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Branded viral videos: A compelling marketing mantra

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Branded viral videos: A compelling marketing mantra

Alarming change in the entertainment consumption habits among the progressive youth of the Indian subcontinent has forced brands to review their strategy towards utilizing the visual medium for marketing purposes. While 75 per cent of India’s population is under the age of 35 years, brands aren’t unaware of the fact that most of this age group of people is spending enough time online compared to offline activities including TV.

Branded entertainment is not a new proposition in business of marketing through videos. Coke’s Coke Studio, Mere Dad ki Maruti and a few more examples have created a benchmark in cinema and television formats. The recent trend in video marketing is brands adopting videos between 1and 15 minutes, with content / subject which can go viral or is share-worthy and has brands message weaved in the story. This exercise has entertained the youth and eventually engaged them to generate an everlasting brand recall.

Recently Amul has created a video specifically for its social media users and the viral video is called ‘Har Ghar Amul Ghar’ is a daily story of a nuclear family with Amul rightly placed in their life. The video has already reached more than 721,565 consumers and is still counting. Speaking about it R S Sodhi, MD, Amul said, “Social media has gained a lot of importance in our media plan and sooner or later it will have 10 per cent share of the total advertising spends done by Amul.”

Arunabh Kumar, Founder & CEO, The Viral Fever & TVF Networks mentioned that Duracell is the latest brand adopting this format, “TVF is going to develop longest branded entertainment content for Duracell batteries which will be released in the coming month.” TVF Networks has already created such videos for brands like, Colgate, Sunburn,, and Indian Idol. In 2013, P&G’s Old Spice engaged more than 20 crore views on its video named ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ on YouTube. The format is turning out to be more effective than television screen which has more expensive and strictly time bonded slots available. Viral Videos are not time bound and therefore the possibility of prolonged engagement is very much a doable activity.

MTV engages youth much better than any other Indian television channel. While the accurate measure of viewership obtained through television is not known, total views on the web for all 4,250 videos on MTV is almost 8 crore, at the same time 44 videos of TVF Networks, a popular entertainment network which has its root in the web has already crossed 3 crore unique IPs on the web. Surprisingly the subscriber base of TVF is 5, 50,000 which is much more than MTV’s subscriber base of 3,65,000.

Colgate’s mouth wash variant Plax released their TVCs and received 200 views and a viral video created for Plax counted more than 15,000 views. A basic reason for such stark difference in reaction is that the brands have started to create content rather than sponsoring content, which had been the situation till now.

A film directed by Anurag Basu went on air on 23rd March, 2014 on MTV India. This is just the beginning of Indian brands’ foraying into mainstream entertainment. It is inspired by Hindustan Unilever brands and was based on philosophies of HUL brands such as Sunsilk, Tresemme, Lakme, etc.

Hemant Bakshi, Executive Director, Home and Personal Care, HUL, said, “We are finding that content and advertising are merging more and more. Lot of people nowadays are listening to music, seeing movies. and advertising, if it becomes integrated within, it becomes more powerful. And therefore with this initiative we are just taking the first step and understanding how we can be strongly linked to content and entertainment. This is just a beginning.”

Trends suggest television commercials are going to become more cost-redundant marketing tool for a marketer who has an option of engaging with audience with no ‘disturbing element’ tag attached to them. The age of content advertising has just begun.

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