Brands willing to spend double digits for branded content: TVF's Vijay Koshy

TVF is moving beyond web series into other things like influencers


MUMBAI: They are viral, that's for sure. Churning out millennial-relatable content, The Viral Fever (TVF) is not only one of the leading content creators in the digital space but can be termed as a pioneer too. It has been creating web-series with killer brand integrations from a time when the idea of branded video was very blurry.

In an interaction with Indiantelevision.com, TVF brand partnerships head Vijay Koshy shared how TVF has evolved over time, coping with changes and challenges.

The birth of online video content saw urban youth as the target. It is only recently with cheaper data  that tier II and tier III cities changed the orientation and strategy of content creators. Koshy said that TVF was very clear from the beginning that it would make content for the “real India”.

“So, when it started itself we were very clear that we will cater to the real India. Real India does not necessarily reside in Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore. Meirut, Agra are as important as Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Lucknow, Jalandhar. Now audiences from tier II cities are also consuming digital content thanks to better data penetration with brands like Jio. If it’s a good story, it will cut across country, they will relate to it,” Koshy said.

The audience is always the hero of the story. The focus remains on creating stories which can connect to the life of audiences. Once the connection is established, then it will connect brands with core content.

Online is experimenting and so is TVF. Despite  integrations in categories like auto and FMCG, it still saw more than half of its business came from e-commerce players. The latest one was with Brand Factory for the series Weekends.

“Brand Factory has innovative ways of marketing and in that sense, it has always been open to experimenting with new formats. Brand Factory specifically has been always very proactive and talks to a very young audience unlike other brands in its category. When we worked with them, they were very clear that they wanted the brand to be thematically integrated into whatever the content would be,” he shared.

TVF is also working with the BSFI industry, which is an interesting category. AMFI is one of the largest partners that TVF has on board. “Everyone knows mutual fund is good but to talk about what’s the lowest amount that we should start, where I can invest, that kind of important communication can happen very naturally through web series. So, brands are willing to experiment and try out web series. I think a lot of brands are now, at least, segregating double-digit share as far as branded content is concerned,” he added.

According to him, a lot of brands are realising digital demands and are backing that up with budgets for branded content. He also added that as per his estimation eight out of ten brands are recognising the importance of digital platforms.

Talking about the growth in investment in branded videos, he shared that brands are asking pertinent questions about pre-roll and display ads including completion rates, click rates, overall effectiveness and ROI etc. Some brands, therefore, want to take the road less travelled and invest in branded content.

“Every time you create content, you are experimenting with change. Audience taste in this segment is also changing so dramatically that you need to be really close to them to understand their passions, motivations so that you can understand their content needs and preferences. The way we go about is telling brands that if you are spending on digital, start in a small way,” Koshy added.

When it comes to TVF, revenue model is based on partnerships with brands. It has to maintain a fine balance of good storytelling while keeping the brand requirement also in line, which is not very easy to achieve. According to Koshy, over the years, TVF has managed to master that.

However, TVF is evolving and not anymore limited to web content only. It is getting into other things like influencers, where it will collaborate with well-known influencers exclusively to help them create content. It is also experimenting with reality shows, while getting into the regional space in a big way starting from the South.

Moreover, it also has its own platform which means brands can do pre-rolls and brand campaigns also on its content. International brands like Tuborg, Redbull, along with lot of local brands like Tata Motors have done a lot of pre-rolls with TVF. Hence with a large spread network, the company is confident that it will have multiple offerings for new brands who want to get into the digital space.

“It’s a fine line. Often our brand partners have real concerns on the amount of visibility or ensuring that the brand values are intact. Because we have been doing this for so many years now, we understand what brands want. The biggest thing we tell them if this content does not work out, you can go back to selling cars, shampoo, something else but for us, it is our reputation that is at stake. We will do our best to make the content work,” he commented while asked about creative freedom in branded content.

“So, when that kind of reassurance comes on, they tend to agree to take that risk eight out of ten times. Even brands before campaigns go on and research everything possible but get rejected. In today’s world brands are also willing to experiment because they are seeing their communication is not impactful as it used to be earlier,” he added.

After ruling the space for so long, creating exemplary brand integrations, it has its own defined audience giving brands a reason to spend. What’s important for team TVF is that how does it engage with brands so that they come back and keep working with them on a regular basis. 

Latest Reads

Facebook Watch garners 400mn monthly users

Three months since the global launch of Facebook Watch, there are already already more than 400 million people monthly and 75 million people daily who spend at least one minute, revealed head of video at Facebook Fidji Simo.

iWorld Social Media
YouTube removed 7.85 mn videos last quarter

According to Google’s YouTube community guidelines enforcement report, YouTube removed 7.85 million videos and 1.67 million channels in its last quarter.

iWorld Social Media
Star India adopts Hotstar-only model in US, channels to go off cable TV from 5 January

There’s a lot happening at Star India at the moment with its integration into the media and entertainment giant Disney underway. A crucial aspect of that arrangement played out on Thursday as president 21st Century Fox, Asia and chairman and CEO of Star India Uday Shankar was named chairman Star...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Voot to stream 'It’s not that simple' S2

Voot is all set to roll out its original series, It’s Not That Simple—S2, starting 14 December 2018.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Eros Now Expands its Presence in Indonesia Through Partnership with XL Home of XL Axiata

Eros International PLC (NYSE:EROS) (“Eros”), a leading global company in the Indian film entertainment industry, announced today that Eros Now, its cutting-edge digital over-the-top (OTT)

iWorld Over The Top Services
Amazon Prime Video announces ‘Breathe’ S2

Amazon Prime Video today announced that it has commenced the production of an all-new season of the Prime Original Series, Breathe.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Paytm Money enables ‘UPI Payment’ facility for Mutual Fund Investments

Paytm Money - India's largest online only platform for Mutual Fund investments & the wholly owned subsidiary of One97 Communications Limited which owns the brand Paytm, today announced that its investors can now make mutual fund investments using UPI based payment mode on the app.

iWorld e-commerce
Instagram's Year In Review sees heart emoji top the charts

Facebook-owned photo and video-sharing platform Instagram has released its ‘Year In Review’ 2018 report, sharing all the different ways Instagram's global community expressed itself to get closer to the people – and things – they love.

iWorld Social Media
IndiaCast partners JKN Media to bring Indian content to Thailand

In a bid to strengthen its international foothold and provide unparalleled entertainment to the transnational viewers, IndiaCast Media Distribution - the domestic and international distribution arm of Viacom18 and TV18

iWorld Over The Top Services

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories