Star Plus launches Mahabharat; aims to engage youth with the epic

To promote the show, the channel has initiated innovative concepts such as a Mahabharat museum, interactive virtual wardrobe, mobile apps, contests, out of the box OOH set-ups, etc.

e4m by Abid Hasan
Published: Sep 9, 2013 8:56 AM  | 3 min read
Star Plus launches Mahabharat; aims to engage youth with the epic

Star Plus is all set to take viewers back to ‘Treta Yuga’ with its upcoming show Mahabharat.  The epic is back on the small screen after a huge gap.

The idea behind launching the show now is to connect the younger audience with the saga.

Talking to exchange4media about the USP of the show, Nikhil Madhok, Sr. Vice President, Marketing, STAR India said, “This time we are narrating the show with Krishna’s point of view and engaging the youth in large numbers with different activities.”

He added, “We are promoting the show on the STAR Network, along with 25 other channels. There will also be different creative print ads in regional and national language newspaper.”

The show will premiere on September 16 and will air Monday to Friday at 8.30PM.

In addition to Fortune Oil and Ghadi Detergent, about 7 – 8 other brands have associated with the show. It will have 128 episodes and will be produced by Swastik Productions.

Combining modern technology with intense story-telling, Mahabharat aims to cultivate young audiences.

The first of a set of launch innovations is a special piece of programming content – Making of Mahabharat, which aims to stir up viewer imagination with a glimpse of the ambitious scale of the project.

To bring Mahabharat alive in cities across India, the channel has set up a series of innovative on-ground activation initiatives. One of them being a Mahabharat Museum; set up in malls in major cities, it will showcase selected weaponry, jewelry and finery worn or used by the characters in the show. The museum will also take the viewers on a 3D virtual tour of Mahabharat’s grand set.

To reach out to viewers deep in the small towns of India, the museum has also been converted into a ‘Mahabharat Museum on Wheels’ that will have LED installed canter vans traveling throughout the country.

With an objective of targeting the youth who are less familiar with the story and characters, the channel has introduced an interactive virtual wardrobe in colleges using Kinect Mirror technology. This allows youngsters a chance to virtually dress up like some of the popular characters from Mahabharat and instantly upload their images on social platforms. Additionally, the channel has deployed promoters at youth hangouts, to give them an opportunity of viewing visuals from the show with the help of Glasstrons. These special glasses will give patrons an on-the-go audio-visual experience of the Mahabharat sets, promos and other content.
The channel will also introduce a mobile app that will allow users to listen to Mahabharat shlokas, take part in daily contests, pose with different weapons and jewelry from the show and even go through the entire family tree of the Mahabharat characters.

The outdoor campaign for the show will cover 100 cities. It will include innovations such as a life-size mannequin of Arjun firing an arrow at a fish rotating on a motor above him.

Madhok said, “Disruption was the key thought around our campaign. That's what you will see in every medium we have used to promote the show. Starting with the set of the differentiated character promos that are getting attention, we positioned Shakuni not as a scheming old uncle but as a brother who loved his sister Gandhari so much that he dedicated his life to taking revenge on Hastinapur for the injustice meted out to her.”

“The campaign is deep and extensive going all the way from metros to LC 1 towns. While there is a lot of action around the launch, we also have some exciting ideas lined up post the launch of the show,” he concluded.

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