The show has just begun

&Flix wants you to put your phones on silent, grab a tub of popcorn and grab the best seat in front of the TV 

Watching television together has given rise to many an urban legend. You fight with your family members for the remote, flip through the programming guide multiple times, and finally, end up watching Amitabh Bachchan eat poisonous kheer and collapse in Sooryavansham. To escape this rut, you could plan a movie outing with your friends, but amid lockdown and health concerns, that plan can wait for a few months.

But, don’t lose hope. In an attempt to cure boredom and bring back the experience of ‘first day first show’ viewing, &Flix has lined up blockbuster Hollywood movies via #FlixFirstBeforeAmerica. “The long wait for Hollywood movies from their theatrical release to premiere on television stood out as a consumer challenge in the English movies genre that we wanted to address,” says Kartik Mahadev, business head - premium cluster, ZEEL. The campaign, that was launched last year with MIB: International and Spider-Man: Far From Home, almost halved the wait time.

To announce the summer line-up of premieres including Jumanji: The Next Level, Bad Boys For Life, The Grudge and Fantasy Island, the channel roped in funnyman José Covaco, who often mishears lyrics. With Flux @ The Glitch handling the creative, the challenge was to make a fun, shot-at-home ad to drive the message. “We wanted to be as authentic as possible and hold a mirror up to audiences. We have all been missing out on experiences and we tried to reflect that in the ad,” says Aaditya Vazé, content director, Flux @ The Glitch.

In the ad, Covaco wakes up to find a neatly pressed outfit by his bedside. As he gets dressed and makes way to the kitchen, the microwave oven dings. He finds a bowl of popcorn and exclaims, “something special is happening or what?” Suddenly, he notices a premiere ticket for an exclusive First Day First Show and puts two and two together. The ad ends with him happily dancing his way to the living room and tuning into &Flix to experience a cinematic extravaganza.  

“From writing brainstorms to tech recces for the ad, every piece of the puzzle evolved along the way, with technology becoming our framework,” explains Vaze, adding “it was remotely directed over video call and shot at José’s home by him and his wife.” To replicate the theatre experience, the ad also has background voices of irritated viewers complaining about latecomers blocking their sight. The post-production stage was seamless and the team was able to successfully pull this off within one month, says Vaze.

With over nine million views on YouTube, the campaign film has garnered immense fan appreciation. “Shot with all the operational constraints, the film still managed to deliver engagement at par with our earlier campaigns that were shot outdoors,” says Mahadev. To pull in more audience, &Flix also hosted a live Instagram session that garnered over 60,000 views on the premiere day of Jumanji: The Next Level.

For the announcement of the upcoming premieres of Bad Boys For Life and Fantasy Island, the creative agency and the brand have already lined up more short films. So, apart from anticipating the movies, fans can now also look forward to more quirky ads under the campaign.