The news app has grown tremendously with over 4-5 million downloads in 1.5 years and has received the best rating of 4.6 among all the news apps on the Google Play Store. For the first time it has come out with a funny ad to promote the brand by Cheil India. It is the first commercial ever made by any news app to promote its brand
Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | May 30, 2016
The news curation platform Inshorts launched in 2013 is becoming quite popular. The company provides short and crisp 60 words news in sports, entertainment, national and international segments, and has expanded its offering to include opinions, analysis, lifestyle, personal finance and career.
The brand’s tagline is ‘Stay Informed’ which itself tells the positioning of the app. A very small investment of time is required from the users’ side to get updated on the daily dose of news. One just has to swipe the screen to get crisp news in a paragraph or 60 words.
From marketing on social media websites and through Google Apps, now the company has for the first time come out with a funny ad to promote the brand. The creative agency behind the quirky ad is Cheil India. It is the first commercial ever made by any news app to promote its brand.
The tagline of the ad campaign is ‘Short mein jaano’, which captures real life situations in which people get frustrated with people around them who waste time in beating around the bush instead of coming to the point.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Azhar Iqubal, CEO and Co-Founder, Inshorts, said, “Being an internet company, we are launching our campaign online first and intend to go all out with ATL and BTL campaigns later. Through this TVC, we hope to highlight the Inshorts value proposition of keeping its users updated with simple, factual and to-the-point content which can be consumed in minimum time.”
This being the central theme, the video commercial revolves around a bomb squad commando stuck in an emergency situation, awaiting instructions from his senior to take the necessary action. It is only after a series of unimportant information that the commando is guided about the course of action he was looking for all along.
At the launch of the campaign, Aneesh Jaisinghani, Executive Creative Director, Cheil India, said, “When you have a great product like the Inshorts app, a veteran director like Gajaraj Rao, super talented actors like Rajesh Sharma, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi and Sumit Gulati, a few things are guaranteed, a ball of a shoot and a couple of awesome TV commercials. Hope the viewers enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them.”
One can definitely guess from the promotional strategy of the company on the penetration of the app in the market. The video has already got more than 30 thousand views in two days. BestMediaInfo caught up with Deepit Purkayastha, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of the company, to discuss the story behind the success of the app and its marketing strategy
Need for an ad film
Explaining why they chose the digital platform for the ad film over the other mediums, Purkayastha said, “It is easier to get a consumer insight and the profiles of people watching the ad film and do a lot of analytics around it on the digital front.”
Explaining on the inception of the ad film to promote the app, Pukayastha said, “On seeing the consumer insight, we got that people relate more to a video film as compared to banners or traditional forms of advertisement and that is why we thought of experimenting with the video format.”
The big picture of the app’s marketing is to reach as many users and tell them about the product. Currently, Inshorts is experimenting with digital media and the ad film will be promoted for a period of 4-5 months. According to the response of the viewers, the company should think of moving forward with other mediums of advertising such as outdoor, television, radio and print.
Asked why didn’t they ever advertise through an ad film earlier, Pukayastha said, “It is a natural progression and nothing like we didn’t want to use it earlier. We have been exploring new ways of marketing and nothing specific.”
The commercial has been directed by Gajraj Rao, produced by Code Red Films and conceptualised by Cheil India. The four-week campaign will go live on digital and social platforms such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Inshorts’ target audience is people who spend a lot of time on the mobile and don’t follow any other traditional channel or read a newspaper. Inshorts is for the people who have a time crunch and would like to read news in short. The major followers of the app fall in the age group of 18-40 years. The gender ratio of the app is 60:40, which is 60 males and 40 females.
Focus more on the app than the website
Although the Inshorts desktop and mobile website is live, the company is focusing more on building the app over the website.
Purkayastha said, “Short news as a concept would be much more relevant for the people on the go because it would require less attention time and that is why we thought to of focusing our efforts completely on the mobile app rather on the website.”
The company boasts of growing around 40 times on the download base in last 1.5 years and the screen views have grown almost 50-60 times. The application has been given a rating on 4.6 on the Google Play store.
Purkayastha sounded really confident about the bright future of the app, he said, “There are millions of smartphone users out there in the world and we have been able to capture 4-5 million downloads over the time. Therefore, I see a tremendous growth opportunity in future.”
The company aims to become India’s first content unicorn with a billion users globally by 2020 and plan to release the app in more vernacular languages as well as in other countries.
The company earns through advertisements on the app and the website. They also do sponsored content. The company is experimenting with the monetisation model.
In July 2015, InShorts raised $20 million from Tiger Global in a Series B funding. It had previously raised $4 million through a Series A round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Rebright Partners of Japan, Flipkart Founders Sachin and Binny Bansal and other angel investors.
Meanwhile, e-commerce partners that have joined for branded content include Zomato, Bookmyshow, Tripigator, CarDekho and BikeDekho.
Insight has partnered with several content publishers such as Sportskeeda, Catch News, MotorScribes, Indian Express Group, India Today Group, The Guardian, Outlook, Reuters, PTI, ANI, The Next Web, Trak.in, Bloomberg, Inc42, The News Minute, TechCrunch, Engadget, Social Cops, 91mobiles, The Better India, ScoopWhoop, Finimize, Milaap, SME Times, VakilSearch, Factly, India Infoline, North-east today, Autoblog, CillyPoint and Product Hunt.
Purkayastha added, “We are increasing our content base and will soon release a new content category and are internally discussing the content strategy.”
Inshorts was earlier called as News in Short, but the company wanted itself to be placed differently from other news providers. Therefore, eight to nine months back they rebranded the name to Inshorts.
The startup was founded by Azhar Iqubal, Anunay Arunav of IIT Delhi and Deepit Purkayastha of IIT Kharagpur in 2013. The idea for the start-up came out of a personal pain-point of the founders. They were not in the habit of reading the long-form news and hence found it difficult to keep up with national and global happenings.
Creative Agency: Cheil India
Production House: Code Red Films
Director: Gajraj Rao
Executive Creative Director: Aneesh Jaisinghani
Actors: Rajesh Sharma, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi and Sumit Gulati