ABP Network moving beyond usual ad spots through integrated content

The effective ABP-Prime Video collaboration clearly indicates that times are changing

KOLKATA: Over the years, ABP Network has earned a place in the country as a reliable multi-lingual network. With the winds of change, it has strengthened digital presence as well as clocked over four billion views on YouTube, more than ten million followers on Twitter and around 21 million on Facebook. Along with high connect on social media platforms, it reaches a number of users through its app, which boasts over ten million downloads.

No doubt brands are drawn to the network’s platforms to reach their target audience across the country. It is not only traditional businesses who usually spend on news category that are choosing ABP Network, but new-age ventures are also collaborating with it. For instance, leading streaming platform Amazon Prime Video has yielded good results, courtesy out of the box campaign.

The OTT platform wanted to promote its big hit Inside Edge season 2, with a view to go beyond commonplace marketing. Rather than promoting it as a returning season, the platform wanted to highlight it as a new IP in line with the tagline “Game beyond the game” without revealing too much about the show. ABP Spotlight, the creative content team of ABP Network, identified the theme of crime syndicate, dope, drugs similar to its own crime show Sansani.

Taking an innovative approach, Spotlight decided to take the same promotional route as the one for Sansani. The show’s anchor Shrivardhan Trivedi was featured to tap into his strong follower base. Along with the usual promos run on the network, trailer snippets of the Prime Video show were run in the background while Sansani was on air. The show appeared an integral part of the latter thanks to the co-relation in the themes. No forceful changes or inclusion in anchors delivery, style and script were undertaken. 

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The trust built in the first integration brought Amazon Prime Video back to ABP Network for the digital premiere of Gulabo Sitabo starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushman Khurana. Breaking the myths of news channels being used only for driving frequency, ABP Solution team took creativity one step ahead through content integration. It was not easy as the country woke up to Covid2019 shock right ahead of the movie’s release.

Along with a massive change in content consumption trends, the lockdown compelled brands to alter the usual movie marketing strategy. Amazon Prime Video team did not agree to the strategy planned out after the first brief. The ABP creative team tweaked the first brief to come out with an innovative solution.  Instead of running promos featuring lead actors, ABP Spotlight opted for animated characters to meet the requirement of unique brand integration.

While producing an animated capsule using lead characters played by Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, there were other challenges as the industry was still adjusting to the deadly crisis. The animation agencies found it difficult to deliver it in a record time of five-six days along with the challenge of finding the right dubbing artists to match the exact voice of the lead actors. Overcoming all the challenges, the ABP team was able to deliver the creative in a timely manner. Without any change in the format of usual content, the animated version of two lead characters were interviewed by Shrivardhan Trivedi, along with snippets of the movie running in the background. The 135 second-long vignette was aired on 11 June 2020. The experience was as immersive as a piece of news content.

Moving away from usual ad spots, ABP Network has successfully implemented new-age marketing for Amazon Prime Video. While news networks were not being looked as an ideal option for content integration until few years ago, the effective ABP-Prime Video collaboration clearly indicates that times are changing.

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