Hallmark Channel has undertaken a set of new programming initiatives. It plans to screen Star Trek Voyager and Sliders for the festive season. With Star Trek and Sliders, the channel hopes to provide an involved and entertaining viewing experience’ in the midnight band on weekdays.
Hallmark’s monthly movie theme for the month of September is ‘From Page to Screen’ to be aired on every Tuesday. On October 25, the channel will air the ‘Infinite Worlds of HG Wells”. On October 27 and 28 at 9 p.m., the channel will present two nights of classic tales with a twist. The theme would be ‘Storybook scandals”.
Hallmark has reinvented ‘Snow White’ and ‘Prince Charming’ for adult audiences by adding modern twist to the production.
Apart from the programming initiatives, the channel has undertaken a Rs 1 crore plus promotional and advertising campaign for Sliders and Star Trek Voyager in India.
In the first phase of the launch the channel will be promoting Sliders through a print campaign and outdoor activities. The channel has around 60 hoardings in various suburbs of Mumbai and each pointed to the wrong suburb.
The same eccentricity has been carried over in the print campaign. The campaign was quite risky. Risky because it requires a receptive mind to understand the message. One of the ads says ‘The pyramid is a square’, the other said ‘Princess Diana survives car crash’. This programme is certainly for intelligent viewers. And that’s the kind of viewer Hallmark wants to associate with.
Sliders questions one’s perception of reality. There are four characters that travel back and forth in time to discover that reality is not what is seems. And to put across the same idea to the viewers, the channel’s agency Leo Burnett has created an unconventional campaign, which mocks the viewer with the question “What is your reality?”
The second phase of the promotional and ad campaigns will focus on radio, theatre and the net and will be launched soon. Industry sources confirmed that the channel is spending close to over Rs one crore plus in these activities.
The promotional activity for Star Trek Voyager is yet to take off. This programme will be aimed at the metro viewers who come back from office by 8.00 p.m. and keep up late for some good entertainment.
Hallmark currently has a viewership base of 8.2 million in the country and is now going full steam on reaffirming its positioning as a family channel. Last November the channel underwent a complete repositioning and ‘Celebrate Life’ became the core of the channel’s new identity.