Aishwarya Ramesh

Have you seen it all? Asks Hotstar’s new ad …

Hotstar’s new ad is a pun on the phrase ‘Sab Kuch Dekh Liya’ (Meaning: I’ve seen it all), but interestingly, emphasises on the platform’s library of free content

‘Maine sab kuch dekh liya’ (I have seen it all), says the morose brother, staring into the distance. The conversation takes place in an ad film for OTT streaming platform Hotstar - between two brothers who are on an airplane that’s about to crash. There is but one parachute left. The younger brother offers it to the elder one, who stares into the distance, lamenting that he has seen it all, suggesting that the younger brother take it instead. During a monologue, the elder brother’s dialogues make subtle references to competing players who offer free content (namely, TikTok and YouTube – the two major platforms that people use to view content).

The ad draws attention to Hotstar’s library of free content. Hotstar is one of the bigger OTT players in India, owned by Disney. Last year, Hotstar reported that their free services alone draw around 300 million monthly users. The platform primarily relies on a freemium model of revenue generation - there are separate libraries of content for free users, paid users, and VIP users.

Reviewing the communication, Akashneel Dasgupta, the Chief Creative Officer at BBDO Worldwide, calls it simple, quirky and easy to comprehend. “It’s a snackable ad that doesn’t beat around the bush and is easy to understand. Personally, I like the execution because the message is clear and obvious,” he opines.

Akashneel Dasgupta
Akashneel Dasgupta

Dasgupta adds that as far as services like Hotstar go, their main aim is to bring people onto their free platform and then migrate them to paid services. “The only pitfall I can see with this communication, is that it’s largely generic in nature and I doubt that it will cut through clutter as a skippable ad. I could have substituted any brand instead of Hotstar at the end and the communication itself wouldn’t have been affected,” he says.

Abhishek Chaturvedi, McCann, calls the movie fairly straightforward, pointing out that the conversation literally tells viewers about the different types of content that can be found in the free library. “Hotstar is really popular for live events, but I remember reading that the free service lags behind. This could be an attempt to catch up,” he says.

Abhishek Chaturvedi
Abhishek Chaturvedi

“They could have used celebrities to cut through the clutter, but that doesn’t exactly happen with this communication. I might watch it if it played out on my TV screen, but if it were a skippable ad, I doubt I’d sit through it,” he signs off.