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Bollywood gets walk-on parts in TV soaps as new releases seek new promotion platforms

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Bollywood gets walk-on parts in TV soaps as new releases seek new promotion platforms

It could be said to be a role reversal of sorts. Hindi TV serials, besides being a major source of entertainment and advertising gateway, have now become a lucrative platform to promote upcoming releases. ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ on Star Plus did a coup of sorts when it roped in Katrina Kaif to promote her latest film ‘Singh is Kinng’, and aMap numbers show that this exercise has paid off very well for all concerned.

Krithik Roshan starrer ‘Krissh’ could be said to be the trendsetter in this regard, which saw mega marketing and merchandising activities before and post the film’s release. Hence, nowadays we see mega bucks being spent on spiffy trailers, teasers and have the film’s stars descending to mingle with fans on all platforms.

The Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Singh is Kinng’ is due for release this Friday. Kaif appeared in a special episode of ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ that was aired on August 3. According to the aMap data, the serial’s viewership went up to 45 lakh for the August 3 special episode, against 40 lakh viewers on August 2.

The graphical representation and data provided by Audience Measurement and Analytics Ltd (aMap) for ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ telecast on Star Plus (Friday to Sunday), from August 1-3, 2008, 9.30-10.00 pm, is a small benchmark to prove the evolution of promotional techniques as shown in the accompanying graphs.

See grapha given below

According to this graphical representation by aMap, ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ had a rating of 2.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent on August 2. However, on August 3, when actor Kaif made a guest appearance in the serial, the ratings showed slight rise in the viewership at 3.0 per cent with a net reach of 4,492,000 as compared to 4,338,000 and 4,078,000 on August 1 and 2.

Among the latest releases, actors Aamir and Imran Khan have used the ‘Dus ka Dum’ platform to promote their movie ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. Aamir Khan also appeared in reality TV show ‘Sare Ga Ma Pa’ to promote ‘Taare Zameen Par’.

The trend of marketing films started with cross selling of brands by way of organising events, brand promotion of merchandised stationeries and commodities for instance ‘Kabul Express’ was advertised using a music album while it was primarily a song-less movie. Ekta Kapoor advertised her movies like ‘Krishna Cottage’ through her leading daily soaps, popular serials; the soap queen even started promoting the songs of her films in most of her serials.

Serials like ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ had always invited celebrities to promote not only their films, but to increase the TRPs of the serial as well. Fardeen Khan and Ayesha Takia had once made a guest appearance in ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ earlier to promote their film ‘Shaadi No. 1’ way back in 2005. Mallika Sherawat had appeared on ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ to promote her film ‘Bachke Rehna Re Baba’.

In another turn of events, actor Abhishek Bachchan and actress Rani Mukherjee became news anchors on NDTV India to promote their film ‘Bunty aur Babli’.

The aMap calculations show that roping in celebrities in serials does increase viewership, however, it would be difficult to say whether such moves help the film become a success. The audience would only want to watch Katrina Kaif and see the chemistry she shares with the characters in that soap.

Films, on the other hand, fire up enthusiasm with the trailers and word of mouth syndrome. A Katrina Kaif in ‘Baa Bahoo aur Baby’ becomes a mere entertainment perhaps, but with much more enthusiasm.


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