them that you’re here to serve them. That is a feeling while Facebook ads are just a medium.

That brings me to my final question,

What are your favorite Indian brands that are killing it with Facebook ads?

Let me know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply