Streaming platforms use new digital tools for marketing, promotion

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For his Tamil gangster drama Jagame Thandiram which started streaming on June 18, Netflix launched a special Twitter emoji for the main character of Dhanush and scheduled an interaction on Twitter Spaces for media and fans with the cast and crew who, at one point, recorded 17,000 listeners. The crowd, a mix of journalists and moviegoers, could speak directly to the crew about the plot and appeal of the film.

With travel and live interactions with stars out of bounds to promote web shows, video streaming platforms have gradually seen events and fan interactions moving online over the past year or so. But during the recent April-May lockdown, many companies explored several emerging digital and social media tools and platforms to market and promote original movies and web shows to reach a wider and younger population.

“OTT (over-the-top) platforms are one of the few segments in India that takes marketing and innovation very seriously. The idea is to speak and make sense of the millennials and Generation Z who are the first to adopt (from the media), ”said Sahil Shah, commercial director of digital marketing agency WATConsult. While Instagram stories and reels have been trending for some time, Shah said Clubhouse is emerging as the big avenue where movie and webcast recommendations are discussed and events held to engage with them on a regular basis. fans.

“The level of engagement is insane and (the communication is) direct (between fans and celebrities),” Shah said.

Sushant Sreeram, director of marketing at Amazon Prime Video, said entertainment marketing is a delicate balance between promoting art, fueled by science. “Today, Millennials and GenZ are ubiquitous across all platforms and to communicate effectively with them, brands need to focus not only on creating a new language, but also carefully observe and speak in the language (s). that customers may have already created. It is important to exploit and build on existing patterns of behavior, ”Sreeram said.

Last year, Amazon launched a GIF pack for the second season of Mirzapur that Sreeram said has been used over 100 million times.

Harikrishnan Pillai, CEO and co-founder of TheSmallBigIdea, a digital and social media marketing agency, said the pandemic has brought about two changes in the marketing of movies or web shows. First, platforms are good with money and every idea and innovation is measured by the impact it would have. Campaign durations have also been reduced, from cycles of 45 to 60 days to less than 30 days. Media experts said these digital tools are inexpensive but generate buzz and traction for shows.

The other idea is to bring the artist closer and more personal. “The pandemic has affected everyone equally. Audiences have seen the enigma around the performers fade as they now appear more human, with breakups and anger creeping into social media. People through zoom calls and lives have grown closer to artists, who no longer believe in passive connections, making interactions more personal, ”Pillai added.

With the changing digital ecosystem and consumer preferences, it’s critical to connect with audiences through the medium that best resonates with them, said Amit Dhanuka, executive vice president of Lionsgate.

“Lately, memes marketing is the most popular way to connect with its target group, especially millennials who like to express their emotions through GIFs, emojis and memes on digital platforms,” Dhanuka said. He said Clubhouse is also becoming a connecting platform. with existing audiences, lead like-minded conversations and build trust with new audiences.

With growing competition for attention, platforms could explore new ways to engage audiences and stand out in the experience they offer, said Chaaya Baradhwaaj, Founder and Managing Director of digital agency BC Web. Wise. “These could take the form of programs led by AI (artificial intelligence), home shopping experiences in AR (artificial reality) or virtual reality (virtual reality) on OTT,” she said. added.

At the same time, mainstream platforms that have a ‘Bharat-first’ strategy are leveraging the reach of regional content-driven apps like ShareChat, Dailyhunt and MX Taka Tak, said Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO and co-founder of the Gozoop group. , a Mumbai-based marketing agency. This is a phenomenon that stems from tectonic change over the past 12 months where regional content has gained immense ground, with the main goal being to reach audiences in the language they understand.

A spokesperson for streaming service ZEE5 said the lockdowns caused by the pandemic had expanded the video-on-demand industry as the need for home entertainment increased. “We have started to deepen our understanding of consumer behavior and to identify shifts in content consumption patterns even more thoroughly. Since these evolving trends directly influence how content is marketed to the consumer, we have revised our marketing strategy to hyper-target audiences using the most effective tools, “the spokesperson said.

Last year, for his original film, Chintu Ka Birthday, ZEE5 had hosted an evening on Twitter with the cast inviting people to join in on interactions, share footage and dialogue from the film.

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