For Amazon’s Paatal Lok, for instance, promotional campaigns played around with the concept of patal or hell. For that everyone, be it the producers of the show (actor Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films) or the writers and the marketing team, coordinated their efforts, using a common vocabulary to build interest and generate excitement around the show’s release.
Raghav Anand, segment leader, digital media, at EY India says, “Marketing budgets for OTT shows are shifting to digital in the current environment and especially to programmatic.” He predicts that performance based campaigns will outweigh brand campaigns till the festive season on digital. Brand campaigns are what are traditionally mounted on OOH and television and which help build up to the release of a show and attach a premium-ness to it, say experts.
India currently has 95 OTT platforms
across video, music, podcast and audio streaming categories making it an overcrowded market. To break the clutter, the platforms are using a vast array of experiential tools that integrate AR/VR technology, seeking increased participation of stars and putting their weight behind influencer-led campaigns.
For example, the launch of a new show on ZEE5
(Chintu Ka Birthday) was planned as a watch party on Twitter that was preceded by setting up a chat room with actor Vinay Pathak and an interactive engagement platform, #AskVinay. Rahul Maroli, senior vice president and head SVOD at ZEE5
says the company’s advertising
spending on digital has gone up by over 30 per cent.
The campaigns are also designed for a multiplier effect. For instance, Amazon Prime
used the premise of the show, the nether world, to generate intrigue and surprise. The team set the time of the launch at 11:34 in the morning, which, if read upside down, spelt HELL (Paatal). Such moves help gain shares and likes and fuel online conversations. Paatal Lok saw a huge organic flow of memes, propelling the show into a big pop cultural moment, according to Gandhi.
The growing importance of digital media will encourage many platforms to dig into the psyche of their audiences to know their likes and dislikes and bring about a more intensive mining of audience data. Anand says, “Performance advertising
is tilted towards digital as it has justifiable ROI, targeted messaging, demonstrable measurement metrics and ability to accommodate spends in smaller denominations.”