Ahead of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019, we are back with our 'Cannes Contender' series.
The premise is:
How much time really does a Cannes juror get to understand a case or piece of work s/he hasn't come across before?
Too little. It's up to us to help them get acquainted with the good work prior. We present here entries from Indian/South Asian agencies that their creators believe will be in contention for Lions at the 2019 International Festival of Creativity.
Initiative has two such entries.
Amazon - Echo
We were launching new technology, to an audience that came only from the Google experience! We needed to demonstrate the role of our device in a manner that was real, engaging and sticky. This campaign does all three ... superbly well.
Currently in India, voice-based assistant device market segment is virtually non-existent. Lack of familiarity with the new way of doing things is the key barrier for the category. Globally Google and Apple are key/ potential competitors in this market segment – Google with Google Home and Apple with HomePod. Google, with its 96% smartphone market segment share and its support for Hindi and English, is the most significant competitor in India and has fully integrated the voice in their latest phone as well (Google Pixel). Google has a head-start with voice integrations within their existing mobile and desktop endpoints (Google Ok/Google assistant).
In response, ideally we’d just get everyone’s hands on Amazon Echo, but we were conscious of the fact that we were launching a device no one had any experience with and therefore we would have an issue with product confidence. We also needed a clear separation from the on-phone Google Assistant experience to create a mind and physical space for Amazon Echo.
To achieve this, we decided to proactively demonstrate our functions right in consumers’ faces, without their prompt .. via music.
Globally, the most engaging and attractive use case for users and non-users of Amazon Echo devices is the music it plays on demand. This insight held even more true in India, the land of music lovers where 90% of YouTube viewers use it to play music.
Hence, we went where our prospective customers were going for music – YouTube
Being incredibly single-minded, we set out to show everyone how Amazon Echo works ... Simply, by echoing their commands on an advertisement in Alexa's voice.
An in-depth understanding of the users searches told us what music they were looking for.
We created pre-roll ads that would play before these searches. Whenever consumers actively searched for content to entertain themselves, Alexa, Amazon Echo’s personality would respond specifically to their search using her own voice, taking them by surprise in the pre-rolls. Since every pre-roll followed by an actual YouTube video resulting from what they searched, echoing their commands in between made the experience entirely seamless and very similar to real-life scenarios. From a consumer PoV, this was solid proof that Amazon Echo had a real role in the consumers life.
The data pointed us to 1700 musicians and albums that were popular with our audience. We created 1700 YouTube Pre-roll ads for these albums and musicians.
The second layer of targeting came into play in choosing playlists that were most viewed to tag with our pre-roll ads. Through this data-driven targeting, we delivered 7Mn impressions!
Now when consumers searched for their music, Alexa was smartly integrated into the situation and mimicked their commands on search for that specific music .. demonstrating vividly the role of Amazon Echo in everyday life!
Our business results were definitely impressive. But what was even more impressive was the RoI that the campaign brought in .. 10X savings in money without losing the impact
Amazon Prime - Mirzapur
The success of Amazon Prime Video web series 'Mirzapur' depended entirely on getting it to the right audience groups and giving them a flavor of the world they would see in the series. Hence, in the launch of ‘Mirzapur’, the team used media touch-points across screens to create a theater of minds that brought alive the world of Mirzapur and its characters. It was this creative interplay in media innovations, planning and execution that amplified the impact of the messaging, leading to success of the series itself and opening of new markets of SVOD viewers in India.
Indian entertainment landscape is the most overcrowded one. Viewers watch their mobile or television screens for over 3.5hrs a day. Through this time, they are bombarded with 2000+ fresh TV serial episodes and 38 new movie launches every week. Even the fledgling world of OTT platforms launches 3 new series weekly! This is topped up by a plethora telecom service providers and digital platforms that offer free streaming content to grab the viewers eye.
Amid this content mania, our challenge was to drive attention to Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Mirzapur’, increase Amazon Prime's footprint in the market and drive paid Prime subscriptions.
Mirzapur was not a gun-toting action-packed drama series … but instead a ‘Godfather’-style power-struggle narrative about the changing class dynamics in small-town India. Research indicated that the to the fans of the show, fandom was infectious and fueled by the ‘insiders’ knowledge of the characters, the unique traits, the language spoken, the dialogues delivered etc. Our creative idea had to provide the same experience to prospective fans and thus effectively luring them into the world of Mirzapur and thereby the Amazon Prime Video content library. Which led us to our touch-point strategy, let’s sell the fiction by blending it into real life.
Creatively speaking, we intended to surround the audience with the Mirzapur world across every screen in manner which is interactive, entertaining and memorable … giving them a Mirzapur experience and story snippets in small intriguing ways.
It’s when passionate fans start interpreting symbols, root for their favorite characters and develop a vocabulary of their own that a wave of curiosity blankets the cities. To effectively reach new subscribers while engaging our fans, it was important that our Mirzapur stories wouldn’t be perceived as a trailer. They needed to be told through credible channels and be as believable as possible. With this goal, to maximize the potential of the communication idea and the web series itself, we had to look beyond the general entertainment masses and focus our target on an audience who are behaviorally inclined towards this kind of content. Post a detailed study, we developed specific interventions for this audience at moments of screen-attention that would register, engage &influence. This resulted in –
1) Six innovative attention-grabbing interventions across TV and mobile screens
2) Integrations that weaved in the dialect, dialogues and conversations with the characters
Mirzapur was launched with a multi-screen campaign, to bring alive the varied stories of the world
1) Our actors came on TV to playing trivia with the audiences and unravel his/her own character as portrayed on the show
2) Popular animated characters on leading music channels dedicated their complete show to the Mirzapur launch
3) Bollywood’s most popular review shows gave the show a critically acclaimed ratings and dedicated complete discussion slots
4) In partnership with television channels, we created customised creatives for airing during live Indian sporting events of Cricket &Kabbadi
5) We devised over 1700 screen disruptors that were aired during programming on 13 channels of India’s leading TV Network
6) Fake news segments created across news channels to divulge news about the real-like fictitious Mirzapur city
We achieved 80% reach and 16Mn impressions across screens within our defined audience group in 14 days!
More than that, our business results speaks volumes - 75% growth in social conversations around Amazon Prime Video content. The series was on the top 3 preferred series in consumer and critics ratings from launch week. Growth in users from new markets… we opened up tier one and two cities as new markets for SVOD subscribers in India.
Season two announced in the first week due to viewer demands.