His millions of fans have seen him on the silver screen scores of times, this is for the first time that Amitabh Bachchan will be seen in a fiction show on television. The actor has been seen earlier on television as the host of popular game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. The series ‘Yudh’ premieres on Sony Entertainment Television tonight, July 14, 2014, at 10.30 pm. The show will be aired from Monday to Friday.
‘Yudh’ will be replacing the show ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hain’ in the 10:30-11:30 pm slot on Monday to Thursday and will begin right after ‘Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’, which airs in the 9 pm slot. Besides Bachchan, the show has an ensemble cast comprising Sarika, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Kay Kay Menon, among others. ‘Yudh’ has been produced by Endemol India and Saraswati Creations.
The show has undertaken some innovative marketing initiatives to create buzz. Using the digital media marketing platform, the producers of ‘Yudh’ gave viewers a 10-minute sneak peek of the show on Friday, July 11, by calling on them to tweet in order to unlock the video.
Other marketing initiatives have included the unveiling of a 50-foot poster at the Statesman House in Delhi for the first look of the show in the presence of Bachchan and the director of the series, Anurag Kashyap. It was followed by an event at the Bombay Stock Exchange, where Bachchan arrived in character at the stock exchange to list the fictional company, Shanti Constructions, on June 17. Apart from this, the digital platform is set to play an important role in the show’s promotions, which includes hosting videos on a microsite that allows viewers to catch a sneak peek of the following episode after unlocking it by answering a few questions after every episode. A character-based application for the show is slated to launch on July 21.
Commenting on the marketing initiatives, Gaurav Seth, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing, SET said, “Considering the scale of the show, we are treating it as a film promotion. For example, in the IPL final, we broke the first look trailer and it immediately started trending. Everybody started talking about it. Post that, there have been several creatives that have gone on our channel and other channels. So, there has been an extremely hard hitting television plan, which has brought to the fore what to expect from the show in terms of the relationship that Bachchan is going to have with his family members and all the intrigue that he is going to face in his corporate life. Thus, the strategy is structured like a film, where you broke with one trailer then another and different aspects.”
Commenting on the show’s late timing, Seth explained, “It is at a later slot, so there is not a lot of competition. I am not looking to topple anything. ‘Veera’ on Star (at the same time slot) is doing reasonably well, but how can I have competition when I have Amitabh Bachchan coming on television for the first time on Sony. The idea was never to take away audiences from other shows.”
As far as the target audience is concerned, SET expects Bachchan’s personality to appeal to a wide audience across different age groups and demographies.
Cadbury Dairy Milk and OLX.in have been roped in as the two main sponsors for ‘Yudh’, followed by Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Nutrela, Syska LED, Ultratech and Goibibo.com.
Seth declined to comment when asked about the ad revenues expected from the show.