Zee TV’s new show, ‘Saath Phere’, is turning out to be a platform for innovations. To begin with, the show was injected with a dose of interactivity when the channel invited suggestions from viewers about the story line. Now, for the launch episode, the channel is experimenting with the ad slots and has cut the duration down to just one minute in the entire 30-minute episode.
The show, which is goes on air from October 17, will air content for 29 minutes. Commenting on the rationale behind this, Tarun Mehra, Marketing Head, Zee TV, said, “The logic is simple – we want to ensure stickiness in the programming and not give the viewer a reason to leave the channel. There will be only a one-minute ad break in this episode.”
Will the strategy be seen in subsequent episodes? Mehra replied, “We haven’t really decided on that yet. For now, the second episode onwards, we will move back to the normal content-ad ratio, but quite a lot depends on what is the result of this first episode.”
He explained that the channel was trying to do a lot of things to ensure more stickiness in the show. “We have designed the show in a manner that the viewer can give his comments on how he thinks the story should move forward in the next few weeks. We are making substantial noise around that through promos in our weekend movies slots. We have created a contest around this, where the show’s viewers stand a chance to win prizes and people participating in the story contest stand to win gold coins.”
As is known, Saath Phere is a premium property on the channel at present. Zee TV began the marketing campaign with teasers around the show. “The protagonist of the show is a new face and we have played that up significantly, so there is some amount of curiosity around that,” said Mehra.
The campaign is currently in its second phase and Mehra informed that depending on the response the show got, the next of round of activities would be planned. The 9.30 pm slot has shown results for Zee TV and these initiatives do help the channel capitalise on the slot’s potential.
Of late, the one-minute ad break has been seen on movie channels frequently, but this is the first time for a daily soap.