A few weeks after its launch, Amazon Prime Video offers a glimpse into the unique marketing strategy behind the recently launched Amazon Original Series Paatal Lok. With a release during the nation-wide lockdown period, the digital streaming service faced various limitations to promote the show, including lack of outdoor campaigns. Below are excerpts by Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country GM, Amazon Prime Video India on how these limitations were turned into opportunities.
The Marketing Campaign
Paatal Lok’s marketing campaign had three dimensions to it. The first was to bring the title to life ‘Paatal Lok’ – a word that derives itself from Indian mythology, and make it relevant & contextual for audiences. We borrowed the concept of the three realms – Paatal Lok, Swarg lok, Dharti lok – layering them with present day context, to construct a relatable yet intriguing concept. Central to the campaign was the concept, story and the characters – and that really was the core of the campaign. ‘Haathiram’ , ‘Hathoda Tyagi’ , ‘Sanjeev Mehra’ were all powerful characters and we put them in the context of the three realms. The third element of the campaign was the unique visual language of the show which made it totally stand out.
The unique thing about the phases of this campaign were that in addition to our efforts (of anticipation, launch and sustenance), the love for the show inspired a huge wave of ‘fan’ led marketing. In addition to the great critic and media reviews, the show created a pop culture moment of its own that saw fan-art to memes to other brand’s doing ‘moment marketing’ using the three realms – Paatal Lok, Swarg lok, Dharti lok. All of it further added to the show’s appeal and fandom.
Change in marketing strategies with the absence of OOH and other outdoor medium
With the growing popularity of the show, the distinctly different worlds of the show or the ‘Loks’ have become a pop cultural reference. This thought was seeded by the marketing team in early stages of the campaign along with a distinct visual identity. The campaign kicked off with an intriguing teaser, which was originally supposed to be filmed, but the team quickly pivoted to create an animated spot (given the lockdown), with Jaideep Ahlawat (Haathiram) lending his powerful voice to it
We realised that given the lockdown the Media choices will be limited so the team decided to go even bigger on social and digital media (with support from TV). The campaign had a lot of hooks to engage & build intrigue – a good example of this would be the a cryptic significance behind the time of the release of the trailer i.e. 11:34 am IST. The time, if read upside down, spells HELL (Paatlal) – and this was only revealed when we provided a preview of the trailer on the microsite 12 hours before its official release at 11:34 pm IST. The talent , creators and the team at Amazon Prime Video continued to build on the excitement for the customers using themes linked to the ‘Loks’, ‘visual language’ or now ‘iconic’ dialogues from the trailer right till the day of launch. 24 hours before the show’s launch, the creators, producers and talent of the show turned (upside down) their Twitter profile pictures to build the narrative of an upside down/inverted world.
Paatal Lok saw huge organic flow of memes which shows ‘fandom’ & ‘love’ for the show and its characters. The format for the distinctly different realms of the show was introduced by us on the trailer launch day to contextualize the 3 loks, and once audiences got intrigued and connected with it, several brands took note of the same and tapped on it for their social communication thus further propelling it into a big pop cultural moment.
Paatal Lok will join the thousands of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and Bollywood in the Prime Video catalogue. These include Indian-produced Amazon Original series such as Four More Shots Please, Paatal Lok, The Forgotten Army – Azaadi Ke Liye, The Family Man, Mirzapur, Inside Edge and Made In Heaven, as well as award-winning and critically- acclaimed global Amazon Original series like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Boys, Hunters, Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, all on Prime Video, which is available at no extra cost for Amazon Prime members. The service includes titles available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali.
Prime members will be able to watch all episodes of Paatal Lok anywhere and anytime on the Prime Video app for smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, Airtel, Vodafone, etc. In the Prime Video app, Prime members can download episodes on their mobile devices and tablets and watch anywhere offline at no additional cost. Prime Video is available in India at no extra cost to a Prime membership for just ₹999 annually or ₹129 monthly, new customers can find out more at www.amazon.in/prime and subscribe to a free 30-day trial.
ABOUT AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
Prime Video is a premium streaming service that offers Prime members a collection of award- winning Amazon Original series, thousands of movies and TV shows—all with the ease of finding what they love to watch in one place. Find out more at PrimeVideo.com.
● Included with Prime Video: Paatal Lok will join hundreds of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and Bollywood, including Indian produced Amazon Original series such as The Family Man, Mirzapur, Inside Edge and Made In Heaven, and award-winning and critically- acclaimed global Amazon Original series including Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Boys, Hunters, Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, available for unlimited streaming as part of a Prime membership. Prime Video includes titles available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali.
● Instant Access: Members can watch Paatal Lok anywhere, anytime on the Prime Video app for smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV and several gaming devices. Prime membership is also available to Airtel and Vodafone customers on post-paid plans. In the Prime Video app, Prime members can download episodes on their mobile devices and tablets and watch anywhere offline at no additional cost.
● Enhanced experiences: Make the most of every viewing with 4K Ultra HD- and High Dynamic Range (HDR)-compatible content. Go- behind- the- scenes of your favourite movies and TV shows with exclusive X-Ray access, powered by IMDb. Save it for later with select mobile downloads for offline viewing.
● Included with Prime: Prime Video is available in India at no extra cost to a Prime membership for just ₹999 annually or ₹129 monthly, new customers can find out more at www.amazon.in/prime and subscribe to a free 30-day trial.