It appears that Sony’s aim of projecting itself as a young channel has gained ground with a few. For its forthcoming venture ‘Hum Tum’, Yashraj Productions concentrated on various out-of-the-box marketing techniques and one of them is the movie’s lead actor Saif Ali Khan playing a vignette role in ‘Jassi…’. Interestingly, it was Yashraj that approached the channel with the idea.
‘Hum Tum’, as per Yashraj Production’s, Senior Marketing Executive, Tarun Tripathi, is for people of all ages but definitely a movie that is young in its look and feel. Speaking about the promotional activities that the movie is involved in, Tripathi explained, “We have tried various innovations for this movie. The cartoon strip in the The Times of India is one of those. And we wanted to extend this further to other media as well. This is when we looked at ‘Jassi…”
Through various Yashraj movie acquisitions by Sony and the other Yashraj activities on the channel, like making of a movie and the like, the two entities have been working closely. However, Tripathi asserted that this is not the reason why this marketing initiative was executed with ‘Jassi…’.
On being asked why ‘Jassi…’ was the chosen programme, Tripathi replied, “Jassi…’ is a phenomenon. It has a loyal viewer base and necessarily the people who watch it are people looking at young and fresh content. Hence, ‘Jassi…’ viewers and our target for this movie are the same. So, we considered this to be the right fit. I can’t think of any other programme that would fit the bill.”
Tripathi explained that Yashraj required a daily soap for this idea so that the presence of the movie’s character was felt across the week, even though the actor makes his presence only in one episode. Adding further, he said, “The kind of hype around the show and the promotions of the episode are what we wanted and hence we got Saif as his character, Karan Kapoor, in ‘Jassi…”
The ‘Hum Tum’ comic strip that appears in Bombay Times plays an important role in ‘Jassi…’. The strip becomes a point of discussion between Jassi and Karan Kapoor (Saif). “It will make some very good viewing,” expressed Tarun Katial, EVP, Programming and Response, SET.
Yashraj Productions has used Sony as a platform to create some more excitement around the movie but Katial doesn’t call it in-programme product placement. “It is a joint activity and ‘Jassi…’ gains from it substantially as well,” he said.
Why didn’t the channel try something with ‘Ye Meri…’ which could also use some more of such differentiated hype? Katial replied, “Ye Meri…’ has a lot happening already. But more importantly, both the properties are in different life cycle. Jassi herself is a distinguished character. The show can host an outside character like Karan Kapoor at this stage and render two-way benefits. However, ‘Yeh Meri…’s characters themselves have to get established now.”
That said, both Yashraj Productions and Sony are excited about the association. The episode airs on the channel on May 27, 2004, just a day before the movie’s release. If nothing else, the ‘Jassi…’ viewers are in for a treat!