Why this Kolaveri a rage-u on Social Media?

Jason Menezes
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Why this kolaveri di, marketing, social media

I’ve read/watched close to a million stories on how Kolaveri became such a rage across the globe (it’s what Google tells me) but I wanted to know the real story behind making a Tanglish (Tamil + English) music video ‘Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Di?’ a social media case-study for generations to come in music marketing. (&feature=player_detailpage" target="_blank">Video)

Therefore, I got hold of Prashanth Challapalli a.k.a Jack in Chief - my friend and the business head of Jack in the Box Worldwide, the digital outfit behind the monster called #kolaveri for a quick chat.

So, the conversation is pasted below just as it happened:

Jason: Wassup Jack in Chief?

Prashanth: Hey, Jason. All is good as you can see :)

Jason: Congrats man!! Kolaveri is just turning people mad on social media. Can I give you the credit?

Prashanth: Thank you man. I so wish that was possible but this is a team effort by my team, the client and the music listeners across the globe.

Jason: Hahahaha, that’s quite a modest answer! Tell me your first reaction on watching the Kolaveri Di video shoot?

Prashanth: When I saw the video for the first time in office, I knew it connected across languages because everyone in the office was watching it on repeat mode. I realized we had a brilliant piece of content and decided to seed and promote it aggressively.

Jason: Did you get a brief from Sony Music Entertainment for Kolaveri Di? Can you tell us what the brief was?

Prashanth: Yes, we got a brief from Sony Music South and the brief was to market the music video on Social Media.

Jason: Neat! So what was your social media strategy for such a clear brief?

Prashanth: We decided to seed the video online. Social Media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter formed the core of our strategy. We were sure the YouTube link would attract You Tube views on its own.

On Facebook, The Sony Music South page had close to 200K fans and we knew this would hit home there because it’s a predominantly Tamil audience.

On Twitter, we created a hashtag called #whythiskolaveridi and started posting quirky lines like “Iceland has not heard #whythiskolaveridi”, “Not called for 2 days #whythiskolaveridi”, etc., with the YouTube link to the video. This intrigued people on twitter who didn’t understand what Kolaveri di meant. So questions started being asked and as a natural impulse, people started clicking on the link.

Coca Cola bottles made to form a D  : KolaveriJason: With Sony Music having such a strong base of fans/followers/viewers on Social Media and PR power, how did you think your social media strategy added more value to the success of Kolaveri Di?

Prashanth: That was surely on our mind but our job was to get people to click the play button on the video and then virality was assured to a certain extent because we all like sharing what we really, really like.

Jason: Do you think music is the next big trend in the marketing of a brand on Social Media?

Prashanth: Music has always been big but brands really haven’t used it well so far. We might see that changing fast though via Social Media.

Jason: What are the current statistics of the song on social media?

Prashanth: Ahh, I’ve started liking to answer this question. Here are the statistics of the campaign from 16th November to 5th December 2011:


- Total Tweets: 96,323

- Total Impressions: 8,072,375


- Views (Official Sony Channel): 16,572,142

- Views from India: 11,079,802

- Subscribers gained: 8,450

- Highest no of viewers are male since it’s a male centric song : 72.3% male viewers

- Likes: 146,224

- Highest shares from mobile apps and directly: 5,740,365

- YouTube has also given the video a gold medal for the most popular video and a silver medal for trending


- Total shares: 3,625,124

Other Achievements

- First ever Tamil song to play on FM in Bangalore

- First ever Tamil song to be aired on MTV

- Now an IIM Case Study

My friend's at JITB have created this case-study for their efforts on the #Kolaveri campaign. Have a look at that too here :)

Jason: Woaaah!! Now I know why you’re all smiles about Kolaveri ;) Hope you keep making sense out of all the awesome content you receive from your clients on Social Media. Thanks for your time.

Prashanth: Cheers Jason :)

That was the official story behind Kolaveri but I can’t end it here, just like all the marketing gurus of the world have given their gyaan (pun entirely intended) on the subject - Kolaveri. Here is mine:

Poster with some of Kolaveri song lyricsIn this day and age, you’ve got to know that putting a raw music video like Justin Beiber's Song Covers to Kolaveri Di on YouTube may result in it going viral. But having said that, Kolaveri Di is still better off compared to the other viral music videos on YouTube you’ll see, for example: ">Friday – Rebecca Black.

I’m glad Jack in the Box, identified the right platforms to seed the music video and played simple with no frills, no fuss and kept it clean fun for the 35% of the Indian population less than 28 years of age which still decide the fate of the virality of a product.

I’ve also listed few of my favorite Kolaveri Di fan interpretations online. Do share your favorite ones in the comment section –

And BTW, you’ll soon see me and a bunch of Kolaveri Di fans do a Flash Mob in Mumbai. The rage-u continues….

Image Courtesy: Why Image via freshpeel.com and Visual Representation Images of Kolaveri Di from The Hungry Fish Fanpage.

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