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A look at Hotstar's new 'Billions' Campaign


It was once believed that family remains united by watching same shows together on television, but hey! This is 21st century and we believe in going solo! The tag-line seems familiar, isn’t it? Over the past few years there has been a tremendous rise in the audience who’s consuming media online. There is a lot of streaming, buffering, uploading and downloading! The statistics will only see an increase in the coming years surpassing the TV audience. I am sure there is no turning back ever

Why there has been a shift from television to digital platforms? Choice. We all have varied choices not just over food, actors or clothes but also what form of multimedia content we would like to consume. And these varied choices were all bound together by India’s largest premium streaming platform, Star Hotstar under one roof.

Ever since its inception, Hotstar in India has now grown immensely with more than 100,000 hours of drama, movies in 9 languages and coverage of every major global sporting event. It holds rights for BCCI, Pro Kabaddi League (for non-cricketers and second most successful league in India in terms of viewership), the Hero Indian super league, etc. The Hotstar search sees a spike definitely as soon as a sport tournament comes closer.

Hotstar has provided everything in terms of fiction, non-fiction shows, drama, comedy, sports, reality and talk shows and what not! They have come up with their Hotstar originals as well (kind of web-series) which is again something today’s young generation is preferring over longs hours of drama. Cool enough! Seriously we couldn’t have asked for more. All online video consumers can now RIP for sure!

After launching the beta version, Star India finally officially launched it in February 2015. Later it came up with its app ‘Hotstar’ and today it is one of India’s most downloaded apps. It has attracted more than 200 million followers on the back of a highly evolved video streaming technology. There is also a Hotstar Premium service which showcases the best line-up of TV shows, movies and sports from around the world. For all Indian fans of Game of Thrones, this app is guaranteed in their smart phones.

Hotstar streaming gives you the essence of a world class user experience. It impressing balances the twin challenges of supporting traffic from millions of daily users. In order to help users smartly navigate through hundreds of thousands of hours of content, the new Hotstar has placed special emphasis on creating a personalized viewing experience.

It recently has come up with a new show called “Billions” which a high voltage drama starring Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman. A show that examines the profits and perils of chasing the American dream. To grab attention, new hot star made sure to market it uniquely.


The marketing team used simple yet effective OOH advertising by placing billboards across cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore (By now we know OOH advertising is out of home advertising; advertisements we see when we are out of our homes). The creatives displayed a QR code which is an invitation to watch the show. It goes with the tagline- ‘Scan to get Billions’. All the viewers had to scan the code which directed them to the page of the show ‘Billions” on Hotstar Premium.

This is quite innovative! The first impression after reading the tagline for anyone would be that if you scan the code you’d get billions of money and who doesn’t want that!!


The idea behind developing this QR code is to draw attention of billions by creating mystery, excitement and zeal among its fan base. The other creative read ‘We have billions to spare’. It grabbed a lot of eyeballs too. Imagine someone who hasn’t heard about the show will definitely once Google it or find it on Hotstar search!


Though the campaign was intriguing but not that efficient or hasn’t risen to its full potential. While creating these tech-friendly creative’s one has to keep in mind the audience they are willing to choose. Not many people might have a QR code scanner and people would feel cumbersome to first download the app and then scan it. It would have worked excellent in places like malls, elevators or stops where people could stop at least 2 minutes to scan the creative.

But nevertheless, what I like best is Hotstar always makes it big and extraordinary by keeping it simple and minimal. The first phase of the campaign continued till November 2, followed by the second part of the communication, revealing the mystery of 'Billions' to the audience that hasn't already scanned the QR code.

So what is the wait for? Go Solo with Hotstar now!

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