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Get ready for a blackout on STAR Network today

Get ready for a blackout on STAR Network today

Author | Sumita Patra | Saturday, Sep 24,2005 8:17 AM

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Get ready for a blackout on STAR Network today

Don’t be surprised if your TV screens go black while watching the STAR Network on September 24. Known for its path breaking marketing initiatives over the years, the STAR Network has once again planned something really innovative.

In a unique promotional effort for the global satellite premiere of one of its biggest acquisitions, ‘Black’, on Star Gold on September 25, the STAR Network is blacking out its Hindi channels – STAR Plus, STAR One, STAR Gold, STAR Utsav and Channel V – on September 24.

The 30-second blackout will start exactly at 10:03 pm and over the black screen viewers will hear Rani Mukherjee’s voice appealing to the audiences to watch ‘Black’. In a heartfelt message, Rani can be heard saying, “Kitni der tak aap reh sakte ho iss andhere mein? Kuch pal? Kuch ghante? Kuch din? Michelle ne 40 saal saanse li iss ghutan si bhari duniya mein… Aur isi andhere mein usne dekha roshni ka sapna… Isi andhere mein usne aur uski teacher ne apni taqdeer se jung ladi aur namumkin ko mumkin kar dikhaya. Dekhiye Michelle ki kahani, meri kahani…. Kal Dopahar Ek Baje… Sirf STAR Gold par.” (“For how long can you stay in this darkness? A moment? Few hours? Few days? Michelle lived in this suffocating darkness for 40 years… And in this very darkness she dreamt of light… In this very darkness she and her teacher fought against destiny and made the impossible possible. Watch Michelle’s story, my story… tomorrow at 1 pm only on STAR Gold.”)

Explaining the idea behind coming up with this unique promotional effort, Ajay Vidyasagar, Executive Vice-President, Marketing, STAR India, said, “The idea stemmed from a consolidated marketing and programming meeting, where we were debating a way of promoting the movie in such a way that it would catch the attention of as many people as possible at the same time. We wanted to convey to the viewer what absolute darkness and absolute silence felt like – as experienced by the character of Michelle McNally in the movie.”

“Given that TV is a medium of constant audio-visual messages, even a few moments of total blackness can feel like an eternity to the viewer. The icing on the cake, of course, was that Rani Mukherjee agreed to lend support to this by recording a special heartfelt message to the viewers immediately post the blackout,” he added.

One of the commendable movies ever made, ‘Black’, which is directed by noted filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, explores the life of a deaf and blind woman, Michelle McNally, portrayed as a child by Ayesha Kapoor and as an adult by Rani Mukherjee. Besides the scintillating performances of Amitabh Bachchan, Ayesha and Rani, the film also stars Nandana Sen, Shernaz Patel and Dhritiman Chatterjee.

Explaining the reason for choosing this time band, Vidyasagar said, “It made sense to have the blackout on a high traffic time band and reach out to the maximum number of captive audiences on the network.”

Apart from this unique promotional effort, some of the other marketing buzz that have been created around the movie include 2,000 direct mailers to key decision makers in the corporate and film worlds. The mailers have been done in Braille with English translation. Besides television, the promotional mix is also accompanied with print and outdoor campaigns.

Vidyasagar said, “STAR Gold is extremely proud to be premiering the movie. With this, we are simply honouring the promise we made to our viewers and advertisers a couple of months back to showcase the most commercially and critically acclaimed films. And this is just the beginning with many more to come.”

Reaffirming its commitment to grab the viewers’ attention after showcasing movies like ‘Swades’ and now ‘Black’, STAR Gold has some exciting fare lined up for viewers in the forthcoming months, which include Jabardast Janamdin Specials, premier of one of the biggest comedy flicks, ‘Hulchul’, etc.

The channel will also be showcasing movies like ‘Viruddh’ and Kya Kool Hain Hum’ towards the end of the year.

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