Filmy, the movie channel from the SaharaOne stable, has planned back-to-back action for its viewers. With one key premier in February and three world premiers lined up in March, in addition to the channels’ original programming, Shantonu Aditya, CEO, Sahara One Entertainment is confident that Filmy is all set to create its loyalists in the Hindi movie genre.
“The response to the channel and its programming has been phenomenal,” said Aditya, adding, “At the same time, where we have deliberately incorporated differentiation in our programming, we are also making sure that ‘Filmy’ is giving the Indian audience what it was looking for in terms of great titles.”
Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Sarkar’, which will be aired on the channel on February 28, has been treated as a key property. The other movies in the same league coming on the channel comprise the likes of ‘No Entry’ and ‘Bewafa’ in March.
“These have all been great successes with the Indian audience and should do well for Filmy as well. They would be treated with the ‘Filmy’ kind of packaging and presenting, in the end achieving the channel’s objective of giving the viewer a great movie watching experience,” Aditya further said.
Shailesh Kapoor, Head, Content and Marketing, Filmy, added, “The Hindi movie genre on television in India has quite a few players, but giving the audience the right movie watching experience is still an issue and we have worked on that right from the inception of the channel. This is why you see our content including such a rich mix of original programming, with that being a central part of our launch marketing as well.”
Kapoor explained that the central thought of the channel came from the fact that cinema was all about the attitude, and this had been reflected in the word ‘Filmy’. He said, “The characters we created lend a certain attitude to the channel, the look and feel of the channel embodies this attitude and we have based our marketing and creative strategies, too, on this.”
Speaking further on the launch marketing before getting specific with the marketing plans of the forthcoming premiers, he observed, “The main objective at the launch was that since it’s a new channel and there are other channels in the genre, we have to stand out. While we had a differentiated creative strategy due to our approach, we also had to have maximum reach from the campaign, and so we had a media mix of both above-the-line and below-the-line (BTL) mediums.”
The marketing campaigns have been taken across television, radio, outdoor and cinemas. At the BTL level, the channel undertook initiatives like the Filmy Yatra with all its characters in various markets and tied up with McDonalds and Big Bazaar. “All this keeps in line with our statement that we are a channel that offer an interesting way of watching movies,” said Kapoor.
On the new movies, Kapoor explained that ‘Sarkar’ was an experiment for the channel. “Our weekend block is in place with our programming, so we have placed ‘Sarkar’ in the middle of the week (Tuesday) to see how the audience reacts to that. In the case of each of these movies, we will have the media mix, including the usual TV, radio and outdoor, but we will also include print as well now, which we have stayed away from so far.”
However, he is quick to add that the channel was still not ready for a movie-led marketing exercise. “We are still establishing ourselves,” said Kapoor, adding, “The marketing campaigns are still going to be more about the channel. The objective is not just to inform that ‘No Entry’ will be aired, but that it would be aired on Filmy. We are clear that the stress of our communication will be on the channel,” Kapoor maintained.
Speaking on the opening numbers of the channel, Kapoor said, “We are very encouraged with these numbers. We have opened with a total of 19 GRPs and in the last two years, no channel has opened with such numbers with the exception of STAR One, which is on the same lines as we are. Plus, you mustn’t forget that this is the week with three cricket ODIs and despite that we have managed these numbers. In addition to that, as per ConnecTam, our connectivity was 35 per cent in the first week, which subsequently shot up to 50 per cent in the following week. Given all this, we are only set to grow faster than what we had expected.”
The channel is happy and this is just the beginning of what can be expected from Filmy. It is still too early to say what changes the launch of Filmy has brought about on the Hindi movie genre, but there is enough optimism around.