OTT promo wars: Netflix’s out-of-the-box move Vs ZEE5’s OOH blitz

With the growing content from various OTT players, there is now need to differentiate this content to stand out from the clutter. We are now increasingly beginning to see innovative, stand-out campaigns by the OTT players for their upcoming web series.

OOH and digital have become the primary mediums when it comes to show promos. Adgully takes a look at two contrasting campaigns launched recently by two leading OTT players – Netflix and ZEE5.

Netflix ‘Shushes’ patriarchy in new pseudo spot

Netflix recently launched a digital film on social media platforms, featuring Huma Qureshi talking about a revolutionary new product ‘Shush’ to put a finger on the lips of the patriarchy. The hilarious ad spot showcases Qureshi encouraging women to plug the mouths of men who try to ‘mansplain’.

This latest gimmick by the global OTT player is in line to promote their latest original release, ‘Leila’, adapted on a book of the same name by Prayaag Akbar and Directed by Deepa Mehta, who also served as Creative Executive Producer for the show.

‘Leila’ is set in a dystopian future and features actors Huma Qureshi, Arif Zakaria, Sanjay Suri, and Akash Khurana. While the description of the show has all the bearings of a dark, gritty and emotion packed show, Netflix’s marketing for the show would make you believe otherwise. In a content piece released on their social media platform, Netflix has Huma Qureshi put a plug in the face of the patriarchy.

Looking at the pseudo ad one wouldn’t think it was promoting a serious show like Leila, however Netflix understands that audiences can be turned off by a show based on tightly defined genre expectations and miss an opportunity to experience something new.

For people who may not enjoy dark gritty dramas, Netflix projects a more comedic marketing communication to entice new viewers. This helps them sell the same piece of content to fresher audiences while slightly shifting their perspective.

Audiences in the Internet age cannot be expected to take things too seriously or they might lose interest. Leveraging that insight Netflix promotes its shows highlighting its various elements to make it appealing to a broader base.

Exploring the content piece in various permutations and combinations has allowed for an effective form of marketing for the OTT platform. It has built the audience connect and expanded the range of perspectives when looking at the show. In this way, Netflix is able to maintain high engagement even when offering niche genre content.

According Parveen Singhal, Co-Founder & CCO, WittyFeed, “When a video content is used to promote another video content, audience traction increases significantly. The awareness and buzz are greatly generated through promotional content, as far as it stays relevant.

Content marketing very rarely plays a ‘defining’ role when it comes to viewer's expectation today. Because one, today's viewer is far more likely to understand what is genuinely relevant and what is a forced campaign. And two, it is only a peripheral support to the original content. Although, CM is one of the most effective tools to create a broadened sense of expectations for viewers given that the emotional as well as rational appeal of this is quite high today. It might as well push the viewer in the direction of a decision around the content they are consuming.

To summarise, promotional content and the whole idea of Content Marketing surrounds the fact that it plays a supporting role to the protagonist, i.e. the original content. And sometimes, supporting role becomes as significant as the protagonist, given the quality and target audience for the same.”

ZEE5’s OOH ‘roadblock’ for ‘Kaafir’

Taking an entirely different route (literally) is ZEE5 for its new cross-border drama, ‘Kaafir’. The OTT platform from the ZEEL stable has taken over the entire Bandra Sealink route, covering it with outdoor campaign for the new show.

‘Kaafir’, which marks the first foray into web series by Dia Mirza and Mohit Raina, is a tale of a young Pakistani woman who comes into India through a strange series of circumstances and is unable to go back home. The show revolves around the relationship between this woman, who is accused of militancy, and her lawyer who makes her justice his sole objective.

Locations: Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Pune


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