Srinjoy Das, associate director- marketing, Krafton India, reveals the significance behind the marketing plans for BGMI’s new digital ad campaign ‘BGMI ki Boli’.
After getting unbanned by the Indian government back in May 2023, Krafton’s Battleground Mobile India (BGMI) has swiftly regained its status as one of the most popular mobile games in India with a user base of over 40 million active players nationwide. Krafton India, the video game holding company, has concentrated its efforts on marketing the game through subsequent digital ad films unlike it has ever done before.
After releasing a TVC featuring brand ambassador Ranveer Singh on September 5, the company released a unique digital ad film titled ‘BGMI ki Boli’. The thing that stands out about the film is its runtime, which is about two minutes. This runtime is highly uncommon for an ad for a video game.
Srinjoy Das, associate director- marketing, Krafton India, shares with afaqs! that the two minutes were essential to capture the message that the company planned on conveying with the film.
The company's primary objective was to showcase how BGMI serves as a unifying platform for players hailing from diverse linguistic backgrounds. “This fusion creates a rather unique vernacular, which is exclusive to the game,” Das asserts.
He pointed out that the essence of fun in BGMI lies in the necessity for effective communication within a four-member squad to secure victory, often referred to as a 'chicken dinner.' Interestingly, these four squad members can hail from different corners of the nation.
To facilitate better understanding and a sense of community among players, collaborative gameplay concepts like 'sharing loot,' 'revive,' and 'support play' have emerged within BGMI. Over time, the in-game terminology, slang, and expressions have evolved, adapting to India's rich and varied linguistic landscape.
With the film, the brand’s objective has been to introduce ‘A New Boli’, modelled as an unofficial language for BGMI, by fusing in-game moments with India's diversity.
“With such a massive community base and the sheer diversity of gamers that meet, connect, share, and express themselves on the platform each day from different parts of the country; we had to take a moment and celebrate our community for their extraordinary love, in a way which is very unique between us. Honestly, this campaign was designed not just as a digital film but as a special community event which doubles up as an inside joke,” Das says.
He noted that BGMI has cultivated a direct connection with fans over the years, making the film's two-minute duration less of a concern. Additionally, he highlighted that including over 70 easter eggs in a digital film was unprecedented in the advertising segment.
To ensure the inclusion of iconic elements that players relate to, Krafton conducted a survey, identifying these elements based on over 28,000 responses received.
“Our core focus was to convey the story of a language, which was spoken by the community, created by the community yet never recognised as a language, yet. We had to change that. We had to convey this story in a very engaging, simple, and immersive way. We kept working on the script until we felt that the set outcomes were clearly achieved. That happened to be two minutes,” Das explains.
In addition to the film release, the company also introduced ‘BGMI Ki Boli Challenge’. By hiding clues and references related to BGMI within the campaign film, Krafton India wants to encourage players to explore, interact, and decipher these hidden elements.
“This is a very intimate essence of the game: the discovery of elements,” Das exclaims, adding, “The ad film also serves as the foundation of the BGMI Ki Boli Challenge. In an era where most users skip brand ads, this unique format invites participants to pause each frame of the brand film to hunt for hidden easter eggs. In essence, every second of the film has been carefully crafted to convey specific messages and hidden clues, so every frame adds value. The 8000 odd videos created analysing each frame already on YouTube is a testament to that.”
The company partnered with Dora Digs as the production house for this campaign. The decision was taken as the company believed their creative process aligned with Krafton India’s vision for BGMI. Das shares that the company recognised in them a deep knack for capturing the nuances of the BGMI community, and translating them to a powerful script.
He shares that the creative brief for Dora Digs was kept simple. It was to roll out a questionnaire and collect fans’ expressions about what they think are iconic elements of BGMI. Using this, the agency was tasked to weave a script around these responses. “This in a way makes it a community-inspired digital film,” Das opines.
The ad film has been live on BGMI’s official YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook pages. However, the campaign is also integrated within BGMI’s Erangel map, with billboards and airplane banners inside the map reflecting the campaign. It is also hosted as a special game event in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Upcoming marketing endeavours
Speaking about the company’s future marketing plans, Das shares, “We will continue to collaborate with our beloved partners to create fun content for our fans. In fact, our next project around ‘BGMI culture’ is right around the corner. We’ve also recently onboarded Ranveer Singh as the brand ambassador for BGMI, aiming to bring together the thrill of gaming and the charisma of the actor to deliver elevated experiences for millions of gamers across the country.”
“With Diwali on the horizon and the additional onboarding of Hardik Pandya, we hope to showcase Krafton’s commitment to bring experiences which are unique, responsible, and fun, staying true to BGMI’s roots.”
He also shares that the company plans on becoming the leading force in the up-and-coming Indian esports ecosystem.
“Our vision is to support and nurture the growth of the Esports and gaming ecosystem in India, by providing opportunities for players to showcase their talents, connect with their fans and compete at the highest level. We are inspired by the passion and talent of the Indian esports scene, and we want to empower the next generation of gamers, esports players and creators alike to pursue their dreams through this incredible platform.”