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  • Writer's pictureAmol Bakshi

Brand Awareness Beyond Entertainment

On one of our shootings I found my cameraman watching something on his mobile phone during the lunch time. This was very surprising. I couldn’t imagine the dedicated person as my DOP (Director of Photography) checking his mobile during a shooting. More than work, we are friends. We’ve been working for many years. So, I asked him teasingly whether he’s talking to some girl. Then he showed it to me. It was not something that I had not seen. But then still, it took my mind off when I saw the glimpse of it. It wasn’t something out of the box video that we watched. It was a web series on YouTube like any other series. The cast was interesting and the chemistry of the actors was fab. It was a terrific entertainer. But we all had seen such pieces of entertainment. There was something beyond entertainment that struck to the adman in me. It was a web series specially created to promote a brand.

It was an altogether a new level in advertising. We all have seen videos that sell a product. What is the duration we look at for such video ads – 10 seconds to 1 min. But here they had created a 5 episode series and placed the product in such an intelligent way that it became another character. I know placing a product in films is not a new thing and even then when we saw that video 5 years ago, covert branding was a common thing. This advertising campaign was really new and it was well accepted by the audience. Both the makers and the brand were in a win-win situation. I am talking about Tiago Tripling.

The show:

Tiago Tripling was created by the popular production house, TVF. Being among the first few popular show creators on YouTube in India, TVF had a different kind of audience. They had captured the young minds and they just loved their shows. It was a sigh of relief from the over dramatic TV series and typical Bollywood films. The characters in these shows were like the people around us. They would speak the language of the youth. They would not deliver dialogues, they preferred conversing. This idea clicked and TVF created many successful shows like Permanent Roommates, Barely Speaking with Arunab or TVF Pitchers. They were the early shows which were immensely successful.

YouTube shows typically work based on the subscription. More the subscribers, more the sponsors. TVF had also got sponsors for their earlier shows. They tried to create a covert branding web series with Pitchers at a limited scale. But they took a massive step when the brand like Tata approached them for a new web series to launch their new car. This was something really new. They had to design a series and not an ad film to sell a car. But it was interesting. The creative minds at TVF came into play and happened TVF Tripling, writer by Sumeet Vyas & Akarsh Khurana and starring Sumeet Vyas, Maanvi Gagroo & amol Parashar. This emotional comedy about three siblings going on a road trip in a Tiago went on to win millions of views, subscriptions and awards. Made in 2016, Tripling was recognised as the best web series with in the branded content category.

Why a web series?

Tata had launched a small car named Tiago. Till then Tata’s most popular small car was Indica. Ne of the most sold car, Indica could not attain the status symbol. It was always considered as a strong and comfortable car, but for use of public transport. Indicas were hugely used as cabs and hardly for the private use. The robustness and design couldn’t attract the youth.

When Tata came up with Tiago, it was on the verge of changing their designs and making them more youthful. Tiago was a small car with a lot of features and it came in many attractive colours. Tata has always have a strong brand value in India. The name is reckoned with a certain respect. But that too was not being successful to bring the youth towards the brand. So, a completely new strategy was needed. That’s how Tripling was born.

The humour was quirky and coming of age. The topic was really interesting and the show was a perfect TVF product. It was an entertaining show, no matter if it was made for a brand. It was a fantastic show and it was received in that fashion. But the product (Tata Tiago) got the association that it was craving for. It was started being recognised by the youth. Now, this was a real success. The show was a huge hit on the entertainment front and at the same time it achieved the target of brand awareness and brand association with an ease.

A new wave in advertising:

TVF Tripling certainly changed the perception of the brand marketers. YouTube advertising was one source they could reach out their customers on social media. But they were as good as TV Commercials. One needed to squeeze it in 20-30 seconds. The taste of the market too was changing. People liked to watch entertainment and not ads. This was a new opportunity and marketers jumped on it. But there was a little bit change. Instead of producing the entire series, they opted for short films. These short films with touching subjects or world problem and they got instant shareabilty. No wonder these videos went viral instantly and opened a new way of advertising.

Beautiful concept, new age storytelling and smart product placements help the brand more visibility and a better association. We have seen such films made by big brands.

Here are some of the examples.

The best part about these ads is that they don’t cry for attention. They don’t look and sound like ads. They come as a short film. The actors (celebrity or fresh ones) play a part in such a way that they do total justice to the character. These ads are just perfectly cut and short in duration that a person can easily spend that much time while finishing their tea. If the message is right and the story is touching, people instantly share it. They become the media, the vehicle to take your brands to millions and they don’t even come to know.

So, if you have such desire to make such film for your brand, talk to a professional production house like and convert it into a viral video. Idea alone doesn’t win heart. One needs a sharp script and a perfect way to tell a story. Don’t waste your money on newbies even though they promise you the moon in your budget. Approach the people who are best and experienced in the industry.

Happy advertising!

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