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Premieres are biggest perception drivers for movie channels: Saurabh Yagnik

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Premieres are biggest perception drivers for movie channels: Saurabh Yagnik

Saurabh Yagnik, EVP & Business Head, Sony PIX talks about the premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the upcoming movie line-up of Sony PIX, plans around newly acquired Star Wars franchise and more…

What is your marketing plan for the premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2?

We are premiering it on March 1st at 1pm and 9pm. Spiderman is a very popular franchise and this is fifth of the franchise. Globally it made over $700 million, in India it made about Rs.88 crore.  When you try to build perception about movie channels the biggest perception drivers are its premieres. Because if you have really big premieres they get recalled more and the channel association comes out very clear and the channel also builds its perception as a destination of choice for viewership. So consistent to our previous strategy, we are exemplifying the Spiderman campaign through a robust 360 degree campaign involving television including our own network and other television, digital, outdoor and print ads. So it is quite a robust and big plan, we are making a splash about this being Spiderman’s greatest battle ever. With this we are going to have a tie-up where one lucky winner during the contest we play during the movie gets to go New York to the Super Hero Academy to train to be Spiderman. There will also be a showdown at the Times Square. This is basically building this whole ecosystem around Hollywood and how do we get Hollywood closer to people and people’s homes.

What are the brand associations for the premiere of the movie?

The sponsors for premiere of The Amazing Spiderman 2 include presenting sponsors: Engage Cologne Spray, Powered by sponsor: Ford, and BMW. Associate Sponsors are Diu Tourism, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Raymonds Made to Measure, Meru Cabs, and many more.

What are your plans on the Star Wars franchise that you have acquired recently and what are your plans around it?

The Star Wars new movie trailer and subsequent premiere are all going to get released, so we will leverage the franchise during that activity to build from there and build the franchise and leverage the entire 360 degree strong marketing that will be devised around Star Wars as an integrated campaign. So we are working very closely with Disney who have been our partners and we have licensed the titles from them. We also have a very deep library of Marvel titles and superheroes and very soon we will be talking about one more superhero movie that will come to our stable as well.

What new content can we expect Sony PIX to launch in 2015?

Our big line-up of movies for the year is going to be Hercules, Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1, The Hobbit part 3, Equalizer, 22 Jump Street, Step Up 5, Divergent which is a very popular movie from the US and Lionsgate production, we just did a deal with them. Carrie is another movie, Transcendence, Expendables 3 and The Interview.

How are you looking to build a lead between the others?

I think we have been talking the most about differentiating ourselves right from the channel packaging, to the positioning, to the content that we have invested in, to the kind of brand properties that we have created, to exemplifying and making larger than life our premiere propositions, to the differentiation we do on social media using NaughtyPixxy. In social media if you look at the kind of content that we play is very different. We have a well devised content strategy on social media which reflects in the way our engagement rates are at 12%,  compared to a 3-4% average for competition.

Do you see the World Cup 2015 affecting your viewership considering India’s matches are on weekends during a time slot which gains a significant amount of viewership?      

We don’t know, it has to be assessed. But historically what we have seen is even when we talk about IPL which is widely watched as well, the time bands around the matches tend to do well for us. It is not that we see our viewership coming down or anything like that but I think these complement each other. So people watch cricket and when the matches are over they come and watch the movies as well, which is what we are expecting to happen with World Cup as well.

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