This 8.5-minute video looks like a web series episode

This 8.5-minute video looks like a web series episode

We spoke to Zoomcar about its digital content marketing effort.

Zoomcar, the self-drive car rental company has recently launched a humorous digital content marketing video titled – ‘If Salary Were A Person’ – for its new product, ZAP Subscribe. The brand has partnered with Pocket Aces, a digital media entertainment company and the ad was released on its YouTube channel, FilterCopy. The 8.30-minute-long video that was launched on July 5, has crossed three million views.

‘ZAP Subscribe’ is a fractional sharing program where one can subscribe to a car on a monthly basis and technically have the flexibility of having a new car whenever you want. In this long video though, Zoomcar’s presence doesn’t look like a force-fit and blends in well enough to avoid annoying the viewer.

Although anything and everything on the digital medium is considered a part of content marketing, we asked Harish Rawat, chief marketing officer, Zoomcar, what he would classify the new video as. He responds, “In our mind, content marketing is a positive ROI driver and we have been very consistent with Pocket Aces and other aggregators in the industry, not only on video as a format but in the written content format as well and have seen very positive ROI. I guess what is very important for brands to understand is to be very clear on the objective they want to drive out of content and about the metrics and messaging as well. As long as those things are centrally aligned and in-line with business objectives, I don’t feel it would be leading to any dilution per say.”

According to Rawat, there are two types of content marketing – paid and non-paid. “A lot of non-paid is in-house generated and goes into SEO and paid includes brand integrations like the one which we have done with Pocket Aces and hence, as a result, for us, I would definitely say it is something that drives overall marketing.”

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Zoomcar is also planning to come up with a TVC for ZAP Subscribe. The target audience for the brand is the working audience, male and female, between 25-40.

Aditi Shrivastava, co-founder, Pocket Aces, tells us what she was apprehensive about while making this 8.30-minute content marketing film, “What’s important is that the script should be very crisp and when the storytelling is done, it needs to be edited very well to keep the audiences interested throughout. We believe that if the content is interesting enough and has the ability to keep people interested, you see a really good retention rate. In a web-series that we do, which is 30 minutes long, we see more than 75 per cent completion rate on watch-time for those episodes. With Zoomcar, we have worked on a web-series as well. They came in as a ‘Powered by’ partner for ‘What The Folks!’.”

About what Pocket Aces avoided, Shrivastava says, “We avoided things like stopping the video to add the logo and things like that due to which people drop out. It is the same audience we are talking to who watch one-hour episodes of a web-series. If you make captivating content that is very relatable to them, which is humorous and yes, this does happen with me, then they will watch the content.”

Since this video does not classify as a digital ad but looks like content marketing, we asked our experts what they would classify this video as and if the content is good enough to keep the audience interested till the end.

Anish Varghese, national creative director, Isobar, says, “Sometimes marketing techniques don’t have to be in your face, they can be subtle. It will engage your customer without them realising that it’s an advertisement. We could classify it as ‘shoulder content’; in most cases, shoulder content is being created by an influencer or content platform. This kind of content can make sure that it will reach the maximum number of people by sharing.”

He adds, “Personification of ‘salary’ sounds interesting, however, the storyboard could have been tighter (six min) to avoid the lag at the end. The brand plugin at the end of the film sounds a little bit like a force-fit for me.”

For Porus Jose, business head – creative, IdeateLabs, it can be termed as anything – an Engagement video, single-episode series or a long format video meme. “But this is the kind of stuff youth conversation is made of”, he adds.

Jose continues, “The video touches upon some really good millennial insights – the struggle of expense management, the trap of consumerism, the need for instant gratification, and the complicated girl-boy relationship of the digital age. The Zoomcar branding docks into the story pretty smoothly – it’s neither too pushy (that it gets annoying), nor too subtle (that you may miss it).”

But could Zoomcar or Pocket Aces have done something differently?

According to Varghese, they have done a fair job with the task at hand. “I feel the storyboard would have been tighter with relatable micro-moments”, he says.

Jose believes, “Surely they can do more of these… as engaging as this one; maybe a series to look forward to. Perhaps a few aimed at ‘how owning a car is more of a liability than an investment’; the headaches of ‘regular maintenance’, ‘insurance renewal’; ‘meeting strange buyers when you put your used car for sale online’ etc.”

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