Advertiser: The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte. Ltd. Brand: Disney+ Hotstar Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Credits: Moiz Bilwani - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Business Director Kym Chan - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Senior Planning Manager Aaron Wong - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Senior Media Planner Sze Wei Cheong - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Senior Media Planner Thein Kwee yean - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Associate Director, Out-of-Home Sheylin Lek - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Senior Media Planner Soo Chin Tan - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Implementation Manager Julie Kam - Zenith, a division of Vivaki (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Senior Media Buyer
Objective & Challenge
Disney+ Hotstar was finally going to launch in Malaysia with a lot of fanfare among audiences given the lockdown situation and the lack of entertainment options locally. Abiding by the COVID-related protocols, shoot delays and production hiccups were inevitable, causing a huge content shortage. Having said that, given that we were launching on 1st June, there was a lot of pressure because we were the only market to launch in Q2 of 2021 in SEA region – this meant that Malaysia was going to have a big role to play when it comes to Disney+ Hotstar’s regional subscriber base growth in Disney’s quarterly report. Given we’re the under-dog against an OTT giant Netflix, it was always going to be an uphill task to convince Malaysians to sign-up to yet another platform with a paywall.
Insight & Strategy
Given the abundance of OTT platforms in the market, it was important to identify pockets of competitive advantage. So, the insight was largely around deciphering and capitalizing on competitors’ blind spots. Our biggest competitor and category leader, Netflix, had no local content and was very weak among kids’ content. Meanwhile, other players like Viu, iFlix and iQiyi specialized in specific content like Korean or Taiwanese/Chinese etc and so, lacked options. There was no single player who could lay claim to being the platform for all types of content. That insight led straight to Disney+ Hotstar’s positioning in-market. We bucketed the communication into four pillars that would ensure we’re able to tackle the blind spots of our competitors and further amplify our stronger suits. The four content pillars were as follows: Pillar 1: Home of Marvel – biggest crowd puller for Malaysians based off performance of Marvel movies Pillar 2: Malaysian Hits – no OTT player had proactively worked towards developing this component Pillar 3: Disney+ Originals – to counter Netflix’s original programming clout Pillar 4: Disney Favorites – featuring all kids related content, aka every parent’s dream The strategy revolved around unveiling every pillar in isolation as part of pre-hype to ensure we’re able to drive the messaging around content options. Meanwhile, on the day of launch (1st June), the messaging transforms to Disney+ Hotstar as a platform for everybody showcasing all pillars together.
Our pre-hype activations revolved around an unveiling by pillar the four days before platform’s launch, we activated very high impact buys across every single touchpoint: TV: We used the 10s teaser video featuring the respective pillar as unveiling using heavy frequencies (4 spots per hour, per station) across key Media Prima and Astro stations. Digital: Heavy focus during teaser using bumpers, short-form videos, display and rich media to showcase pillars unveiling mirroring our overall strategy. This was through buys like Google Blast, 100% inventory buy-out across Rev Asia, Mobile First View buys across Tik Tok etc. to ensure impact. OOH: The approach mirrored overall strategy and amplified pillar wise reveal on DOOH but, on static billboards, all pillars were showcased in one-go to counter logistical challenges. Radio: Heavy frequencies of airing across MP Radio and Astro Radio with pillar-wise communication and talk sets focusing on those respective pillars to drive further hype. While we did continue hygiene buys across all platforms during launch phase, here are some of the clutter-breaking and innovative executions that helped to drive impact and visibility: TV: News was a hot topic during launch with viewership on Buletin Utama and Mandarin News on an all-time high. We wanted to take a piece of the hype. On launch day, we unveiled “Breaking News” across all 4 MP stations every hour. The execution mirrored the look and feel of Bulletin Utama and it featured breaking news that Disney+ Hotstar has officially launched in Malaysia and showcased all our 4 content pillars. Digital: It was a takeover like no other. We secured YT Masthead, Tik Tok’s Takeover, Grab Masthead, Twitch Masthead, Fandom Takeover, Twitter Takeover etc. Across 8 top digital platforms under Media Prima like Says, OhBulan, Harian Metro etc., we executed a first-of-its-kind 100% takeovers (this involved takeover of their Masthead, changing platform name to D+, 100% SOV and floating widgets). The execution was also replicated on Astro’s top digital platforms like Xuan. Further to this, we also acquired 100% inventory across partners like Loop Me (in-app inventory) and Imagine Mobile (display inventory) and Teads (video inventory) to name a few. OOH: Disney+ Hotstar became the first official 3D DOOH advertiser on Big Tree’s newest screen opposite the high traffic KLCC junction. The execution was also scaled across Pavilion’s 3D screen. This is in addition to a total of over 100 screens across MY – with at least half the screens operating on 100% SOV on launch day. Radio: There was a total takeover of all MP radio stations. They were branded as “Disney+ Hotstar FM” across radio and their digital ecosystems (FB, Twitter, and Tik Tok). Aside from that, all songs played during the launch were from Disney’s content library exclusively. The approach was mirrored on Astro Radio barring the exclusively Disney songs.
The campaign turned out to be an astronomical success from both, the media perspective and business results perspective as well. We reached over 90% of our target audience on the day of the launch alone (cumulative reach as per agency’s proprietary all-platform tool). And 97% reach in 5 days of pre-hype and launch. Here are some of the other key success metrics: 1. The “Breaking News” execution on TV delivered a reach of 58% in a day 2. Audiences on Twitter kept tweeting about how much they loved the Disney takeover on MP radio 3. The digital takeovers on Rev Asia (that we pioneered!) were so effective from a visibility perspective that Media Prima has started selling them as a regular buy 4. Our 3D Digital Billboards were a huge hit – it became the talk of town across social platforms and gained traction in news. Furthermore, seeing the impact, the execution was replicated by Thailand and Australia for their respective D+ launches. From a business standpoint, Disney+ Hotstar launch turned out to be a huge success story. The response from audience exceeded all expectations and the huge influx of traffic crashed our entire back-end tech ecosystem. Even the ex-Malaysian PM, Najib Razak, tweeted and FB-ed about the platform crash. Not every day you get a shout out from an ex-PM! We were able to achieve 50% of the yearly subscription target within first week of launch. And, according to Comscore, in the first month of launching Disney+ Hotstar, we were able to achieve the highest number of minutes consumption for any OTT platforms – beating long-established players like Netflix, Viu, iFlix and iQiyi.