#SAMMIE2018: Unless you’re contextually relevant, it is impossible to connect: Bhaskar Ramesh, YouTube

Bhaskar Ramesh

Recognised as the most influential marketing leaders by CMO Asia and World Marketing Congress, Bhaskar Ramesh, Head of Youtube and Brand Advertising at Google India helmed a MasterClass on winning in the video first India – at the recently concluded #SAMMIE2018. 

“India is quickly becoming a video-first country. What we are seeing today in India is phenomenal. If you look at urban India there are around 80 million homes and across those many homes there 330 million odd smartphones. You are really looking at a country where for every one TV set there are four smartphones and connected. Hence it is extremely important to understand that this phenomenon,” exclaimed Bhaskar. 

He later went onto mention the popular song which was uploaded on January 12, 2017 and Louis Fonsi when he uploaded the song he never imagined what’s going to happen- the song hit 3 billion views in less than 180 days and other videos like Gangnam style, Hello have taken much more longer time duration.

In a world where 1.9 billion phones are connected with video its very important for all of us as marketers to actually think video first. Despacito not only stopped at 3 billion but went to add more numbers ahead- 5 billion- which is almost 28 million views every single day. Not only the main version but many other versions have actually generated a cultural phenomenon not just in Puerto Rico where it started but also 45 other countries where it was the number one song and most of them don’t even speak Spanish.

According to Bhaskar, what’s happening in India is also unprecedented. He illustrated this thought by mentioning that 106 year old Mastanamma, who is from a small village in Andhra Pradesh and is the oldest YouTuber on the planet. She debuted on the platform two years ago and has garnered one million subscribers. Her channel is called CountryFoods and its her grandson who has actually uploaded a few videos of hers and in less than two years she has 200 plus videos uploaded and garnered 230 million plus views.

So how do we address and look at marketing in this video first world? “While the fundamentals of marketing do no change, what this video first world allows us to do is to re-imagine all the opportunities in a very different manner. The consumer is at the center of all brands,” Bhaskar added.

  1. Understand the user
  2. It is very important to connect the users in the moment they are receptive to your message – unless you are contextually relevant, it is kind of impossible to connect and deeply engage your users.

-by offering extreme entertainment

-driving education

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-extremely utilitarian to the user

-co-creating the campaigns

Across all the brands in India and also globally, people have done these things really well  and have managed to deliver great business results.

Also Read: #SAMMIE2018: Relevance outperforms originality any day: Virginia Sharma, LinkedIn

For instance, Garnier launched Micellar water – a completely new category in India – a make up remover. The competition for this is actually soap water or or oil which are definitely not efficacious. So here’s a brand which actually tried to think video first and the core of it is that they also define their user – 15-40 year old women living in metros but a make-up enthusiast and they went without television for the entire campaign which happened earlier this year.

The crux of the creative idea here was pour, press and swipe. Regimen building is the toughest thing for brands to do and follow it up with 6 second bumper ads in a very relevant environment. To get the complete message across for people who have already given the communication, they actually created this segment called Love Hackers for women who have actually consumed make up online -they created these ads to identify hundred micro moments.

Results: The campaign has delivered 24% awareness course and Garnier Micellar actually hit their sale numbers 3 times over which is a launch campaign and more importantly it has become the largest selling ascue of Loreal in e-commerce all with the video first approach. It did no remove vanity metrics but actually moved sales.

If your ads very relevant in the right context they actually work three times harder. Eg: Uber. It only cares about two things- Uber riders and cost per rider. Actually plastering the communication on video, Uber created a bunch of ads. They understood that the reason why all of us Uber is because we want to save some time for ourselves.

They identified 7-70 micro moments on why people would want to buy Uber and they used this product called Director’s Mix which delivers contextual ads depending on what type of content you want. 

It’s extremely important to engage users and it’s very important for us to know that there is opportunity to co-create, Bhaskar concluded.


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