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Amazon Prime Original - Paatal Lok.
Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country GM, Amazon Prime Video India walks us through Paatal Lok's marketing strategy.

How Amazon Prime managed to make Paatal Lok talk of the town through its marketing strategy

Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country GM, Amazon Prime Video India walks us through Paatal Lok's marketing strategy.
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  • A few weeks after its launch, Amazon Prime Video offers a glimpse into the unique marketing strategy behind the recently launched Amazon Original Series Paatal Lok.
  • Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country GM, Amazon Prime Video India shares tips on how to execute a large-scale marketing plan amid the lockdown.
With a release during the nation-wide lockdown period, the digital streaming service faced various limitations to promote the show, including lack of outdoor campaigns. Below are excerpts by Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country GM, Amazon Prime Video India on how these limitations were turned into opportunities.

The Marketing Campaign

Paatal Lok’s marketing campaign had three dimensions to it. The first was to bring the title to life ‘Paatal Lok’ – a word that derives itself from Indian mythology, and make it relevant & contextual for audiences. We borrowed the concept of the three realms – Paatal Lok, Swarg lok, Dharti lok - layering them with present day context, to construct a relatable yet intriguing concept. Central to the campaign was the concept, story and the characters – and that really was the core of the campaign. ‘Haathiram’ , ‘Hathoda Tyagi’ , ‘Sanjeev Mehra’ were all powerful characters and we put them in the context of the three realms. The third element of the campaign was the unique visual language of the show which made it totally stand out.

The unique thing about the phases of this campaign were that in addition to our efforts (of anticipation, launch and sustenance), the love for the show inspired a huge wave of ‘fan’ led marketing. In addition to the great critic and media reviews, the show created a pop culture moment of its own that saw fan-art to memes to other brand’s doing ‘moment marketing’ using the three realms – Paatal Lok, Swarg lok, Dharti lok. All of it further added to the show’s appeal and fandom.

Change in marketing strategies with the absence of OOH and other outdoor medium

With the growing popularity of the show, the distinctly different worlds of the show or the ‘Loks’ have become a pop cultural reference. This thought was seeded by the marketing team in early stages of the campaign along with a distinct visual identity. The campaign kicked off with an intriguing teaser, which was originally supposed to be filmed, but the team quickly pivoted to create an animated spot (given the lockdown), with Jaideep Ahlawat (Haathiram) lending his powerful voice to it

We realised that given the lockdown the Media choices will be limited so the team decided to go even bigger on social and digital media (with support from TV). The campaign had a lot of hooks to engage & build intrigue – a good example of this would be the a cryptic significance behind the time of the release of the trailer i.e. 11:34 am IST. The time, if read upside down, spells HELL (Paatlal) – and this was only revealed when we provided a preview of the trailer on the microsite 12 hours before its official release at 11:34 pm IST. The talent , creators and the team at Amazon Prime Video continued to build on the excitement for the customers using themes linked to the ‘Loks’, ‘visual language’ or now ‘iconic’ dialogues from the trailer right till the day of launch. 24 hours before the show’s launch, the creators, producers and talent of the show turned (upside down) their Twitter profile pictures to build the narrative of an upside down/inverted world.

Moment Marketing

Paatal Lok saw huge organic flow of memes which shows ‘fandom’ & ‘love’ for the show and its characters. The format for the distinctly different realms of the show was introduced by us on the trailer launch day to contextualize the 3 loks, and once audiences got intrigued and connected with it, several brands took note of the same and tapped on it for their social communication thus further propelling it into a big pop cultural moment.

Paatal Lok will join the thousands of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and Bollywood in the Prime Video catalogue. These include Indian-produced Amazon Original series such as Four More Shots Please, Paatal Lok, The Forgotten Army – Azaadi Ke Liye, The Family Man, Mirzapur, Inside Edge and Made In Heaven, as well as award-winning and critically- acclaimed global Amazon Original series like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Boys, Hunters, Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, all on Prime Video, which is available at no extra cost for Amazon Prime members. The service includes titles available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali.

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