Taking a step further to reach viewers through below the line activities, Alpha Bangla, the Bengali entertainment channel of Zee, plans to launch an event every month. Business head JK Ray says organizing events on a regular basis has helped the channel get a stronghold in the eastern state.
In August a 'Hilsa fish' culinary contest will be organized in Kolkata in which chefs from major hotels of the city will be invited to participate. Viewers can also send their recipes for a special prize driven contest. Durga Pooja will be celebrated in a big way in October. Events in November and December will also be marked by events, says Ray.
The 'Megh Malhar' monsoon festival was recently organized to celebrate the rainy season. Viewers were asked to send entries for innovative 'Khichudi' recipes, poems and paintings keeping the monsoon sentiments in mind. Live shows by popular Bengali actors like Shankar Chakraborty and light classical performances by Rajib Chakraborty, Srikanta Acharya and Haimonti Shukla were also organized. The event generated a good response: over 4,000 people participated in the recipe contest, 10,000 in creative writing and 200 in the painting contest, Ray adds.
These events have a tremendous mass appeal and this is evident in the latest TAM AdEx data, which have improved from 142 in week 21 (May 3) to 193 in week 30 (July 30), marking a 60 per cent improvement. Similarly, the channel share has also increased from 4.4 per cent to 6 per cent during this period, he points out.
New programmes are also being launched to keep viewers glued to their sets. A new mini-series, "Paanch Dine Gappo", was launched on July 26. The series will feature a new story each day with popular Bengali stars. Besides this four new serials will also be telecast in August, says Ray.