Aishwarya Ramesh

ZEE5 tries to cross barriers to subscription in latest media burst that shows off content library

The platform is home to 150-plus originals and over 2,800 movies available to watch in 12 languages.

ZEE5, the leading home-grown video streaming platform, has announced its new brand campaign ‘Dekhtey Reh Jaogey’. The campaign’s objective is to let people know that the platform is offering its annual premium subscription at ₹499 now (previously at ₹999/year). This gives the fans one more reason to ‘binge-watch’ their favourite web series/movies from India’s biggest library of original content.

A press release mentions that ZEE5’s content library has 150-plus originals and over 2,800 movies. It also contains content in 12-plus Indian languages, including web series, movies (originals and theatricals), TVF shows, Live TV, ALTBalaji shows, ad-free catch-up TV, Zindagi TV shows, kids’ content, and much more.

The ₹499 subscription will also include over 50 new theatricals and 40-plus originals across diverse languages slated to be launched on ZEE5 through the course of the year.

The campaign features actors Sara Ali Khan and Amol Parashar as brand ambassadors. It is targeted towards younger audiences aged between 18 and 34 years. Following a 360-degree approach to target entertainment lovers, ZEE5 has planned a high-frequency campaign across TV, social media, and digital.

Manish Kalra, chief business officer, ZEE5 India, said, “With the OTT upswing, today, millions of viewers are binge-watching content across smaller towns and cities, many of which are underserved in terms of content options and infrastructural set-up. With the ‘Dekhtey Reh Jaogey’ campaign, we want to make quality entertainment accessible to the consumers, in the language of their choice, at the tap of a button, without price being a deterrent. Think of it as 'entertainment inclusion', our single biggest goal going forward.”

Manish Kalra
Manish Kalra

On on-boarding Khan and Parashar as the face of the campaign, Kalra added, “Both Sara and Amol are immensely talented, and connect with the audiences across age groups, especially the youth. We are glad to associate with both of them and hope this campaign achieves maximum reach with their support.”

“With ‘Dekhtey Reh Jaogey’, the aim is to entertain everyone, especially during these difficult times. Additionally, for me, ‘Kedarnath’ and ‘Simmba’ are my firsts and, therefore, extra special that both are on ZEE5! I’m excited about my association with ZEE5," Khan said in the release.

“I chose this campaign because of the messaging we are giving out to people to stay at home and be entertained without any interruption during this pandemic. ZEE5 has consistently presented intriguing and amazing content across genres. I started my journey with TVF and, recently, the two content creators have joined hands, which shows the trust everyone has in this platform,” added Parashar.

Expert opinion

Carlton D’Silva, co-founder of House of Awe (a film marketing company) and former CEO of Hungama Digital Entertainment, points out that the choice of characters in the ad (Khan and Parashar) itself is an indicator of the depth of content on the platform.

Carlton D'Silva
Carlton D'Silva

“The fact that the title of the video reads, Sara Ali Khan ZEE5 Advertisement speaks about the audience that they would like to connect with. But the other character played by Amol Parashar too has his fair share of followers, and including his name to the title would have only added value to the same.”

“ZEE5 seems to have missed out a bit here... but it is an ad about the depth of content on the platform. And while they rattle off names in the film, the cast too tells a tale in itself, which is smart.”

D'Silva elaborates there are so many platforms out there and a finite amount of cash to spend on entertainment, that value for money becomes an important consideration for the customers.

"It’s important that there is good quality, and high-rated original quality content (on the platform)."
Carlton D'Silva

“It’s important there is good quality, and high-rated original quality content. The content on offering also plays a role and, last, the price tag – which is affordable enough to let me access all this content. This ad covers at least two of the three barriers, which is a job well done.”

Neeraj Sharma, head of strategic planning at Rediffusion, deconstructs the ad and calls it a ‘sampling ad’. “In fact, most OTTs are sampling ads, and it makes sense because brand building in this space is not the same as a soap or an oil ad, where you are selling an emotional space. In the OTT space, what you have on your platform is your ad – at the cost of oversimplification.”

Neeraj Sharma
Neeraj Sharma
"In fact, most OTTs are sampling ads, and it makes sense because brand building in this space is not the same as a soap or an oil ad, where you are selling an emotional space."
Neeraj Sharma

“The cost is just a part, a big part though, of this equation. That's why Hotstar has more subscribers than Netflix. This ad is trying to do it – leveraging a Bollywood star to sell Bollywood content. However, I am not sure mentioning just a few films does an effective job. For me, it doesn't have much to motivate people to cross the barrier and actually become a subscriber of the platform,” Sharma signs off.

(With additional inputs from Shreyas Kulkarni.)