Home >> Digital >> Article

Netflix's reading of Indian Users: They love a Crime Thriller

13-February-2018
Font Size   16
Netflix's reading of Indian Users: They love a Crime Thriller

When there’s a new movie/show all set to premiere on Netflix, the global streaming giant makes sure you know all about it. In a no holds barred attempt to promote a movie, Netflix is said to have spent around USD 5 million for a single ad to promote The Cloverfield Paradox during the Super Bowl. That’s how far Netflix is willing to go.

In India though, Netflix does not necessarily promote every show on a large scale. It takes a slightly different tone and route to the minds and hearts of its viewers in the sub-continent. Case in point: Altered Carbon.

Netflix’s latest Original show Altered Carbon premiered on February 2. The hoardings plastered across town in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore suggest that the the show is a murder mystery set in a world where humans are immortal. The messaging for the show clearly avoids words like sci-fi, cloning, even on social media platforms. Netflix seems to have made one crucial deduction about its Indian audiences. Indians love a crime thriller and a murder mystery even more. What about sci-fi? No please.

The imagery used on the hoardings, and Twitter feed in India are vastly different from what the Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix LATAM Twitter handles are saying about the show. The OOH content is designed specially for the Indian audiences based on data about consumer preferences. During the promotional phase a tweet on the Netflix US Twitter handle introduced body sleeves and the dashboard for the immortal tech of Altered Carbon; the Indian counterpart conveniently did not retweet any of this. Instead the Netflix India handle is asking people if they ‘would rather kill if they couldn’t get caught’.

Netflix LATAM Tweet about Altered carbon says 'Live Forever One Body at  a Time', with the image of a person inside what looks like a life-size ziplock bag.


The UK, US and LATAM handles are also promoting another upcoming sci-fi show titled Mute starring Alexander Skarsgård, but Mute is yet to make an appearance on Netflix India’s timeline.

Regional Connect

It is no secret that Netflix would rather use its ad monies on promoting new shows and rely on organic/word of mouth for its most popular original shows. This, however, was not the case with the promotions for Narcos, Stranger Things, and House of Cards. With shows like House of Cards, Netflix brought viewers up to speed with all the seasons and presented the show not as an American political drama but a story about office politics. The streaming giant got its Indian audience curious about Narcos without once using the word ‘drugs’, and may have even got Indian moms interested in the show with its latest sketch based on Narcos - Kaki Kartel.

Stranger Things: 

Your mom when you’re supposed to be home at 7:00 but it’s 7:01. #JoyceModeOn #StrangerThings2pic.twitter.com/q0Q2IMCBj2

— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) November 8, 2017

Narcos: 

You’ve heard of the Cali Cartel, now meet the Kaki Cartel. #Narcos pic.twitter.com/ipbVXWyYKR

— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) September 16, 2017
Black Mirror 

For its hit sci-fi anthology series - Black Mirror, Netflix has chosen to keep its promotions for to a minimum. The world cannot stop raving about Black Mirror, but all that Netflix India had to say about Black Mirror was one measured tweet that alludes to the Adhaar Card. Netflix India has kept its Black Mirror promotions to a minimum, but packed a punch with a single GIF. One tweet connecting Adhaar Card to Hang the DJ, one of the most acclaimed episodes of the season, got 4.4K retweets and was favouritied 5.8K times.

Netflix’s India strategy has always been to make the shows relatable to the Indian audience.
With Stranger Things, Netflix drew a parallel to how Indian moms are protective about their children. And very recently when Will Smith’s Bright began streaming on Netflix, a sketch compared Orcs and their troubles to the marginalised minority community. “Netflix has also roped in Indian celebs like Tanmay Bhat, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Abhish Mathew, to promote Netflix Originals. The Indianisation of the content helps with broadening the audience. Netflix advocates pick up on the quirky content and re-share it among their circle of millennials,” said Rajiv Dingra, CEO, WAT Consult. He further added that being a premium content platform whose content has a global appeal, Netflix is reaching out to a niche audience in India where it is closely keeping tab on what Indians prefer to watch. He suspects that Netflix is betting on its crime thrillers in India because they are proven to be sticky content. 

High Marketing Spends

For Netflix, India is a very important market. Will Smith recently flew down to India to promote his movie 'Bright' while Netflix India hosted Brad Pitt in the country for the promotions of the movie War Machine. Even though surprising, Netflix has a constant presence in the form of outdoor billboards at prime locations across the three cities. According to some conservative industry estimates, the outdoor spend stands at around Rs 3.5-4 cr per month. “If Netflix is targeting an Urban Sec A+ audience who are first-movers when it comes technology, I do not know why they would spend money on OOH,” Manav Sethi, CMO Alt Balaji. And this spend is only going to increase. Netflix has already revealed plans to increase marketing spend to US$2 billion in 2018 from USD 1.3 billion in 2017.

The India-specific outdoor campaigns are currently limited to the three metros of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. “Maybe when Netflix decides to do a brand campaign, they will hit more cities,” said a highly-placed source in the industry on the condition of anonymity. Netflix’s brand campaigns have been restricted to the digital platforms so far. Sethi felt that a cohesive campaign across all mediums may also emerge when Netflix launches an Indian Netflix Original.

Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings has declared that the company will look at increasing marketing spend faster than it is increasing revenue. “And as we are right now, it still is a really good financial investment to increase on the marketing and that may continue to be so but we’re always also trying to improve the product in the organic reach, social and PR of the title marketing where you end up having to spend less on the marketing,” said Hastings in an earnings call recently. “This makes a lot of sense because the company is in the growth mode. It is important to invest in customer acquisition and marketing when you are launching in a number of countries to build awareness for the product and also kindle a behavioural shift,” said Sethi.
exchange4media reached out to The Glitch (AOR Netflix India) for a comment; the agency was not at liberty to speak on the matter 

Tags Netflix

Kartikeya Sharma says that June has been the best month for sales in the 11 years that the brand has been in India

The newly appointed CEO of ZEE5 on how he aims to have the widest appeal in the OTT space amongst Indian consumers

The VP, Marketing and Communications (South Asia), talks about the company's growth strategy, its focus areas, impact of demonetisation on consumer behaviour and much more

Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, talks about channel's rebranding, extending fiction shows to weekends and much more

right
left
RADIO CITY CELEBRATES ITS 17TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT, AWARDS AND FUN 5TH EDITION OF TIMES NOW & ICICI BANK’S NRI OF THE YEAR AWARDS GLOBAL INDIANS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BENGALURU SEES TOP INDUSTRY LEADERS AND MARKETERS IN ATTENDANCE DISTINGUISHED JURY COMES TOGETHER TO PICK WINNERS FOR PITCH’S TOP 50 BRANDS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BANGALORE SEES TOP CMOS ACROSS INDUSTRIES IN ATTENDANCE 1ST REPUBLIC TV GULF INDIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & AWARDS HONOUR STALWARTS OF INDIAN GULF BUSINESS COMMUNITY SONY YAY! CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH PARTY FOR TRADE PARTNERS THOUGHT LEADERS AND TOP DIGITAL MARKETERS SPEAK @ EXCHANGE4MEDIA GROUP’S TECHMANCH 2018 IN MUMBAI EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S IDMA 2018 RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY’S BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS REALTY PLUS UNVEILS COFFEE TABLE BOOK AT 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS @AHMEDABAD EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK WINNERS OF INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING AWARDS 2018 OFF THE CUFF SEES ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’ MAN PARAMESWARAN IYER IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S LOUDEST.IN HOSTS INAUGURAL EDITION OF MUSIC INC. IN MUMBAI EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS PORTER PRIZE & INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS RECOGNIZE STRATEGIC ACUMEN IN COMPANIES DELHI AD CLUB-SAARC AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE ACROSS CREATIVE, MEDIA & DIGITAL AGENCIES BSNL & CALL2ACTION COMMUNICATION INDIA LAUNCH MOBILE ADVERTISING PLATFORM, INFOMO IN NEW DELHI CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST KAILASH SATYARTHI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘EVERY CHILD MATTERS’ SENIOR JOURNALIST VIJAY TRIVEDI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘YADA YADA HI YOGI’ BASED ON YOGI ADITYANATH EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS

In the same week, in BARC's Top 10 Advertisers FMCG brand Hindustan Lever continued to reign the category

Hero Motocorp remained the leading advertiser followed by AMFI, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India.

Ali Hussein talks about the platform's consumer engagement strategy, relationships with telco-partners and what made the 40-year-old film company want to march in the OTT space