These 'skippable' YouTube pre-roll ads are actually promos for 'Fukrey Returns'...

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | November 28, 2017
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The 'ad films' have been created by Excel Entertainment and Trigger Happy Entertainment.

Remember the 2013 comedy film Fukrey that got the audience to laugh out loud? Well the producer, Excel Entertainment, is back with promos of its sequel. Titled - 'Fukrey Returns' - the film is slated to release on December 8. So what?

Well, the movie's digital marketing plan has at its centre a series of 'skippable' YouTube pre-roll ads. Some of these 'ads' will appear on TV and some will be aired in movie theatres. The campaign has been created by the movie's production unit Excel Entertainment and a Mumbai based creative agency called Trigger Happy Entertainment. These ads feature the main characters of the film.

As of now four ads are out. In all, the campaign will comprise 13 ads. Some of these would also be visible on OOH platforms. According to a source, the production house has spent close to Rs 15 lakh to make these ad films.

Talking about the strategy, Vishal Ramchandani, marketing head, Excel Entertainment, says, "We have done some quirky ads because with films, it becomes very boring to see the same trailer again and again. A big part of our strategy was how the 'Fukras' would actually market the film in their style. That is the tone that we have used across our events and commercials."

The production house would be releasing the rest of the films in the coming days. "There will be a transition to it. Some of the ads will be used as a countdown moving towards the movie release as well", adds Ramchandani.

Vishal Ramchandani Vishal Ramchandani

Vishal Makhija Vishal Makhija

Adding about the need to make pre-roll ads, Ramchandani says, "One needs to understand what worked in the first film. The characters made this film and for the advertisers to really grow, it is important for people to resonate with the characters that need to be consistent. So whatever activity we do, it will be about how these 'Fukras' sell themselves. We will be having activations going on where these characters will be shown delivering boxes/packages from Amazon to people and sharing Ola cabs with people; the whole world has been taken in for the promotion of the film."

Vishal Makhija, creative head, Trigger Happy Entertainment tells afaqs! that this is the first time pre-roll ads have been made for promoting a film. "To do something that has not been done before was a big challenge. We had attempted something similar for Excel's show Inside Edge. Over there, we tried creating a lot of digital ads for them. That was a web-series, but for a main stream Bollywood film, this is the first time this has been done. We drew ideas from the film after watching it. The campaign is like the film - a wild and bizarre ride and it has been very interesting."

Since these are the pre-roll ads, the advertiser had the choice of making the viewers watch the entire ad rather than giving them a skip option. So we asked our reviewers to give their views on the same and asked them - between movie marketing and brand marketing, for which option do the pre-roll ads work better?

Carlton D'Silva Carlton D'Silva

Praveen Raj Praveen Raj

Carlton D'Silva, chief executive officer and chief creative officer, Hungama Digital Services, says, "The ads are well done. They are quick and snappy. People tend to skip brand ads a lot more than films so these ads already are in the space with an advantage. But finally, when it comes to the ad, it's all about the content and if the end user finds it interesting enough, they generally work.

He adds, "I believe they had an idea here to make the ad interesting and used reverse psychology to keep the user from clicking the skip button. When you see an ad and wait to click the Skip button, you tend not to do the same when it's brought to your notice. It's a good idea, but not novel in nature. The Pros would be that it makes for good content and the user gets to see the complete ad. The con would be the same as other ads - you just click the skip button."

Praveen Raj, senior creative director, The Digital Street, a digital agency from the stable of The Social Street, rates the ad 8/10. He says, "Fukrey is a fun, irreverent movie and the ads capture the tone perfectly. The 'Electrocution ad' especially works because it's asking viewers to skip the ad, which is bound to generate curiosity. The fact that the dialogues and situations are tailored to the YouTube environment and the action of skipping ads, makes them very endearing."

He adds, "Ads should be entertaining enough to entice users to see the whole story rather than imprisoning them within it. Geico is one brand that has got this right with their non-skippable ads and possibly the Electrocution ad for Fukrey, might just do the trick for this campaign."

Credits:
Client: Excel Entertainment
Agency: Trigger Happy Entertainment
Amit Chandrra - Chairman and Managing Director
Vishal Makhija - Creative Head
Jigyasa Sharma - Creative Producer

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