Hindi GECs push the envelope with innovations galore

From glamourising content, creating hybrid genres, undertaking cinema advtg to disruptive mktg, 2013 is seeing a lot of experimentation by Hindi GECs

e4m by Synjini Nandi
Updated: Mar 29, 2013 7:28 PM
Hindi GECs push the envelope with innovations galore

The Hindi GEC space has observed a slew of launches in the last few months. But though players have been churning new shows at regular intervals, the sustainability of the same has been dubious with shows going off air just 60 to 90 days post their launch. With the increasing competition in Hindi general entertainment space, players today are looking at new avenues to reach their target viewers and occupy a larger market share.

A strong programming strategy backed by an interesting marketing campaign has always been the mainstay for the Hindi GECs. Further extending on the same, channels today are undertaking differentiated content strategy as well as fresh marketing concepts to bring something new to the table. exchange4media takes a look at some of the key content and promotion trends that have become the order of the day in 2013.

Glamourised TV content
One of the prominent trends that have been observed this year is how broadcasters are set to introduce a feel of cinema through their differentiated programming.

Star Plus recently launched fiction-based series ‘Saraswatichandra’, which saw Sanjay Leela Bhansali making his grand TV debut. With this show, the channel intends to bring cinema on television by creating larger than life experiences for the viewers. According to the channel, the quality of content is a significant element that the audiences today expect from the channels. Given the fact that after the digitisation process, the overall viewing experience has changed with respect to the picture clarity and the overall look, the viewing experience is more glamorous and exciting than ever; hence, the focus on complementing the same by upping the game in terms of visual design.

Also, with movie stars and directors making a move towards television, players are eager to cash on their popularity through various content integrations.  Life OK launched a new fiction show 'Ek Thhi Naayka' which is an eight-part series and would be telecast for eight weeks. Though this is not an alien concept, with the channel having experimented with finite series based on events specific to a particular time of the year such as 'Ram Leela' and '2612', the present show would serve as a part of the marketing strategy for an upcoming movie 'Ek Thi Dayan' 

Earlier the promotional campaigns for movies, which were limited to appearances on shows or in-serial integrations in an episode, will observe something new with an entire series being created for an upcoming movie. According to the channel, both the movie and the shows are based on a similar theme, the outcome of which will lead to the marketing of both.

Season formats and hybrid genre of entertainment
Apart from the finite based series, Hindi GECs have finally begun experimenting with season formats as well, which are synonymous with shows in English GECs. One example would be Colors launching the second season of its show ‘Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuchh Kaha’.

Colors and Anil Kapoor Film Co are also set to launch the Indian adaptation of ‘24’, which will pave the way for a new hybrid genre of entertainment that would be an amalgamation of fiction and reality.  The show intends to create a superlative viewing experience for its viewers with its iconic sets, never-seen-before stunts, slick-edited sequences, and high-definition recording.

Cinema advertising
Though the tradition media platforms such as print, television, radio, etc. still continue to be integral parts of a marketing media mix, there has been a recent advent of cinema advertising, with the players allocating a significant per cent share of their marketing spends on it. Star Plus had earmarked around 10 per cent for cinema advertising for its show ‘Saraswatichandra’, with its promos showcased prior to the screening of the movie, 'Kai Po Che’. According to the channel, cinema advertising has an important role to play for shows such as ‘Nachh Baliye’, ‘Saraswatichandra’, etc. which portray larger than life experiences.

Similarly, for the launch of its latest offering Savitri, Life OK associated with UFO Moviez to create a four-minute promotional film to be played in digital theatres, coinciding with the new film releases of the week. These content capsules were being showcased in around 230 screens in Hindi markets of UP, Delhi, Gujarat and Mumbai during the screening of various new movie releases. The channel also aired promos for its show 'Ek Thhi Naayka' across 400 screens as a part of cinema advertising.

Apart from the aforementioned, what has been one noticeable trend in the first quarter of 2013 is how players are keen to create buzz through activities which are heavily bent towards disruptive and digital marketing. The launch of unique digital apps for shows such as ‘Indian Idol’, ‘MasterChef’, etc. in order to connect with the audiences as well as provide live engagement, has also been one of the key trends. With digitisation having made carriage much easier, leading to more sampling, channels are focussing on sharpening their positioning and marketing game in order to garner more audience attention, setting the tone for the year ahead.

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