Brand Bindass has secured the licence to officially launch on September 24, 2007. The channel is all geared to compete with the other media entities targeting the Indian youth, and the trial signal is already on. All set to attempt a splash through its marketing to support the channel, Zarina Mehta, CEO, Bindass, informed that even as the Bindass gameplan was 360 degree, the media entity would begin with channels and digital activities via the web and the mobile. The second phase, which would see action early next year, would comprise merchandising, retail through Bindass cafés and on-ground activities.
As is known, Bindass is a mix of original Indian content and acquired content dubbed to suit the Indian tastes and expectations on the programming front. There are four key shows in the original Indian content that comprises ‘Lagegi’, ‘Sun Yaar Chill Maar’, ‘Shakira’ and…’. The channel’s ploy is to support this with a massive marketing campaign, and the big idea, as Mehta puts, it is a ‘Space Yatra’, wherein the space ticket cost Bindass Rs 1.5 crore.
“We knew that the marketing cannot just be putting hoarding across the city. It had to communicate what Brand Bindass is, and more importantly, it had to attract our TG to the channel. We back almost every decision of the channel on research, and on the basis of the feedback received, we call the Space Yatra as ‘Bindass Go to Space Contest’,” informed Mehta.
The marketing would see people going around cities in helmets. The criteria would be to watch the channel Bindass at 8 pm and answer a question to win the ticket to space. Any one Indian national, who is 17 years of age and, as Mehta puts it, is ‘bindass’ can participate. The reply to the question asked on the channel would register the participant, and then there is an audition. This is planned as a seven-city initiative, wherein following the auditions, seven contestants would be picked from every city and would then compete on their ‘Bindass quotient’.
These auditions would also be shown on the channel and Mehta expects to see this manifest by December 2007 or January 2008. This marketing campaign breaks on the same date as the channel’s launch on September 24, 2007.
The prime time band from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm will house the originally created programmes of the channel. The late night slot at 10.30 pm would house a dubbed movie. In the earlier slots of the day, there are movies in the morning slot and in an early evening slot. The channel also has an afternoon belt, which will house the acquired programming, which, too, would be dubbed in Hindi.
“The challenge and the opportunity with this TG is that they are the typical college audience in lifestyle who tune in to the TV whenever they want, without really falling in on any set patterns. We have used this in our scheduling of original content and repeats,” explained Mehta.
In addition to the channel, Bindass is paying attention to its web activities. Tribal DDB is the agency helping it with its websites. The mother-site, Bindass.com, will play with the basic content of the channel. Information on the shows, storylines, episodes and the Bindass stars would be on this site. The site would be used for creating interactivity for the other shows on the channel. Citing an example, Mehta informed that the show ‘Shakira’, which is planned as stories completing in four episodes, would allow viewers to choose the climax they want for a story.
Bindass is also working on creating user communities with initiatives like Lagegi.com, which would be a user generated site. Mehta divulged, “Lagegi.com is an effort to take the show’s brand name on the Internet, but we are not just taking content from the show there. This site would have user generated content. In fact, we are taking Lagegi to landline as well, and the show hosts are called PJs, phone jockeys.”
On the mobile front, Bindass has ‘chotisodes’. However, Mehta is quick to point that this was content repurposed for mobile and specifically created for the small screen. She said, “The market for that is still not there, but with this, we would be in a good position to jump on the chance when we get it.”
The second stage would be merchandising, cafés and on-ground activities. The wait on merchandising comes from the need for a show or a character to take off. Mehta said, “We would have Bindass products as well, but a show people can identify with makes a difference for merchandising.” The end of the year will see Bindass focus on cafés. Though Mehta does inform that it would be targeted at the youth thing with special Bindass menu, music and other interactive activities, it would be designed to be affordable. On the on-ground, the idea is to create properties like ‘John or Kaun’ and ‘Hungamathon’ that can go on year-after-year.
Bindass has 20 key markets with a HSM focus for its initial stages. At the launch, the channel intends have 50 per cent presence and 75 per cent presence all India in one year.