The story of a stubborn 11-year old boy and a ghost with a penchant for asking tricky questions forms the first major original production from Disney Channel in India. ‘Vicky aur Vetaal’, which is Disney’s first original live action series in Hindi, hit the airwaves on October 8, 2006.
“We seek to strengthen connections with kids and their families by developing creative, quality local content that reflects the lives of the local audiences,” said Nicky Parkinson, Senior Vice-president and Managing Director, Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific). “This major initiative is a strong step forward in establishing Disney Channel further as a committed local player in this country, and also a reflection of the Walt Disney Company’s commitment to seeking great creative from the global marketplace,” he added.
To promote the show, Disney Channel has launched a unique theme-driven marketing campaign involving TV, radio, the Internet, and outdoor, apart from an off-air promotion which includes touch-points at McDonalds and other outlets frequented by kids.
As part of the promotion initiative, the channel had launched a ‘Roshan’ campaign, where the media major’s agency Ogilvy One sent letters to the media fraternity and media houses of their names changing to ‘Roshan’ and parcels coming on the name. The campaign gradually unfolded to lead to a letter from the show’s protagonist ‘Vicky’, who explained what ‘Vetaal’ did.
The campaign was executed across mediums. An interesting outdoor initiative were burnt hoardings put up in key markets with the copy ‘Vetaal was here’. In all, the campaign managed to create quite a buzz around the show.
Nachiket Pantvaidya, Executive Director, Programming and Production, Walt Disney Television International (India), said, “Disney Channel’s commitment to localisation has been a well planned endeavour and we are extremely happy to be delivering on it. We believe in the strength of Indian stories. Our creative idiom with ‘Vicky Aur Vetaal’ was to contemporise and keep it relevant to today’s generation. In the process of narration, we have been able to involve kids in the storyline by addressing their day to day issues in a fun way.”
The Disney Channel version of the popular Indian fable – ‘Vikram aur Vetaal’ – begins with Vetaal having been stuck hanging upside down from a banyan tree for 300 years. One dark night, he is accidentally rescued by 11 year old Vicky and the fun begins.