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Humour Oils The Hotstar Pitch In IPL 2019

Bizarre cuts it best when it comes to humor, or so it would seem from the phenomenal response that the newly launched campaign by Hotstar has garnered. In the fortnight since its release, the film has locked in 253,925 views on YouTube and is the subject of prolonged chatter on social media. The ad has an astrologer advising a pregnant woman to lick a magnet so that her to-be-born twins are always together. What happens instead is the opposite, the twins are violently repelled by a magnetic field, so much so that they can’t do anything together. Not even watch the Vivo IPL 2019.

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Christened ‘Koi Yaar Nahi Far’, (No friend is too far) the campaign has been created by DDB Mudra and is a cheeky throwback to the old Bollywood formula of twins separated at birth and reunited by a twist of fate. Here the unifier is the platform’s social cricket-viewing feature.

Varun Narang, chief product officer, Hotstar said, “The joy of watching cricket is multiplied manifold in the company of friends and family, something that’s becoming increasingly difficult to do today. We wanted to introduce something special to protect that ethos, and added the interactive, social layer to enhance the cricket watching experience.” The ad is meant to familiarise viewers with the technological changes that have been introduced on the platform.

It is also an attempt to redress a common parental grievance; that the digital screen divides a family by allowing people to slip into their personalized viewing bubbles. Shagun Seda, executive creative director, DDB Mudra said, “The general belief is that screens divide and disconnect us from our loved ones. That’s not true if you’re watching IPL. It is best enjoyed with family and friends. But there are many things that could keep you away from watching the game along with your loved ones – work, responsibilities, travel, and in this film’s case, magnetic repulsion.” Seda said the Hotstar campaign had to have a strong voice. “It needed to be quirky, irreverent and entertaining. We wanted to create something that’s clutter-breaking. So we decided to start by breaking the laws of physics,” said Seda.

The social viewing feature on Hotstar allows viewers to make closed virtual groups with their friends, allowing a set of people to simultaneously watch the Vivo IPL, despite being in different locations. The feature also has a chat option, allowing the participants to discuss the proceedings of the match, as one would while watching a cricket match with friends in person. It also picks up the most popular comments made during the matches and make these visible to all.

The streaming platform introduced gamification for the first time during Vivo IPL 2018 with the Watch ‘N Play feature. This allowed viewers on the platform to make predictions and win prizes. Winners can redeem their points on Amazon Pay, an official partner of Hotstar for the league in 2019. This year Hotstar has also integrated a feature that lets viewers on the platform order food via Swiggy without having to switch screens or devices.

“India’s biggest cricket extravaganza which draws the attention of millions of cricket fans has been a great platform for Swiggy as it placed us right where the consumer is present. Last year, the theme ‘What a delivery’, brought out the very strong connect between cricket and food. Our various TVCs, like the Gulab Jamun ad on ‘no minimum order value’ not only received a lot of appreciation but also helped establish Swiggy’s proposition, making it a part of every household’s cricket viewing culture,” says Srivats TS, VP, Marketing, Swiggy. During that period, Swiggy witnessed an additional 5-7 percent month-on-month increase in orders compared to non-IPL months says the company.

While the brands are expected to gain significantly from the huge projected viewership on the platform, Hotstar is hoping to drive up the numbers significantly this year. Furthermore, with the intent to take this experience deeper, Hotstar says it will stream matches in 8 languages, targeting a reach of 300 million. viewers. The campaign has been launched in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.―Business Standard

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