Pandemic is a great equaliser for content creators, says Rishabh Khatter of The Rabbit Hole

Zoo Media's video content solution agency recently released a work-from-home version of its show Behensplaining on Netflix's YouTube channel. In an interaction with, Khatter explains the challenges and opportunities of curating viral content amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Akanksha Nagar
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Production logistics can be a nightmare for content agencies and curators amid the Covid-19 pandemic as the lockdown has brought all kinds of such activities to a halt due to strict restrictions in place.

During such tough times, brands and platforms will have to continue to remain relevant to the audiences while respecting the limitations and sensitivities that the situation brings with it.

Living up to the promise of producing content, The Rabbit Hole, a part of the Zoo Media Network, recently produced the work-from-home (WFH) version of Behensplaining for Netflix.

Behensplaining is a weekly content review show on Netflix’s YouTube channel featuring two gutsy behens (sisters), Kusha Kapila and Srishti Dixit, giving their reviews on Netflix’s latest releases. 

Rishabh Khatter

Rishabh Khatter, the Business Head of The Rabbit Hole and a member of the Executive Council (Ex-Co) at Zoo Media, told why the current situation has put forth an opportunity for creators to keep churning out content and how agencies need to adopt to the ‘Sasta Sunder Tikau’ model.

“This pandemic is a great equaliser, whether you’re a content creator with a million followers or just starting out. You still have to woo audiences with content shot within the four walls of your home. The argument of big production funding, glamorous sets and costumes don’t exist anymore. It’s about owning your talent and sharpening your editing skills and applying the winning formula of creating relevant, relatable and easy-to-replicate content,” said Khatter.

The post-Covid-19 world will be a very different one. Unless something drastically changes, this seems like it is going to be the ‘new normal’ for some time. During these times, brands, platforms or agencies need to remain relevant among the audiences.

But how feasible is it for any content producer or a company to produce content and launch it amid the pandemic?

Answering this, he said, “Innovation and perseverance is the name of the game in our opinion. To produce content during this time will be a true test of patience and skills. Our advice is to accept the constraints that this time brings with it and start afresh; tackling each logistical challenge with a fresh perspective. Our focus is to get easy footage and use the edit table to do most of the magic.”

As the video-first agency launched the work-from-home version of its show, Khatter said they are working with a whole host of brands, trying to coordinate ‘home-shot’ videos.

“Given that we’re working on tight budgets and even tighter timelines, we’re working with brands at this time to create video-based content at scale by experimenting with previously shot content and repurposing them into new assets,” he said.

The show is interspersed with sketches and hilarious commentary, character arcs, plot analysis put together with a unique editing style and packed with satire and sarcasm. Since its launch on July 4, 2019, the show was an instant hit. It garnered over 330k views organically, and its viewership has only increased with each passing episode.

Talking about the journey of the show, Khatter said the editorial and publishing team at Netflix wanted to create a review show about Indian and international, original and licensed content released on the service that would leave viewers with something to talk about.

“The team has always been willing to take bold bets that others might not have, and that’s how the concept of introducing the much-needed female perspective on cinema/series got approved. And if we want to bring this female perspective to the forefront, then the narrative must be driven by a goofy authentic sisterhood bond that we now call ‘The Behens’. From the writers, director, production crew, on-screen talent to us even seeking a possibility of women in the lighting crew, we created a dedicated team of behens that would bring home our agenda and own it,” he added.

Behensplaining Links (Recent Studio Produced):

Behensplaining | Srishti Dixit & Kusha Kapila Review Ghost Stories | Netflix India –

Behensplaining | Srishti Dixit & Kusha Kapila Review Dil Chahta Hai | Netflix India –

Behensplaining | Srishti Dixit & Kusha Kapila Review Khushi | Netflix India –

Khatter said after the lockdown was imposed, the channel witnessed a spike in demand for Behensplaining episodes and saw an increase in the number of its previous episodes.

Since production scheduled for this month could not take place, noticing the high demand for the show, the creative team realised it is imperative to maintain the bond with fans, and that the show must go on.

“Once Netflix okayed the WFH premise, we had less than one week to take it live. Our head writer and director of the show, Sofia Ashraf, shot the episode remotely via video calls within two days. Logistically, even though Kusha was in Delhi and Srishti was in Mumbai, co-ordinating shots and directing without a crew was tedious, to say the least. The complexity of the whole task included working with the camera, the wardrobe they owned and even the props they owned. We created production guidelines on how to face the camera, checked in advance on when the day-light would wear off in both the cities so that the lighting was consistent. We had a tonne of IT snags; equipment giving up and batteries draining along with fluctuating internet speeds, which made this task even more arduous. We knew we had to do justice to the content we had created in the past, the standards that Netflix holds themselves (and us) to and deliver a product that we would all be proud of. These hurdles just made the delivery all the sweeter,” he said.

The agency is committed to hitting its weekly cadence; ensuring that fans keep getting their weekly dose of the show.

Since its inception in 2015, the agency has become one of the most sought-after video solutions agencies in the country and evolved from being a digital video-first agency to a full-service new-age content creation ecosystem.

With the client roster that includes Burger King, L’Oreal India, TataQ, Orient Bell Tiles, Hershey’s India, Motorola, Maybelline, Heinz, Volvo, it presently provides a wide range of services from conceptualising, writing, producing and post-producing TVCs, DVCs, content IPs and animation videos.

‘Colgate Brush them Well with the Singing Dentist’ -

‘Tata Q TVC’:

‘Motorola x IPL’:

‘Maybelline x Humans of Bombay’:

The width of its work includes several brands and its content travels across many mediums (TV, digital, cinema and DigitalOOH), Khatter said. From an OTT platform perspective, it works only with Netflix.

Netflix India Women’s Day:

What if Netflix Characters went to your school’”

Talking about its relationship and approach towards working with various clients, Khatter said, “Being a part of the Zoo Media Network that houses independent agencies, each of these provides complementary services to each other. Within Zoo Media we ‘hive’ Pollen, our influencer talent management wing. We ‘buzz’ them for all influencer marketing requests from brands, and they conduct the vetting and selection process for us.”

Zoo Media is a network of six home-grown agencies: digital marketing agency FoxyMoron, creative tech agency Phosphene, video content solutions agency The Rabbit Hole, influencer marketing vertical Pollen, long-form content arm Mammoth Studios, and digital transformation consultancy firm Doyen Oink.

For Behensplaining particularly, he said that Netflix gave it a lot of creative freedom, and the casting for the show was a collaborative effort. Apart from vetting influencers based on the number of followers, audience engagement ability, frequency of posts and brand fit, it identified that its main criteria was finding smart, witty, energetic women who would add their flavour to the show.

As content consumption amid the lockdown rises, he said, “It’s going to be a ‘Sasta Sunder Tikau’ model to put in layman terms. TikTok, for one, has nailed this with Hype House (a concept where TikTok influencers live under one roof to foster creativity and collaboration easily). After seeing the success of the Instagram Live conversations with Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray, one could expect brands to consider sponsoring such content. Think about it; it’s the most organic way to connect with a large pool of people, right now.”

He said as influencers huddle up with minimal production crew in their homes to keep churning out daily content while collaborating a lot more, the industry will be seeing more of this for a while.

Khatter said it’s no surprise that people are seeking out pandemic-related content online over any other topic during this time.

“People feel the need to pander to their imagination. Reports suggest that millennials are ingesting cooking shows like never before. These trends present a huge opportunity for media companies to create more content on such themes,” he said.

The Rabbit Hole Rishabh Khatter