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Zee to focus more on event programming

14-August-2001
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Zee to focus more on event programming

When 20 young beauties sashayed on the ramps to steal the crowning moment of ‘Pantene India Teen Queen’ on Sunday night, it didn’t only mark Zee TV’s plunge in the pageant business, it also unravelled the media major’s plans to re-invent itself with a raft of new eventing and programming, supported, for the first time, by extensive qualitative research.

Zee TV has decided to take the new new beauty platform ‘India Teen Queen’ to 24 countries with sizeable NRI population.

Zee TV hopes that in the global beauty business, its ‘teen’ platform will emerge like Miss World or Miss Universe in scale and appeal. Zee TV was the principal sponsor of Miss World last year, when Ms Priyanka Chopra won the beauty contest.

For the India-centric market, Zee has already developed properties in movies (Zee Cine Awards), music (Zee Sangeet) and now with presence in beauty, the media house covers a much wider spectrum of eventing.

Mr. Partha Pratim Sinha, director, marketing, Zee Network , says that the entire Teen Queen spots are sold out. ‘‘We plan to take this concept globally by the year-end.’’

Zee has tried to make the ‘Teen Queen’ concept different from the all- pervasive beauty pageants: there is considerably higher weightage to the talent factor.

After an extensive sub-contest rounds of ‘body fit’, ‘talent’ round and ‘novel hairstyle, in all, 20 contestants were selected to compete for the photogenic finale. Leading up to the finals, were ‘poise-and-confidence’ round; ‘playing VJ’ (to test how girls sound like); ‘romance ho jaaye’; and finally, a written answer to the situation shown in an audio-visual clip.

Zee TV is also in talks with publications Gladrags and Elle for their beauty events. The media house is also in talks with Ford’s Supermodel. As for its participation in the male show business, Zee will continue to be a media partner for Graviera Mr. International.

For the first time Zee has attempted to create programming on the basis of qualitative research. The new programming line-up includes interactive fiction show ‘Aap jo bole haan to haan/Aap jo bole naan to naan’; Ek tukda chand ka; Dollar Bahu and Razmatazz.

Earlier, media observers had blamed inadequate investment in programming as the major cause for Zee TV losing out to the innovative challengers Star and Sony in the battle for eyeballs’ share.

Zee has indicate that the next in line could be the unveiling of a Cutie Contest, an annual talent award programme for kids. The contest will address different age groups (2-5, 7-10 etc) within the umbrella of the Cutie Contest.

While the beauty events already attract phenomenal viewership and sponsorships, including from cosmetics and lifestyle brands, the kid-centric contest is expected to address a growing consumer market influenced by the parents and little kids.

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