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OTT platform SonyLiv launched a 360-degree campaign to set up ‘Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story’ as the biggest release of 2020. Through the campaign, SonyLiv built a pre-buzz before the release of the series to create recall and awareness about past events.


Step 1:

SonyLiv targeted the financial population and converted them into show advocates.

Step 2: It leveraged the strength of powerful content through organic reviews and word of mouth.

Step 3: SonyLiv then targeted the OTT binge-watchers and ‘woke’ populace to inform the new generation about the scam and amplify awareness.

In the launch week of the web series, SonyLiv targeted the CXOs and finance fraternity—for whom the scam was a highly relevant topic and to create the buzz within the core community. It leveraged the positive reviews of the show to create communication on national and regional publications and expand awareness. SonyLiv also captured the attention of the core finance community through collaboration with relevant media portals frequented by them. The OTT platform reached out to the evolved young audience via strategic partnerships with news portals. SonyLiv leveraged Sony Pictures Network (SPN) channels to promote the show among a mass audience. It also strategically selected outside network TV channels, fronted by the English and Hindi news genre, followed by regional channels in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

SonyLiv also did OOH plaster billboards in key cities of Maharashtra and Gujarat with a high financial population. It capitalised on the popularity of the lead actor, Pratik Gandhi, in his home state of Gujarat. Later, it pushed the show in other markets post-launch where the web series was indexed high on popularity (Delhi, Rajasthan, and MP).

The OTT platform then organised interviews of the cast on national and regional radio channels to popularise the characters of the web series.

SonyLiv leveraged social content and created snackable pieces of video content targeted specifically to gen Z and millennials to sensitise them about Scam 1992. SonyLiv created content to familiarise people with stock market terminology during the pre-launch.

A live virtual concert was organised by Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe — who contributed two songs to the show — to sustain the buzz around the show’s music during post-launch.

Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe video:


Phase 1: Around mid-August to build anticipation, the show’s teaser was launched online and amplified through media portals. But the main man remained a mystery to increase anticipation around the show.

Phase 2: From the end of September to mid-October for the pre-launch, the TG comprising the money market community, online news followers, and finance professionals were given a glimpse of ‘Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story’ through associations with portals such as Economic Times, MoneyControl and Zee Business. The trailer revealed the face of ‘Harshad Mehta’ and the compelling plot. The banger theme track, charm of the ’90s, and catchy dialogues struck a note with the netizens. The show trailer garnered organic positive reactions from popular celebrities and paved the way for the big release.

Owned platforms were populated with trivia about Harshad Mehta. Feeding the new-born curiosity of the millennials and Gen Z, a ‘Stock Market Manual’ was curated in a very simple format to educate the unaware audience about the financial terms used in the show.

The meme marketing strategy was activated, where memes based on the trailer took over the internet. This had the ripple effect of driving even more viewers to watch the trailer, and the dialogue ‘Risk hai toh ishq hai’ along with the background music became a favourite of netizens.

A day ahead of the launch, the cast and creators addressed the audience through a virtual press conference, attended by 70 major publications, including News18, Indian Express, Deccan Herald and The Telegraph.

Phase 3: From September-end to the launch date, to create positive reinforcement for the show, organic reviews were amplified through the native handles and by the cast. The key poster of the show—Harshad Mehta against the backdrop of the big bull—was repurposed for a front-page spread of leading financial newspapers such as Mint, Economic Times, Business Standard, and The Hindu Business Line.

 Distribution strategy

 Owned Media:

The audience of SonyLiv’s social platforms comprises millennial and Gen Z OTT viewers, who were unaware of the 1992 stock market scam. Hence, content pieces focusing on facts about Harshad Mehta and the scale of the scam were pushed to establish awareness on the topic. Post-launch, a two-pronged content strategy was adopted. Impactful dialogue creatives and hero clips from the show were pushed to capture the attention of those SonyLiv subscribers/followers who had yet to watch the show. On the other hand, for the audience segment that had watched Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story and wanted more, engaging content pieces such as behind-the-scenes videos and cast reactions to fan comments were created.

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The cherry on the cake was three videos shot with the lead cast, Pratik Gandhi and Shreya Dhanwanthary, where they played fun games and shared their experience of working on the show. Engagement content such as ‘Complete the Dialogue’ and trivia quizzes were also consumed eagerly by fans.

Paid Media:

To reach the older segment of the former, front-page takeovers of major financial newspapers were initiated during the launch. This set of people was well aware about the scam, so a poster about the show was enough to draw them in. Positive reviews about Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story were highlighted in major editions of the Times of India.

Digital associations on platforms such as Money Control, Economic Times, Zee Business, InShorts, Times of India, Dailyhunt, and News18 put the show front-and-centre for the younger segment of the financial fraternity. In addition, email marketing was employed to reach professionals from the finance sector and garnered over 17 million impressions.

Earned Media:

The pre-buzz was sustained by various organic mentions from the celebrities, influencers, and branded profiles within, and outside, the entertainment industry.

Performance meter

Daily Average Premium Subscriptions increased by 150% since the launch, and Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story has become the number one watched Original show on the SonyLiv platform. Influencer associations garnered over 2.5 million views. The overall campaign garnered 71 million video views, 66 million social impressions and a total engagement of over 1.5 million.

The web series garnered over 30 positive reviews from prominent publication houses including The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Mid-day, Business Standard, Mint, The Wire and more.

The web series got featured on 15+ binge lists on portals such as Film Companion, Indian Express, Idiva, Scoopwhoop, GQ, Latestly, and India Forums, earning Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story the reputation as a ‘must-watch series’.

Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story earned a spot among the top 15 shows of all time on IMDb (As of November 2nd, 2020) with a rating of 9.6/10.

The web series became a trending topic on social media, and popular brands like Durex, Dunzo, Domino’s and many more interacted with it. The theme song became the #1 track on Apple Music. It was also added to Instagram Music’s collection and was used by Instagrammers to create UGC. Organic reviews from celebrities like Manoj Bajpayee, Shabana Azmi, Huma Qureshi, Paresh Rawal, Rajkummar Rao, and many more further drove positive word of mouth along with CXOs such as Nithin Kamath, Vijay Shekar, Suhel Seth, etc.

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