Inside: Hostages Season 2 marketing strategy around thrill & suspense
As Hostages Season 2 released on Disney+Hotstar this week, we take a look at its marketing strategy that attempts to leverage its central theme of thrill & suspense to generate conversations across social media platforms through influencers & more.
Hostages Season 2 premiered on Disney+Hotstar. With a slew of OTT releases this year & the seeming popularity of the crime & thriller genre across platforms, the Season 2 of the series leverages the cliffhanger & suspense from season 1, and so does its marketing strategy.
Directed by Sudhir Mishra & ensemble cast led by Ronit Bose Roy, the new Season also includes Dino Morea, Tisca Chopra, & Divya Dutta amongst others. Positioned as ‘Khel Abb Palat Chuka hai’ (the game has changed) from the hunter to now as the hunted, the marketing strategy of the series follows pre-buzzing the cliffhanger with a campaign, followed by recap posts, spoiler alerts, trailer release, content marketing through influencers & more to generate conversations.
With the main hashtag used as #HostagesSeason2, here’s tracing Hostages Season 2 marketing strategy by Disney+Hotstar.
Handa Zinda Hai?
The marketers attempted to pre-buzz the release of the series with the ‘Handa Zinda Hai’ campaign leveraging the Season 1’s dramatic end.
It all started with the #HandaZindaHai hashtag trending on twitter & generating curiosity amongst the viewers, especially for some who were not aware of who this possible ‘Handa’ was supposed to be.
This paved way for content extensions as memes where popular influencers & memers posted a queer image that had ‘Handa Zinda Hai’ written against a wall.
This mystery was finally unraveled by the protagonist, Roy, who shed light on who the person in question was with the announcement of ‘Hostages Season 2 Coming Soon’ post.
After a considerable buzz around the ‘Handa’ campaign, the makers released a recap post just prior to the Season 2 trailer launch.
Teasing the trailer
Disney+Hotstar shared an ‘Are you ready’ post with a newspaper background aimed at teasing the trailer. It had ‘Breaking News’ & the central tagline of ‘Khel Palatne Wala Hai’ or the ‘Game is going to change’, highlighted over it.
Hostages Season 2 released the official trailer on 3rd September 2020.
Another trend leveraged as part of the marketing strategy is ‘content extension’ where characters from ‘other’ web series are amalgamated & showcased as per the theme of the series to be promoted.
Hostages Season 2 tactics also revolved around social media posts where such characters were displayed on Disney+HotstarVIP in conjunction with its theme. A post showcased stars from different series on a slider of 8 posts on Instagram with the text –
“A Hostage situation. They could not escape. Will you?”.
This was further amplified on Facebook & Twitter as a 21-second short promo video post.
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Post the trailer release & previously mentioned tactics, the social media marketing of the series revolved around ‘Spoiler Alert’ type posts showcased as ‘Issued in Public Interest’.
Each post across social media platforms shared glimpses of the prominent stages in Hostages Season 1 plot in a step-by-step process, highlighted as ‘Spoiler Alert’ posts. These ended with a CTA to the viewers that – now that you are aware of these facts, you are all set to watch the next season.
Spoiler-alert posts involved dynamic short videos & static text posts across social media channels.
The makers also leveraged prominent influencers where the content creators attempted to add their quirk & style to the promo posts.
Known for his candid & motivating approach, even Big B congratulated Sachin Mamta Krishn on social media, the Director of Hostages, with whom he has worked with, on previous ventures.
While the countdown posts are not new to OTT or movie marketing space, the makers leveraged playing with words & names to share a series of such posts with direct CTAs and reminders to watch the new season.
The marketers continued with their efforts following ‘Now Streaming posts’ on the release day. This involved a short video with the pacey background music from the series followed by a CTA & ‘Link in Bio’ for the captions.
In the Post-launch part of the series, the marketers attempted to continue to keep the buzz alive with character posts involving dialogue & word plays for the captions.
Many of these also incorporated the ‘streaming now’ pattern for the post copies, incorporating, the prime hashtag for the series.
Summing it up
Overall, the Hostages Season 2 marketing strategy followed a step-by-step process during its Pre-launch, Launch & Post-launch of the series. Keeping the central theme of the thriller series at the core, the marketers attempted to generate curiosity & conversations. With the already mixed reviews for the series, will it continue to keep the buzz alive through its marketing tactics? We will need to wait & watch.