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Mass appeal of Sacred Games 2 has become Netflix’s Noah’s ark

A day remains for the release of the second season of ‘Sacred Games’ on Netflix on August 15, bringing an end to over a year-long wait since the first season was launched. As is known, ‘Sacred Games’ was the first Indian Original on Netflix and received immense popularity and critical acclaim. ‘Sacred Games’ was one of the first Indian Originals to feature some big name Bollywood stars like Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

In the lead-up to the web series’ launch, Netflix has been entertaining fans with numerous behind-the-scenes looks and video clips to create buzz for the series.

Digital continues to be an enormous driver of engagement for the platform, however it has also raised decibel levels by launching a TV campaign close to the date of the release. While in the past the platform has been fond of leveraging OOH to drive impact in urban metros, running a TV campaign speaks of the popularity of the show itself. Leveraging a mass platform like TV makes all the more sense because the audience base for the second season is expected to be greater than ever.

Communications Consultant Karthik Srinivasan explained, “Usually, Netflix mixes a combination of offline and online marketing tactics. While digital is significant for their specific target audience (paying more than Rs 500 per month), offline marketing would help them rope in new audiences who would look at it as a lot of catch up to - not just one season (2), but also the previous, in case they missed it, thereby enhancing the value of the subscription.”

Netflix has even become more accessible to new audiences as they rolled out their Rs 199 mobile plan in a bid to reach new users. Whether the combined pull of this attractive offer and release of ‘Sacred Games Season 2’ was timely or not, it may just give the incentive for a plethora of new viewers to adopt the platform. The timing of this move by the OTT player just as they begin the release of their most popular show in India is their biggest move to on board new subscribers in India.

Promotional Blitz

“Netflix’s promos are often very entertainingly done. Even people who haven’t seen the show can relate to many of the meme-like promos and share them, thereby making themselves seem cool among their followers. That helps amplify the digital promos too,” observed Srinivasan.

Learning from popular HBO show ‘Game of Thrones’, Netflix has been vocal about character deaths on social media to drive audience engagement.

This has helped them break the mould of traditional long running TV shows and helped them create hype for the new characters being introduced in Season 2.

The platform has also taken to engage fans directly on microblogging platform, Twitter, while leveraging platforms like Facebook to promote short form video clips.

The new cast of A list actors who have joined the cast of the show have turned up the excitement by these enigmatic clips that have been released on social media.

According to Srinivasan, “Unlike weekly release of show episodes (‘Westworld’, ‘Game of Thrones’, etc.), Netflix drops all the episodes on the same day. That means, as far as freshness goes, they have only one release window to promote the show and build anticipation. So, given the August 15 release, it makes perfect sense to overload the previous few weeks with relevant promos so that they have a lot of people waiting for the release.”

Another deciding factor that has increased Season 2’s visibility is their highly visible tie-up with smartphone brand OnePlus. The first glimpses of the show were shot on an OnePlus camera and now Netflix is offering a special screening to OnePlus users across India in select theatres.

The unboxing of the OnePlus 7 Pro by Jatin Sarna, who plays the character of Bunty in ‘Sacred Games Season 2’, was a memorable moment on social media.

On 12th August, Netflix released a digital film featuring actress Shalini Vatsa, who plays the role of Kanta Bai in the series.

Not long after, the official Twitter account of brand OnePlus claimed that this film had been shot on the OnePlus 7.

The word of mouth awareness and brand advocacy surrounding the platform is at an all-time high. If the show delivers, then Netflix will gain a much stronger footing in the Indian market.

Their mobile push in partnership with the most popular mobile brand in India will give an undeniable incentive for a lot of Indian entertainment consumers to become subscribers.

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