What's Mullen Lintas' NCD Shriram Iyer doing in Voot's TVC?

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 18, 2016
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A look at Viacom18's TV spots for its video-streaming service Voot..

Viacom18 has launched a 360-degree marketing campaign for its over-the-top platform (OTT) Voot. And, one of the ads in the three-film campaign titled 'Wanting Wanting', created by Mullen Lintas, even features the agency's very own national creative director (NCD) Shriram Iyer.

In this ad, Iyer plays father to a little boy, who can't get his eyes off his mobile screen; the kid is shown watching the cartoon series Motu Patlu on Voot.

When we asked Iyer about what he is doing in Voot's ad film, he says, "The director kept bullying me to be a part of this film. I have no intention to get into acting. I was anxious while doing the part, but it was fun." Interestingly, it took Iyer just one take to get his part right.

This is not the first time we've spotted Indian advertising professionals in ad films.

A quick round-up of ad makers who have featured in ad films

In a recent ad, Navin Talreja, founding partner, The Womb, features in a Fogg ad. Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Ogilvy's ex executive creative director has also been seen in Lafarge and Peter England ads. Gajraj Rao, ad film director at Code Red Films, has been seen in a Mentos ad. In 2013, K V Sridhar (Pops), chief creative officer, Sapient Nitro, was part of a teaser campaign for the digital platform that was created for Goafest.

And, Ogilvy India's executive chairman and national creative director Piyush Pandey and Agnello Dias (Aggie), chief creative officer of Taproot Dentsu, were both in the Bollywood flick Madras Cafe which starred John Abraham.

The current campaign by Voot, which goes live today, has been produced by the Mumbai-based production house Breathless Films. The campaign comprising of three TVCs, will be on digital and TV (Viacom18's network channels) platforms from today and will go on air on kids, music, infotainment, and news channels from tomorrow, May 19.

Gaurav Gandhi

Ayyappan Raj

Gaurav Gandhi, chief operating officer, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, says, "'Vooting makes you happy' is the theme of the campaign. The objective of doing this campaign is to raise awareness to use Voot and with that we are targetting the TV viewers as well with our digital audience."

Adding more about the marketing strategy for Voot, Gandhi says, "We have a 12-month campaign plan for Voot. We have 50-60 creatives that will be visible across different platforms in the near future. Currently, our marketing will start with TV and digital, and going forward, it will also be on print, radio, and out-of-home (OOH) platforms."

Talking about the brief given to the agency and the campaign, Ayyappan Raj, executive vice-president, Mullen Lintas, says, "The brief given to us was that it is video content on mobile. It is a form of entertainment which you can consume anywhere and anytime. (Shriram) Iyer came up with the idea of 'Voot Wanting Wanting'. In all our campaigns, people will see and hear the same tagline."

Adding further, Raj says, "The campaign took us a decent amount of time to crack. It took us three months from the time of the brief given to the execution of the campaign."

In the three ads, Voot has captured a kid, a married woman, and a youngster, their core target audiences (TG), as mentioned by Gandhi during the launch of Voot. During the launch, Gandhi mentioned to afaqs, "Voot is looking at three different demographics. Kids (3-11 year-olds), teenagers, for whom digital is the default medium, and youth (15-30 year-olds). The 24-30 years bracket is also counted as 'youth' because today, it's all about one's mental age. We're also looking at the 30-55 years bracket. We have content for all these demographics."

We asked an expert on how different is Voot's campaign from that of Hotstar, SonyLIV, and Ditto's campaigns.

Jaideep Mahajan

Jaideep Mahajan, national creative head, Rediffusion-Y&R, says, "The first word that comes to my mind after watching Voot's commercial is 'different'. The difference here is the idea and execution of the idea. The visual language is refreshing which is what a new product should be, especially in this space."

Which brand got it right?

Mahajan says, "If I were to compare it with the likes of Hotstar, SonyLIV, and Ditto, I feel Hotstar nailed the brand proposition home with 'Go Solo' and backed it with brilliant execution. That, for me, is the category benchmark. The no non-sense 'content is king' proposition of Voot sits comfortably against the benchmark, and like Hotstar, this commercial will also appeal to the young."

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