Do you remember when cable operators dictated the content that people consumed on the television? One only had so many options to choose from. It was almost like a buffet, you had to have what was served. But, thanks to the influx of streaming services, gone are the days of banging the idiot box and yelling at the static screen every once in a while. Today, the power is in the consumer’s hands — to choose what he/she wants — akin to an à la carte meal.
One of the biggest drivers of this change in viewing patterns is Netflix, the American streaming giant, which made its foray in India in 2016. On the back of its high-quality international and local content, Netflix has been able to offer something for every geography, gender, genre and generation. Thus, despite a premium positioning and subscription-only model, it has created a strong base in the subcontinent. To further strengthen its position and communicate its USP, Netflix has rolled out an ad campaign especially for the Indian market.
Aptly titled ‘So, what are you watching’, the campaign, created by The Script Room, entails a series of ten ad-spots which draw upon slice-of-life references and build interesting narratives around it. For instance, one ad shows two elderly men discussing which season of Narcos they are currently watching, while in another vignette a young boy is watching Stranger Things even as his father has imposed a ‘no TV rule’. “The one in which a father is lamenting that he gets to watch only Mighty Bheem on Netflix since his son prefers it, is funny. It’s real because it happens in a lot of families,” says Manish Bhatt, founder and director, Scarecrow Communications, who adds that he found the campaign very “cool”.
Meanwhile, Hareesh Tibrewala, joint CEO, Mirum India, says that the campaign is “iconic”. “It is a creative campaign and each ad has an interesting story. After seeing a few ads, you literally wait for the next one,” says Tibrewala.
Each of these stories conveys a common message – that Netflix has something for everybody. “Generally, when advertising to the target group, the channel will advertise a specific show or series. However, Netflix has advertised its entire library, telling the audience that no matter which genre they prefer, it’s available on the platform,” points out Tibrewala.
From a political drama such as House of Cards and Designated Survivor, sci-fi thriller Stranger Things to horror series Black Summer and Haunting of Hill House, Netflix has a lot to offer. There is also a host of localised content — Sacred Games, Ghoul and Lust Stories, as well as internationally acclaimed documentaries, movies and comedy shows. And as is evident, Netflix’s penchant for distinctive storytelling has trickled onto its advertising as well. So, what are you watching?