The word weekend conjures different images in people’s minds. Some imagine spending time with their family, some imagine washing their car/catching up on chores and for most, it involves snuggling under the covers and binge watching a show. Online video streaming has changed the way people spend their time and therefore earned some unlikely competitors, one being, the amusement park and theme park sector. Imagica is a theme park located between Mumbai and Pune and they recently released a set of ads to reiterate their new brand positioning as ‘India’s biggest amazement park.’
The new brand campaign has been conceptualised to bring out Imagica’s extensive entertainment offerings. Extending beyond rides and thematic shows, activities at Imagica also include high-energy acrobatic stunts, interactive dance performances, and street magic.
The ads comprise a set of customised, Youtube pre-roll ads. Since customer interests on the digital world are varied, these ads call out the customer’s specific search or interest term such as “movies”, “music” or “standup comedy”, and then go on to show relevant ads made in the context of brand Imagica.
Raveendra Singh, head of marketing, sales and strategy at Adlabs Entertainment mentioned that the brief to the creative agency was to create disruption in the field of engagement. Joy Ghosal, co-founder and head — creative strategy, Marching Ants, said, “To further go down the path of disruption, we got onto the most used platforms in the digital world — YouTube and Facebook — and decided to create an element of surprise just before the audience got to see what they wanted. We created contextual YouTube videos that played just before the audience's desired video. These ads emphasise on how routine ways of enjoyment are boring and can only be 'healed' by Doc.M.A.Zing's recommendation of amazement viz., Imagica.”
During a telephonic conversation, Singh mentioned that Adlabs Entertainment was founded by Manmohan Shetty when he visited theme parks across the world He found that Indian tourists preferred visiting theme parks such as Universal Studios or Disneyland, but they had no such equivalent in India.
“In 2014 or 15, when the first park opened, that’s when the concept of an integrated theme park and resort was fulfilled. That’s the model that international parks follow, there is the theme park and there is a facility to stay, alongside of it,” he says. He mentions there's a Bollywood style attraction called House of Stars, which is modelled along the lines of Madame Tussauds and that the company keeps adding new celebrities to attract customers.
Singh mentions that Imagica advertises on the OOH medium for increased visibility and that they frequently use radio spots too. When asked if he competes with other theme parks, he mentions that his main competition is not another player in the market, but his competition is the activities people do while they're onilne, such as binge watching shows or watching recipe videos.
Singh states, the nature of the business is a seasonal one, driven mainly by summer vacation and the time during Christmas and New year. “That is the time when consumers take the initiative to do outdoor activities, but we have seen an increasing trend of people visiting the park or during long weekends apart from these times,” Singh says. He calls it the 'long weekend phenomenon’, which has led to an increase in footfalls, year-on-year.
Prachi Bali, business head - North, FoxyMoron, points out that this campaign is targeted towards the most popular video consumption patterns on YouTube today such as movie trailers, food videos and comedy.
“From a media spend perspective it does make sense. They're trying to target the audience by getting their attention using an exaggerated character which does work positively for brands occasionally. Today, the audience is primarily on digital and the brand is hoping to drive this traffic to their theme park. I would say not the best creative effort, but most definitely a good attempt by a brand like Imagica whose only recall so far has been its jingle,” she quips.
Neharika Awal, group creative director, Dentsu One feels that the strategy is quite on point. “People and most millennials are busy binge watching content. Beyond that they save their time for gigs and grub fests and such experiences. Imagica is an experience that probably got slotted as a family outing. To try and swing the consumers to an experience like Imagica is definitely all right. Hence the cool, young, (kind of) quirky execution is the right way to go about it,” she agrees.
“Though I’m not sure if watching trailers is really “boring” as the ad says. Even worse, if Imagica is a land of thousand plus experiences, to show multiple films with the same product cut is not cutting it right. So yeah, things could’ve been done better. But a nice campaign. I would love them to remain relevant in the times to come,” Awal signs off.