Amazon Prime Video’s Sushant Sreeram on the not-so ‘counter-intuitive’ approach for Diwali

Prime Video Diwali campaign

Where brands tried to pull consumer’s attention towards the products leveraging the festive season, Amazon Prime Video asked them to stay away from the screens and celebrate ‘Apno wali Diwali’. We speak to Sushant Sreeram of Prime Video India, deep diving into the OTT major’s festive approach.

It’s not every day that we see ‘Kaleen Bhaiya’ of Mirzapur asking the viewers to detach themselves from the mobile screens and spend that time instead with their loved ones. For Diwali 2021, Amazon Prime Video decided to enlighten the consumers about the significance of celebrating festivals with family and friends having real conversations. We go behind the screen into the objective of the ‘Apno Wali Diwali’ campaign with Sushant Sreeram, Marketing- Director, Amazon Prime Video India.

‘Apno Wali Diwali’ – The Insight

At Amazon, Sreeram claims that it works customers backward; everything the company does begins with a deep understanding of what the customers want. Whether it be informing customers of new shows and movies on the service or wishing them a very happy festive season, it’s all with the customer at the center.

“So it’s not really a switch,” exclaims Sreeram when asked about going the unconventional way for the Diwali campaign. He further explains that while the pandemic dampened the festivities last year, people are more hopeful this year thanks to the rollout of vaccines. They were, in fact, looking forward to spending the festive season with their loved ones, whether physically (in small social bubbles with adequate precautions) or even virtually. This was the starting point of the campaign and even the internal team at Prime Video shared this sentiment.

“We now have users streaming on Prime Video from 99% of India’s pin codes, a coverage that helps us connect with customers across the length and breadth of the country. We take this responsibility seriously and decided to take this role of a trusted friend a step further this year,” says Sreeram.

Built on the insight, the OTT giant wanted to nudge its customers to ‘step away from the world of Prime Video for “just a bit” and instead spend this festive season with their loved ones. And even as it tells them this, Amazon Prime Video wanted to promise them that their favorite stories and characters will be right here waiting for them. This is reflected in the campaign’s tagline “Hum Toh Yahaan Kal Bhi Rehenge…Par Diwali Kal Nahi Aayegi”.

Characters As The Protagonists

More than the celebrity, it’s the character that has taken the centre stage. For instance: Not Pankaj Tripathi but Kaleen Bhaiya of Mirzapur is speaking to the audience. Sreeram quips that Kaleen Bhaiyya from Mirzapur and Sidhi from Four More Shots Please! are two of the most beloved Prime Video characters.

He adds, “Since the communication hinges on asking our customers to step away from Prime Video’s fascinating world for just a bit, we thought nobody could have been more perfect to deliver this message than the very characters that our customers love.”

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“It would be counter-intuitive to say we want to bring consumers closer to Prime Video during the festive season,” shares Sreeram.

Content Line-Up & Viewership

During the festive season, when everyone is busy reveling in moments of joy, the viewership of entertainment platforms tends to take a hit. Sreeram here asserts that Amazon Prime Video has announced a compelling content lineup for its customers from the beginning of October till the end of the year.

The line-up includes Amazon Original Movies Sardar Udham, Jai Bhim, Dybukk, Bhramam, and more. It has also launched the second season of Amazon Original Series One Mic Stand. Global Originals like Justin Bieber: Our World, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Maradona: Blessed Dream the fantasy show Wheel of Time will be rolled out in November.

“Families continue to spend a large part of their time at home with adequate precautions and we are humbled by the responsibility of being their favorite entertainment destination. If there is a drop in viewership on any particular day because customers are spending time with family and friends this festive period, that’s totally ok! The world of Prime Video and the stories and characters they love will be waiting for them, post the festivities too!” says Sreeram.

Consumer Trends

There is an increasing need for brands to be real and honest with consumers, in order to resonate with them. Customers today are discerning and aware and do not trust brands that are not authentic. They need to know what the brand stands for beyond just a product.

Over the past few years, Sreeram notes that there has also been a shift towards making marketing more customer-centric, conversational, and more participative. Brands are trying to be more involved by being a part of the celebration.

“They see themselves as enablers or supporters of the festival and are trying to find ways to enhance the experience of the festival for their customers, with their presence. Brands today are more than just entities involved in transactional business. They need to deliver a relevant message to the society through their actions and campaigns,” he concludes.