Alpha Marathi channel’s initiative Aapla Alpha Awards has paid off for the channel. Ratings indicate that the August 14 telecast of the awards has placed the channel much above other mass entertainment channels like STAR Plus and Sony Entertainment Television.
For the target C&S 4+, the channel gets a share of 19.16 as against STAR’s 16.92 and Sony’s 6.74 in the Maharashtra market on the same slot. The number increases to 24.54 for Alpha Marathi going by the number of female viewers it attracted. When the numbers in the Mumbai market are observed, the channel gets a 24.38 channel share, where STAR records an 8.98 and Sony 10.01.
Channel officials inform that this is the highest channel share amongst all channels during that time band on the telecast day in all areas. Nitin Vaidya, Business Head, Alpha Marathi, expresses that these numbers are as per expectation. “We had planned this event in a very systematic manner and as it was completely around serials and characters within those serials that are very popular across Maharashtra, we were sure of numbers for Aapla Alpha Awards,” he says.
Interestingly, not much advertising in newspapers or outdoors was seen around the awards. Sharing more on this, Vaidya says, “A great deal of promotional activities was undertaken throughout Maharashtra involving cable operators and Playwin outlets. We called this activity ‘Alpha Mini Election’, which takes place immediately after Lok Sabha Polls and before Vidhan Sabha Polls in Maharashtra.”
Explaining more on the marketing, he informs that the channel distributed over five lakh ballot papers, “Since all characters of our serials are very close to their hearts, viewers responded enthusiastically to this novel war of judging process. Even producers of these serials undertook ‘mass contact’ programme to carry out campaign for themselves,” adds Vaidya.
As he describes, artistes from a serial ‘Avantika’ boarded a train at Kalyan, which is one of the prominent stations in Mumbai suburb and they interacted with commuters. An artiste from a daily soap ‘Vadalwaat’ went to a temple to seek blessings. Team of the serial `Sahib, Biwi ani me' made a door to door campaign in central Mumbai seeking votes, “This kind of campaign created different atmosphere about awards that lead to its huge success,” Vaidya explains.
As for the advertisers, the programme roped in Dabur Vatika as sponsor. “From FMCG major to local masala brand – all turned up to support us. Proctor and Gamble’s Pantene, Birla Super Cement, Perfetti, LML, Rambandhu Masale were sponsors for this event,” says Vaidya.
On how the endeavour added boost to the channel, Vaidya explains, “This initiative helped the channel in many ways. This event was not restricted only to an on-air activity. It went to viewers and involved them in the whole process to a great extent. Lots of promotional campaigns on various programmes were held that would help them in working out more effective strategies. It created tremendous awareness about different characters of programmes amongst viewers.”
Vaidya stresses that with the initiative, the channel has made a mark on the television. “In the last five years, Alpha Marathi has succeeded in attracting Marathi speaking viewers from Hindi entertainment to Marathi. In terms of impact, perception and also revenue generation, Alpha Marathi stands ahead of its Marathi competitors,” claims Vaidya.