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Buoyant with the popularity of its content marketing initiative Large Short Films (LSF) for Royal Stag Barrel Select in last six years, Pernod Ricard sees LSF as an independent platform and not a spokesperson for the brand. Boasting of original, creative, entertaining content, the brand’s focus is to build consumer affinity through LSF.

“Our endeavor was to create a destination for original short format content. We were not creating a platform that talks about the brand alone. It’s a long route to create brand affinity but this is what the platform intends to do predominantly,” said Raja Banerji Assistant Vice-President, Marketing, Pernod Ricard.

Some great short films have been produced on the platform, which won four Filmfare awards and awards at multiple film festivals. The platform has achieved 267+ million reach, 627+ million views, 5.5+ lakh subscribers on YouTube and more than one million followers on Facebook with an engagement rate of 5+%.

Elaborating on the insight behind the launch of the platform, Banerji said, “In a country like India, Bollywood is a religion. The consumer is yearning for original short format content. The digital space is rapidly growing and will continue to grow for the next decade or so. Telling a striking story in a limited time requires a certain amount of skill. We looked at a platform that will reward creativity and at the same time provide original content for viewers to enjoy.”

Talking about the content that Barrel Select LSF stands for, Banerji said, “We have not been prescriptive, we provide creative freedom. We choose to stay away from pornographic content or content that would hurt peoples’ sentiments at large. We stay true to the potential of content and don’t define parameters or themes for content creators. They are free to suggest scripts, we scrutinize each of them and decide whether it works for us or not.”

When asked to share some insights on how their target audience has evolved over time, Banerji said, “There are limited entertainment avenues, especially in smaller cities. If, I have original content, people will be attracted to our platform. We define our audience in three buckets, the renowned Bollywood fraternity which includes the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali, Sujoy Ghosh and Tisca Chopra, the aspiring directors, filmmakers, content creators. Last and the most important of all, consumers who like to watch original content. Our audience has evolved as we see more and more overlap among the different buckets of audience.”

Barrel Select works with independent film makers and production houses for LSF. River is the digital agency which works in promoting the content.

Understanding the importance of content marketing at an early stage itself, the brand has been successful in undertaking the route for more than five years for now. Banerji believes that content marketing is going to be the next big thing. He said, “It’s going to get more intense, there will be more people who will strive for content. Content seems to be the latest buzzword, so irrespective of brands whether they are restricted or not. Hotstar, Voot, Netflix are great examples of disseminating content and looking out for great content.”

Understanding the importance of content marketing at an early stage , the brand has been successful in undertaking the route for more than five years. Banerji believes that content marketing is going to be the next big thing. He said, “It’s going to get more intense, there will be more people who will strive for content. Content seems to be the latest buzzword, irrespective of brands. Hotstar, Voot, Netflix are great examples of disseminating content.”

India is still believed to be at a nascent stage in adopting the marketing route of content. When asked about the categories that need to gear up in using content as marketing strategies, Banerji said, “People will discover the importance of content marketing over time. The day marketers realize consumers aren’t connecting with their traditional advertising approach, they will start adopting ways to connect and engage with the consumer. Some may discover it by virtue of so many conversations happening in and around it. The sooner, the better.”


He concluded, “Our approach was to create an original short format content platform. The consumer is going to be smarter with the passage of time. If you approach it the other way and push the brand in the content, you may end up losing consumers. Why does Netflix say we showcase original content? Increasingly, you will have the consumer looking out for original content.”