Staying put in the comfort of your own home instead of socializing with alcohol infused party animals. Wearing your most comfortable pair of pajamas instead of the most expensive outfit you bought from a store that probably even charges you to breathe inside its space. Laughing yourself silly instead of dancing yourself silly.
These are the few things Netflix intended to change this New Year’s Eve, urging their audience to tame the inner beast, with a quirky spin on the well recognized audio template that Indian users are familiar with, the ‘anti smoking’ warning played before movie screenings.
Completing one year in the Indian market, Netflix has now become frequent collaborators with stand up comedians Abish Mathew and Tanmay Bhatt of AIB fame. This time around, Netflix turned to popular stand up artists for #TryThisAtHome, working with Abish Mathew, Biswa Kalyan Rath and Kanan Gill of Pretentious Movie Reviews, vlogger Mallika Dua and Sorabh Pant of East India Comedy, all of whom maintain a distinct identity and attraction among the younger audience.
The brand’s choice of actors, and the humorous approach is popular among their target audience which makes for a winning formula that Netflix has employed time and again, to great results.
Netflix stream, not mainstream
Using common instances that occur during parties such as drunk revellers, mainstream music tracks and cliched Bollywood dance moves that break out on the floor, all of which are viewed as highly bothersome, Netflix offers users an alternative. An easy and comfortable one.
Delivered to their consistent creative and comical standards, the video was once again crafted well and stirs up a few chuckles. The video begins with a view of a standard New Year’s Eve bash setup and all its elements, showboat dancer, crowded dance floor, drunk party-goers, shoving elbows, stepped upon toes, alcohol induced vomiting, the labour that goes into safely transporting a drink from the bar to your table braving the ruckus between the two places, potential molesters and the exorbitant amount charged for this hellish experience, all collectively despised.
The video then moves forward to offer their viewers an alternative, safe and much more wholesome experience, The Netflix Experience. #TryThisAtHome encourages Netflix users to bring the party home, to their living rooms, to not do the mainstream but instead stream their favourite Netflix shows.
In India, Netflix is still only a year old, and offers a product that is neither accessible nor affordable for many, but has been able to form a connection with the urban youth, who make up most of their target audience. The brand’s choice of stepping away from the norm of choosing a Bollywood celebrity to lend their stardom to the brand name is also commendable, choosing to go with a much more apt, and relatable endorser, in Abish Mathew, who is the most preferred Netflix endorser.
The brand’s CRM on social media is also perfectly in tune with their overall urbane and witty image, replying to grievances and compliments with a cool headed demeanour sprinkled with humour, using GIFs and pictures to respond.
Netflix has more than 29m followers on Facebook, and @NetflixIndia also maintains a dominant Twitter presence with more than 15.5k followers.
#TryThisAtHome racked up more than 3.2m views on Facebook alone, striking a chord with thousands to receive more than 8k shares, and more than 98k reactions on Facebook.
— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) December 28, 2016
On Twitter, the response was tame, receiving only 89 retweets and 153 ‘Favourites’ which fades in comparison with #TryThisAtHome ‘s numbers on Facebook.
Netflix choice of endorsers benefited them not only in terms of popularity and quality humour for their video, but also hitched their campaign to the actors’ Twitter accounts, all of whom maintain a dominant social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.
— Biswa Kalyan Rath (@kalyanrath) December 28, 2016
Abish Mathew, Kanan Gill, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Mallika Dua and Sorabh Pant are immensely popular Influencers with several thousand followers on Facebook and Twitter, and made sure #TryThisAtHome achieved the maximum reach on social media.
Additionally, a set of creatives were created and uploaded on Netflix’s social media handles, using pictures from popular fan favourite Netflix shows such as Daredevil, Narcos, Stranger Things, and Orange Is The New Black among others as templates, inserting the actors into scenes, to depict the ‘party they had with Netflix’ on New Year’s Eve.
— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) January 1, 2017
A clever move, it was equally appreciated by Netflix fans receiving 56k reactions and 337 shares to conclude #TryThisAtHome on a high note, ushering in the New Year for Netflix, radiating with positivity.
A competitive industry
Netflix may have attained popularity among the Indian audience but in terms of business, the brand is not doing better than its competitors. HotStar being one of Netflix’s main competitors in India, offer their services for a much cheaper price, and the younger demographic happens to be price sensitive.
HotStar offers a monthly subscription at 199INR, and access to HBO original shows, Bollywood movies and other popular shows and movies in many different languages, sporting action for the athletically inclined users and sport faithful, and is backed by parent Star India and ‘grandparent’ 21st Century Fox.
The Indian audience has always been reliant on their television sets, or for illegally downloaded free content through Torrents, which has begun to change with the availability of better internet connectivity and smartphones to more and more people.
One of Netflix’s major draws has always been original content, shows such as House of Cards, Daredevil, and Narcos all of which are equally popular in India and abroad, but it is the lack of shows created in India, exclusively keeping in mind the Indian user to compel them to pay for the service. Brahman Naman and Sacred Games are the only two offerings created specifically for the Indian audience.
Although Star India backed HotStar has better familiarity with the Indian audience through decades of association with the Indian user, Netflix has not been doing too bad, but a change in approach is crucial for Netflix to sustain itself in the Indian market.
The Social War
While HotStar’s social media handles were desolate, another one of their competitors in the category, Viacom’s Voot, saw the opportunity to begin the year with a bang by unveiling one of their new original shows that premieres on 4th January, #untag and is also their campaign hashtag that Voot has been promoting since 30th December, 2016.
So far so good, Netflix does have the resources to do something that will justify their status as the most popular online entertainment streaming service in the world in one of the most exciting, competitive and fast growing markets.
Netflix managed to do away with the mainstream this New Year’s Eve, making their fans want to #TryThisAtHome.