The American political drama “House of Cards” was all set for its Indian television premiere on 20th February, 11.00 p.m., exclusively on Zee Café. The channel had put in place an innovative digital marketing campaign to generate buzz across all social media platforms. The channel created an exclusive website for House of Cards India which went live on 3rd February.
To make the audience aware of the Indian television premiere of the American political drama “House of Cards”.
The online marketing began form January as the show was scheduled to premiere in February. Various fun activities like crosswords, quizzes and guess-which-show pictures were used to arouse interest.
A crossword puzzle was shared among the Facebook followers of the page which generated a lot of buzz.
Theme-based questions were put forth for Fb followers who enthusiastically responded and even tagged their friends.
Not just Facebook, Zee café India generated effective content on YouTube as well which was disseminated via various social media outlets. Captions like “Saying NO to your boss”, “There’s no harm in lookin’ ”, “The two kinds of pain” etc. were used for the videos.
Vidoes featuring things to learn from the show were widely spread and were a major pull for the audience.
Short snippets were catchy as well as funny and helped to further the interest in the show.
The official website had fun content with interesting sections like personality tests, learn from HOC etc. The website as a whole, from the color theme to the content, reflected the personality of the show.
Users could play the quiz and find out what their personality is. Zee Café also placed ads on the professional networking platform LinkedIn, making it the first Indian TV channel to target marketers and media planners via LinkedIn.
However, the major steal of the entire campaign was the use of Twitter. Zee Cafe had interesting quiz questions about the show along with the actual show.
Hashtag #FrankUnderwood was used to engage and connect all the viewers. Questions were asked and goodies were given as gifts.
Apart from these usual tactics which were done very efficiently, Zee Café India made use of former accolade the show had received and also came up with service that allowed users to set reminder SMS-es for the show’s premiere, and that too free of cost.
The appreciation that the show received from President Obama was shared to raise the eyebrows of those who didn’t know about it.
- All the social media platforms were very interactive, be it Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
- Integration of smart phone users via the reminder facility was thoughtful.
- Prior engagement with viewers through hashtags, like #GamesPeoplePlay, gave the desired build to the show. Those who had seen season 1 shared their excitement while unaware audiences got to know about it and thus, the show received a third party endorsement.
- Zee Café India didn’t reveal the name of the show that easily as they played Guess-the-Show quizzes which got many Fb users hooked.
- The channel continues to market the show and engage with the audience which is like the icing on the cake.
- Availability of the episodes on the website for online viewing, post the original airing on the channel is a good step forward.
- Integration of every platform allowed people to shuffle through the content easily and gave them freedom to stay updated via the social network they used the most.
Scope for Improvement
- Lack of an offline-online activation could have added to the entire integrated campaign. For instance their action during comic con could have been shared in a more extensive way.
- Though the entire campaign was very well executed, the Instagram platform could have been used in a better way as users are increasing there with each passing day.
The show’s premiere was anticipated by its fans and thanks to this online campaign many new viewers must have added the show to their To-Watch list.