Aishwarya Ramesh

This Netflix ad looks more like a series trailer

Netflix's new Pocket Plans promotion references Sacred Games, Stranger Things...

At first glance, the video looks like a trailer for a new Netflix show, but this two minute video is actually an ad for Netflix's new Pocket Plans. Last month, Netflix launched a mobile-only plan in India priced at Rs. 199. The whole point of the video is to sell this to the audience which is most likely to consume it, in a language that they are most likely to understand. The video begins with an introduction of the main character - Pappu Pakitmaar, a pickpocket whose hands are smoother than butter. We see him skilfully stealing people's wallets until something strange starts happening...

One shot in the video shows a print ad of Netflix advertising its new plan - a subtle way of integrating the product being advertised, without actually talking about the scheme or its features. The video stars Vijay Varma of Gully Boy fame. As the video progresses, something strange starts happening. Whenever the protagonist tries to steal something from a pocket or purse, he starts pulling out full sized items (which normally wouldn't fit in there.) Every item he pulls out, and subsequently gets caught for attempting to steal, makes a reference to a Netflix show. In one instance, he pulls an umbrella out of a commuter's pocket (a reference to Bunty's infamous chhatri comment from Sacred Games Season 1.) When he attempts to steal something out of a girl's backpack, he pulls out a cut out of Radhika Apte (a reference to the fact that at one point, she starred in every popular Netflix show.) The video even makes a couple of references to Stranger Things, using insignia like fairy lights and a spiked bat.

Netflix has always been known for its out of the box content promotion style and this one is no exception. Many fans were even disappointed that this wasn't a real trailer. Only time will tell if Netflix will take their fans up on that.

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