India might have lost the opportunity to lift the World Cup trophy this year, but the evergreen ‘Mauka Mauka’ campaign is only bringing more attention for a production company and a YouTube channel named V Seven Pictures.
In 2015, Vivek Joshi was working as an editor in a production house in Mumbai where he had written and directed few short films which, as he claims, were well received by the audience.
“During World Cup 2015, Star Sports made the Mauka Mauka ad and people on YouTube were making spoofs and their own version of Mauka. When I saw a Mauka video which went crazy viral that time, I thought I can do much better than that. I shared the idea with my friend (now partner) Santosh Singh and since he had trust in my abilities we jumped into making our first Mauka video which had only 300 views that time,” reminisces Joshi, Writer, Director, Producer, and Editor at V Seven Pictures.
As the YouTube channel’s birth story goes on- V Seven Pictures is Joshi’s brainchild which he started with a partner Santosh Singh who started funding the initial videos and still does it when the company needs it. Joshi added here, “He is from a different stream but passionate about films. I write, direct, edit and act as well since we generally try to keep the budgets short. We now have cinematographers, Asst. Editor, Production team and few great friends who work together with us.
The production house initially started off with some serious content and slowly caught up with being in the moment trend. With a mix of humor, comedy, sci-fi and patriotic short films, thriller drama and a socially responsible messaging, V Seven Pictures has raked in almost 3,20,000 YouTube subscribers.
“I was a 12-year-old kid with a car steering wheel in his hand. I didn’t know how to drive it. I was exploring experimenting & failing. Idea was to keep trying and go with the flow make good content that’s it. I have learned a lot from my experiences and how social media works and what does the audience like to watch and spent a lot of time in research. I am still learning, exploring and experimenting but now I know when to accelerate and shift the gears, Joshi informed when quizzed about the initial content strategy.”
Considering YouTube emerging as a cluttered platform and providing an opportunity for beginners creating content, Joshi highlights that there were many challenges when they stepped into the industry, especially creating regular content in tight budgets. While he agrees that YouTube is a great place for content creators to showcase their work but is not a great revenue generation platform. According to him, it’s always difficult to create unique content regularly since the competition has surged. “Yes we do face this challenge even now but I guess one has to believe in their own abilities”.
Though the creators started working on the ‘Mauka’ series in 2015, it only gained recognition in 2017 and led to an increase in the channel’s subscriber base. Joshi stated that people might think comedy works in increasing the subscribers but that’s not the case. He believes people have to put all the right ingredients to make content which touches the right chord of the people so that they click the red button.“Mauka’ was the reason to start our channel but yes it was not just 2015. We did it in 2016 since we thoroughly enjoyed making it. And then it was so popular that in 2017 it was the public’s demand to make it,” he added.
The efforts were paid off in 2019. V Seven Pictures signed their first brand deal with PVR Pictures. In the past one month, the team created 6 videos with the Mauka theme and the third one cracked the deal with PVR. It was all a one-day thing.
As Joshi narrates, “I write the script today morning, pitched the PVR team in the afternoon, shot the video at night, edited it next and day and there was the result.” It should also be noted that the latest video in the series shows the actors promoting an app called WinZo. It is a Gaming & Quizzing App in which users can play and win real money.
“WinZO app approached us since they were looking for influencers like us to promote their brand. They have been really cool and supportive,” quipped Joshi.
Recently Star Sports came under the spotlight after it launched a video on Father’s Day which appeared to be mocking the Pakistan team and terming India as Pakistan’s ‘Baap’. V Seven Pictures’ ‘Mauka Mauka’ series also highlights the banter albeit in a different way. “Our Father’s Day video was also satirical reply to that Pakistani viral video mocking Abhinandan. We don’t try to dodge such issues. But yes, as responsible content creators we try not to cross the thin line and still keep it entertaining”.
Joshi also elucidates that with the decreasing attention span of viewers creating 2-3 minute long videos and making them impactful is a challenge on YouTube. “But blame it on the bad content creators (joke) since they have made a lot of boring content which has led to a decrease in the attention span of the viewers. Because the audience doesn’t mind watching even 10-12 minutes videos as well as long as its entertaining,” he signed off.