Film stars making their presence on TV channels just prior to the launch of the movie is becoming an interesting trend in the entertainment industry. While the tactic has been around for a while, experts discuss on how its benefit the serials and channels, which the movie star partners with.
The examples are aplenty – Saif Ali Khan making a cameo appearance in ‘Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin’ on Sony, moving on to ‘Babli’ and ‘Bunty’ anchoring the 8.00 pm news on NDTV. In addition, there are examples like Mallika Sherawat on Sarabhai vs Sarabhai for ‘Bach Ke Rehna’ promotions and Urmila Matondkar on ‘Aahat 2’ for Naina. Tushar Kapoor was on K-serials before any of his movies, whether as Mr Gayab or with Ritesh Deshmukh for Kya Kool Hai Hum.
Movies aren’t just using television for promotional activities, as was traditionally seen, but there is an attempt on active content integration with selected programmes.
“There has to be a brand fit. The show or the channel has to offer the kind of audience the movie is looking for and then it makes sense to partner with the channel as an additional way to reach our target, said Tarun Tripathi, Head, Marketing, Yashraj Films.
Surely, as far as the movies are concerned, the extra promotion gives its own benefits. However, how does the initiative help channels? “They definitely help us in increased audience. There would be more viewers coming in due to the celebrity factor,” said Deepak Segal, EVP, Content and Communication, STAR India, “
A point that Tarun Katial, EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television, agrees with. “These steps help us build reach and brings unique eyeballs to the channel, which we can further leverage for new shows, other content initiatives and so on,” said Katial.
However, a look at ratings shows that rarely there has been an increase in number when steps like this is taken - whether in regards to Saif on Jassi or Mallika on Sarabhai. “The percentage of increase might not have been noteworthy but the point is that the audience that watches the show will ensure that they watch the show on the day, there would be some number of new eyeballs and the involvement level would be high,” Nandini Dias, VP, Lodestar Media stated.
Harish Shriyan, President, MediaCom, further explained that the step helps the channel make more noise around it and hence higher brand recall as well, “People talk about such things, news media reports it – in totality it gives the channel more public mindshare.”
Another area where initiatives like these really help the channel is content itself, “It allows a unique twist in the story. In any long running story, anything that will provide for a good point to spin off the story in a more exciting direction is always welcome,” said Katial.
“And this brings in star value as well. Viewer look forward to initiatives like these, the show remains topical and when the viewer goes to the theatre for the same movie, he still remembers what he saw on TV and so it provides for a ‘real’ experience, ” added Segal,
Dias explains that this form of co-promotion is seen the other way round as well. She cited the example of Zee Cinema’s two minute promo ‘Paap Ka Anth’, which was played in various theatres.
Segal divulged that STAR is in the process of planning some more of these on its channels. On the television scene in India, where our successful shows presently are over 1000 episodes old and most of the others are half that mark, unlike the 26 or 52-episode deal seen internationally, this is one tactic that promises to keep coming back to attract the viewer some more.