Ground events are in vogue. And not surprisingly, it is the media industry itself, which is making the first big moves. 'The closer interaction with the consumer really increases the affinity with the media brand' is the logic given. However, Rohit Bhandari, Asst VP, SET India believes that is has to make 'good business sense to have ground events'.
AXN, the channel that Bhandari handles, has now decided to lure in more people through 'Action Movie Festival', which triggers off in Mumbai on November 15th. The channel later plans to take it to the other cities as well.
It is also organizing road shows commencing on Tuesday, November 12th at popular hangouts and well-known colleges in the city to promote the festival in a big way.
The channel is organising the festival for the third year in a row. Does it have such massive rub off effect on the channel to do it over and over again? "Much beyond that," said Bhandari talking to exchange4media, "The purpose behind the ground event is to convert the viewers into consumers. The interaction with the viewers optimises brand values of AXN as they get a first hand feel of what the channel is all about". And he is definitely looking at much more than just brand awareness. Says he, "If it was only for brand awareness, I would not spend so much for three years in a row. If I have to do it, it means the basic system is flawed - there is something definitely wrong with the brand or the strategy. It makes a perfect business sense for me. And besides, the amount of association I get is a good payoff!"
The titles to be screened include Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Gladiator, Bone Collector, Entrapment, Negotiator, Mission Impossible, Behind Enemy Lines, U-571, Charlie's Angels and The Saint as well as recent action blockbusters such as Vertical limit, Panic Room and Hollow Man amongst others.
Is it not a very expensive affair to get rights for these movies? "We are not buying rights for these movies - we are just borrowing rights to exhibit it - and it does not cost more than Rs 3000 to 5000 per movie", is Shetty's explanation.
AMF is being sponsored by Tata Indica, Parle Krackjack, Zip Telecom and Times Internet. Answering the question what is in it for the sponsors, says Bhandari, "The sponsors' products are integrated as part of the road show. This time we are introducing glasspron - which is like a personalised TV screen that can be fitted on a person's head and has ear-plugs. It is a great experience for people. We are showing the sponsors' commercials on this screen. Besides, they get to run one-minute ads in cinema halls and also get some spot promos on television".