Facebook will continue to build trust with our users and build value around each of our apps: Avinash Pant
Avinash Pant, Director, Marketing, Facebook India
According to Socialbakers, there are over 320 million Facebook users in India alone
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Facebook will continue to build trust with our users and build value around each of our apps: Avinash Pant

According to Socialbakers, there are over 320 million Facebook users in India alone
  • Facebook recently completed a year of its consumer marketing journey in India and launched a new campaign to celebrate the power of togetherness and social media.
  • In its latest advertisement, the platform continues to celebrate the power of connections and communities.
  • Facebook India’s Director of Marketing, Avinash Pant talks to us about the idea behind the campaign, the platform’s larger marketing strategy and areas of focus for FY22.
India is an important market for Facebook. With its on-going marketing campaign ‘More Together’, the platform is trying to build a deeper connection with its users here and position itself as a platform that is entrenched in the cultural fabric of our country. Its first short film ‘Pooja Didi’ under the campaign went quickly viral with over 230k shares on Facebook and garnered a reach of 160 million. Its latest ad is conceptualised by Taproot Dentsu and Dentsu Webchutney.


According to Socialbakers and Statista, as of January 2021, Facebook has 2.797 billion monthly active users (MAUs) on average, which makes it the most popular social media platform worldwide. There are over 320 million Facebook users in India alone, making it the leading country in terms of Facebook audience size, followed by the US at 190 million. Globally, the average time spent on Facebook has also increased after the pandemic to 58 minutes. Until last fiscal, a whopping 98% of Facebook's revenue was generated through advertising.

Avinash Pant, Director, Marketing, Facebook India spoke to us about the user response so far to the ‘More Together’ campaign, it's larger marketing strategy and the platform's areas of focus for India this fiscal.

Excerpts:

Q. Tell us a bit about your latest ad. How are you extending the idea with your latest ad under the campaign?

This is an extension of our ‘More Together’ campaign that we launched in March last year. The new phase marks the first anniversary of Facebook’s consumer marketing journey in the country, and continues to celebrate stories showcasing the power of connections, and how people can do more together than alone. In this phase, the company aims to shine a spotlight on people, who tapped into the power of their connections and communities to share, connect and grow.

As part of the campaign we will have three 45 second films as well as a digital campaign, FBPePoocho highlighting how people can get support and solutions by reaching out to their connections on Facebook.

Q. What kind of response did Facebook get for its first and second film 'More Together'?

We are just amazed and humbled by the many ways in which people are getting together to help and support one another on Facebook. People who were once strangers, connected with one another through Facebook, and together addressed many challenges that have surfaced in recent times . Our consumer marketing campaigns have been focused on spotlighting these stories inspired by real life experiences of people harnessing the power of their connections and have been well received by our audiences.

We also launched a short film during Diwali last year underscoring the power of connections, and our brand belief that people can do ‘More Together’ than alone. The film's plot was centered around the spirit of resilience of 28 year old Pooja and how she helps sustain as many households as possible through the hardships of the pandemic via her dairy venture. The decision to hire more personnel, even when business is low, comes at a great personal cost. However, the way the plot unfolds, it showcased the limitless possibilities when people come together. The film was inspired by several such stories of resilience that we saw across the country when normal lives were disrupted by the pandemic and this made it go viral with over 230k shares on Facebook and a reach of 160 million people showcasing the possibilities of connections at scale.

Q. Who's your exact TG for the latest campaign? How do you plan to promote it? Is digital going to be the only means to spread the word or are you going the traditional way too?

The “More Together” campaign is aimed at all users of Facebook. Our consumer marketing efforts are focused on building trust with people who use our products and services, and building value around each of our apps. The integrated campaign includes three 45-second films that will go live in multiple languages across TV, print, digital, radio and OOH. We will also leverage the power of our own platform extensively to bring these inspirational stories to life with a digital campaign #FBPePoocho focused on highlighting how people can get support and find solutions by reaching out to their connections on Facebook.

Q. What exactly do you want to achieve through the campaign?

Facebook is deeply entrenched in the cultural fabric of India and during the past year we saw several ways in which people came together on our platform such as Mahita Nagraj who formed a group Caremongers India (now HumanKind Global) to aid the unaided during the lockdown or Durga Pujo pandals going virtual on Facebook in keeping with social distancing measures to teachers using our live video features to conduct online classes. The aim of our campaign is to celebrate these people champions who tapped into the power of their connections and communities to help others, become self-reliant by upskilling themselves or celebrating small wins. Our campaign celebrates stories of people who have harnessed the power of their connections and have inspired many others in the process.

Q. What is Facebook's overall consumer marketing strategy for India?

India is a key market for Facebook, and through our consumer marketing journey, we are focused on two important things - building trust with people who use our products and services and to build value around each of our apps. With the ‘More Together’ campaign in India, we’re showcasing how people can do more together by harnessing the power of their communities and connections.

Q. From a marketing perspective, what would be your focus for FY22?

Through our marketing efforts, we will continue to build trust with people who use our products and services, and build value around each of our apps. Moreover, we will celebrate stories showcasing the power of connections, and how people can do more together than alone.

Q. What would you say have been Facebook's highlights in India so far (from a marketing perspective)?

Our community in India has grown dramatically over the last few years, as more and more Indians came online. Consumer behaviour has changed rapidly on the back of massive digital acceleration and adoption. The usage of the Facebook family of apps has increased everywhere including in India, and through our marketing efforts, we have been able to showcase the power of connections and have weaved a strong narrative around the fact that people can do more together than alone. We have been able to tell stories of how people have supported each other via the power of our platform and used it as a force for good. Our campaigns over the last year have received overwhelmingly positive responses, even the last one, Pooja Didi had millions of views globally and was shared over 230k times.

Q. How have you improved Facebook's experience lately? Considering that the time spent on the app has increased after COVID?

Last year under extraordinary circumstances, communities found ways to connect, learn, and grow through our platform. Live broadcasts from Pages in India tripled in June 2020, compared to the same time last year. Facebook Live viewership jumped 50% as entertainment and culture moved online once the lockdown restrictions were put in place. We also saw an uptick in the number of people who watched live videos on Facebook.

We’re constantly listening and taking inspiration from what our community wants. We are investing in forging partnerships to bring culturally relevant, of-the-moment videos across sports, entertainment, news and lifestyle. As a response to the growing consumer affinity for video, we are also launching India-first products on Facebook Watch. In fact, India was amongst the first countries where music videos were launched along with a music destination on Facebook Watch to enable people to view their favorite music videos and come together through music.

As people began to increasingly engage with each other to form meaningful connections, we introduced features like FB Messenger Rooms and Watch Together to complement their experience on our platform.