We’re excited by what the community in India is creating on Reels: Avinash Pant

The Director of Marketing for Facebook India talks about the idea behind the Instagram campaign that has been launched today and will appear across mediums during IPL, the Reels journey & much more

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 8:19 AM
Avinash Pant

Instagram launches its first consumer marketing campaign in India - ‘Do Your Thing’ - today. While it will appear across mediums during the IPL, this is the first time an Insta campaign will come on TV.

This is also Instagram’s second India specific campaign. While the first once was a business market campaign this is their first B2C campaign for India.

Avinash Pant, Director, Marketing, Facebook India, talks to e4m about the idea behind ‘Do Your Thing’, three months of Reels in India, how users are taking to the platform and much more.


Tell us a little about your campaign. Have you done a similar campaign for other markets?

The campaign, ‘Do Your Thing’, is meant to inspire the creator in everyone. It will appear across mediums during the IPL. Through a series of 15-second ads, the campaign brings alive the magic of short-form video creation and consumption on Instagram Reels helped by Augmented Reality, and music and editing features that allow creators to harness their imagination. It is designed to give the audience a flavour of the entertaining content, and the variety of interests they can explore — like dance, comedy, music, fashion, food, and a lot more.

This is Instagram’s first consumer marketing campaign in India and it’s focused on Reels.

Why did you choose to air the campaign on TV? Tell us about the media mix you are using? Are you using Print too?

At the beginning of the year, we committed ourselves to showcasing the value that the Facebook family of apps brings to people’s lives. That began with Facebook’s ‘More Together’ campaign and continued with WhatsApp’s ‘It’s Between You’ campaign. Now, the journey begins with Instagram. The first set of ads went on air on Sunday (October 18) during the IPL and will include 4 films. The campaign will have multiple creatives appearing on both TV and digital mediums.

It’s been three months of Reels in India. What is the kind of response have you seen from the users? How has the engagement time gone up?

We’re excited by what the community in India is creating on Reels. Some key usage trends that we have noted since we launched include:

Diverse public figures and creators using Reels - We’re excited by what the community in India is creating on Reels. From Virat Kohli and Katrina Kaif, to Hyderabad-based Nikhil Vijayendra Simha, Patna-based Pawan Kumar from @artkala4u and Kolkata-based Chef Kriti Bhoutika, we’re seeing a wide variety of public figures and creators using the platform.

Strong follower growth - Discovery through reels is driving strong follower growth for creators. Some of the fastest growing creators on reels include Jaydeep Gohil (@hydroman_333), who claims to be  India’s first underwater dancer, and Surabhi and Samriddhi Mehra aka Chinki Minki.

Like IGTV, episodic content is surfacing on Reels - Creators Komal Pandey and Sakshi Sindwani are running a series called ‘Vibe Check’ and ‘Breaking fashion stereotypes’ respectively.

New music is finding a place in popular culture on Reels - This includes Neha Kakkar’s latest ‘Diamond Da Challa’ and songs from Diljit Dosanjh’s new album ‘G.O.A.T’ that are creating thousands of reels with people using them.

 Why have you chosen IPL to start your consumer marketing journey?

At this moment, IPL is the biggest cultural moment in terms of viewership on TV. Content from IPL is surfacing prominently on Reels, be it from the teams, players or fans, showing practice sessions and fun moments.

This has been spurred by the AR Effects published by Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals; team anthems for Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals being available on Facebook’s music library and programmed shows like Virender Sehwag’s ‘Viru Ke Baithak’ that are creating daily content on Facebook and Instagram. Some of the trending hashtags on Reels during the IPL include - #FeelKaroReelKaro, #MyIPLreel, #MyMIreel, #MySRHreel and #MyRCBreel.

It seems like Instagram’s 10th birthday has unlocked growth plans for the app. First the business market campaign (Love Runs Deep) and now this. Any comments?

We’re excited about India because of its young demographic, vibrant culture and its roots in open expression. India was one of the first few countries we tested Reels in and recently the first country where we launched the Reels tab, which showcases the creativity and value we’re seeing here.

The community has used the platform to connect back with traditions, be it yoga or vintage jewellery and start new ones like memes and IPL. This pursuit of passions on the platform has also acted as a springboard for successes for large and small businesses — from Samsung to Swiggy.

While ‘Love Runs Deep’ is aimed at markets and advertisers to redefine the way brands can tell their stories with authenticity while engaging with influencers, ‘Do Your Thing’ is a consumer campaign, focused on Reels, and is meant to inspire the creator in everyone.

How have you improved the Reels experience since its launch?

We extended Reels to 30 seconds so that creators get a longer story telling canvas. Then there is Reels Tab - the dedicated tab is in response to the community’s amazing response to Reels, as it’ll help people discover new creators more easily.

There is also new audio bundle. Music is a huge part of what powers trends and inspires people to create on Reels. We announced a bundle of audio updates, to make it easier for people to save and discover all the music people love on Reels. We also have the Audio Browser, Save Audio option and the Share Audio Pages via DM choices for users.

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