1 out of 5 streamers consuming Indian content is from outside India: Sushant Sreeram
At the Pitch CMO Summit 2021, Sushant Sreeram, Director – Marketing, India, Amazon Prime Video India, spoke extensively about entertainment marketing
The exchange4media group held its 9th Pitch CMO Summit and Awards on Wednesday i.e. March 23, 2021. The flagship event celebrates excellence in marketing by recognizing the brightest talents in India.
This year, the theme was to award marketing leaders of brands that have put purpose at the centre of their growth strategy and have invested in purposeful partnerships or in causes that have made a social impact.
The event was a day-long affair that commenced with an invigorating symposium populated by marketing stalwarts from diverse backgrounds speaking on various issues relevant in the world of marketing. One of the speakers, Sushant Sreeram, Director – Marketing, India, Amazon Prime Video India, had a standalone session titled ‘Curating Culture- Entertainment Marketing’.
Sushant commenced his presentation by revealing how the brand views marketing for its shows; it is a balance of the right ingredients and the right resonance, a point Sreeram drove home by giving a sample of how its content has come up in the pop culture.
“You have entered the cultural zeitgeist when guardians of the Mumbai galaxy start conversing in the language you have helped shaped,” Sreeram said in reference to a meme used by Mumbai Police to ask people to stay indoors during the lockdown.
He said that when he was thinking about the best way to summarize curating culture in the context of Amazon Prime Video.
“It is two things—fairly compelling slate of entertainment which is blended uniquely with the culturally authentic and relevant perspective on how we present this entertainment. For entertainment to operate in a silo or without appreciating what is happening around us, it will fall on deaf ears,” he said.
He added that “when a meaningful piece of content speaks to our values or our social behaviour that is when we know we have tapped into something deep”.
He expanded upon the brand’s catalogue of entertainment and how 1 out of 5 streamers to consume local Indian content from the brand has been from outside of India.
“Stories can travel anywhere. We brought in acclaimed movies across languages direct to the platform and what it helped us do was go back to our customers and understand their requirements and needs and make those decisions to be able to serve the best,” he explained.
Sreeram said that India was at the cusp of a creative explosion and Amazon Prime wants to be at the forefront of it. “We want to tell impactful stories with new voices and unique characters that one cannot find anywhere else.”
He added that the brand has created some successful characters which have gone on to live beyond the show supported by how the brand has weaved them into the pop culture.
According to Sushant, once the slate is taken care of, the brand moves on to talking about the presentation of this slate. “An important element of influencing culture is to build intrigue. We want the customer to initiate the dialogue by asking what is going on. The other element is creating a language for the exchange of ideas and feelings.”
He said that the brand saw an opportunity to shape mnemonics associated with Mirzapur as fans kept asking about season 2 of the show. “We simply turned it into ms2w. It helps people express and communicate.”
The next element was tapping into existing behaviours as people started conversing in Mirzapur speak. They also leveraged GIFs to promote Mirzapur. Sushant also elaborated about inviting action which in turn defines behaviour.
He went on to talk about connecting worlds to bring culture and entertainment together. “It provides for a natural entry which creates interesting dialogue and conversations.”
He also stressed the importance of a tactile environment which gives people something to bite into. “What they take away is not just the marketing message but their experience of having engaged in something. It is a big focus area for us.”
Moving on with his presentation, Sushant then spoke about the how the brand looks at various facets of a show and how it speaks to cultural nuances.
“We try to weave the characters and content of the show into the fabric of what is happening around us. It creates for relevance, salience and freshness and for customers to keep the conversation going around the brand and the show.”
Discoverability is important as it is one thing to build intrigue and language but people need to be able to act on it. “Without that fulfilment experience on Prime Video, we are then only creating large pool of engaged audiences to whom we are not doing adequate justice. We spend a lot of time in curating all our touch points.”
Sreeram spoke about how the brand finds ways to do traditional advertising in a meaningful and interesting way. “Easter eggs are another core element of any culture-defining phenomenon. It becomes a huge talking point. It creates binds between people who have cracked it and they start talking about it and transmitting it.
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