The airing of HBO Original Movie ‘Undefeated’, which premieres on September 6 at 9.00 pm, will have a sponsorship environment that has been especially created for the sole premium sponsor – Maruti Suzuki – who will have an exclusive and uncluttered environment to connect with the viewers.
HBO Original productions include a broad slate of original movies and series from small-budget independent filmmakers to major production houses, touching a wide range of provocative and entertaining subjects.
Shruti Bajpai, Country Manager, HBO South Asia, said, “With such an unique initiative, the sponsors as well as the viewers have a reason to smile. The viewers will be able to sit back and enjoy the full movie with just one break in between, while the sponsors will gain from integrated and custom-based promotion wound around the movie.”
Elaborating on the movie-sponsor connect, Bajpai said, “The movie is all about winning, and that’s what Maruti Suzuki embodies too. The association is perfect.”
Starting from August through December, five HBO Original movies will be telecast. ‘Undefeated’ is being promoted through all media, including extensive promotion on the channel and usage of online media too. There have been associations with magazines as well to make the noise.
When asked whether the TRPs are expected to go up in the wake of this viewer-friendly way of programming, Bajpai said, “Not all programming is about TRPs. I think HBO stands for quality content and this is one big differentiator that sets us apart from others.”
When asked whether the revenue losses owing to less commercials were being compensated by the sponsorship with Maruti Suzuki, Monica Tata, Vice-President, All-India Advertising Sales, Turner International India Pvt Ltd, said “At Turner, we are completely client-oriented and constantly work towards providing innovative and customised solutions across clients ensuring more bang for the buck. At the same time, we are also aware of our responsibility towards our discerning viewers. This is where the media innovation that we have designed for Maruti for the HBO Original movie – ‘Undefeated’ – enjoys an edge. It provides the discerning HBO viewer a seamless movie experience – similar to a theatre – and still integrates Maruti into the movie in such a way that even without traditional ad breaks, Maruti will still achieve top-of-mind recall with its target audience.”
Bajpai claimed that the promotions had been customised keeping Maruti in mind, therefore, the promotions would appear as an integrated part of the movie. It will be a genuine and exclusive kind of promotion, which will engage the viewer.
Elaborating on HBO’s experience in India, Bajpai said, “It is also interesting to note that HBO completes five years of operation in India in September this year. It has been an eventful year on all fronts. We have been able to do something that no other channel has done. There are 52 premieres a year and over and above that, we have these unique initiatives, which certainly enable us to stand apart from the rest.”