Viacom18 unites cricket & cinema for Unacademy Road Safety World Series

A series of engaging content and promotions have been designed by COLORS Cineplex across 60 network and non-network channels

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Feb 27, 2020 10:13 AM
colors cricket

From telecasting Nidahas Trophy -- a tri-series played between Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India on Rishtey Cineplex ( which is now called Colors Cineplex)-- to bringing an esports league Ucypher on MTV, Viacom18 has never shied away from taking risks. 

But this time around, the entertainment network is betting even bigger by building an annual property cricket league and bringing the power of cinema & cricket together through the Unacademy Road Safety World Series.

Even in the past, we have seen that the combination of cricket and movie channels has worked wonders for the networks. For instance, SET Max had been the number one channel at the time of IPL (when the series was owned by Sony Pictures Network India) and later the same formula was applied by Star India. Similarly, Rishtey Cineplex (now Colors Cineplex) had topped the ratings in its genre when the Nidahas Trophy was telecasted on the channel. 

The matches will be played in T20 format among India, Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and South Africa starting 7 March to 22 March 2020 in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune. It will stream live on Colors Cineplex, VOOT and Jio. Road Safety World Series is an initiative by Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra in association with Professional Management Group (PMG).

The cricketing legends Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Brian Lara, Brett Lee, Sri Lankan star Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Jonty Rhodes will reignite rivalries and join forces to promote the cause of Road Safety through cricket. 

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV network, Viacom18 said, “ With this new annual property, we plan to add more depth to our Hindi movie entertainment portfolio and bring two of the country’s biggest obsessions -- cricket and Bollywood -- together on one platform, in our attempt to explore white spaces and ensure that we continue to experiment from a Viacom18 perspective. We've done Nidahas Trophy on Rishtey Cineplex and eSports. So we have now partnered with the road safety series league, which we hope becomes a big annual winning property and league for Cineplex. Therefore, we have left no stone unturned to make it into a winning proposition. It is a very serious competitive league across five countries.” 

She further added, “We are hoping that it's a win-win for the league and becomes a big property for us and for Cineplex as well. For us, it is about getting sampling, new eyeballs, and footfalls.  It is about getting non-viewers on the channel and ensuring that we make it a very fertile and robust platform going forward.” 

The network is looking at it as a competitive league though it is about road safety. Rohan Lavsi, Head, COLORS Cineplex, Viacom18, said, “We want to convey the message of road safety through cricket, it's not a CSR activity, but there is a core theme behind this. It's like any other 2020 League that you see across the world. The combination of cricket and Bollywood is undoubtedly a promising proposition.  If you see the history also, SET Max was built on IPL, Star India despite airing on so many channels they will air on Star Gold on weekends. It's a similar mix of kind of viewership similar audience profile so it's a fit for us and as a Viacom18, we don't have a specialized sports channel, considering the kind of channels we have Cineplex fits the bill.”

To bring alive the essence of the sport and energize fans in the country, Colors Cineplex has designed engaging content and network-wide promotions that have seen a playout of 25000+ promos on-air across  60 network and non-network channels including Hindi GEC, Hindi Movies, News, Music, Kids and Regional across India in 5 weeks. 

The Bigg Boss grand finale episode saw a special integration with Mohammad Kaif and Harbhajan Singh interacting with host Salman Khan and the contestants inside the house. A special integrated promo has been created with Nick India’s brand mascots, Motu Patlu to be aired across the channel. 

A Pan-India Outdoor campaign will be released during the league at 300+ sites across Mumbai, greater Mumbai, Pune, ROM, and Delhi along with large format ads across key arterial roads of the country to maximise visibility. The league’s core message will be taken to the cinema halls across 3200+ single and multiplex screens through promos with the release of Baaghi 3.  A partnership with Radio Mirchi has been forged to increase local engagement and conversations around the league across 75 cities in the country. 

It will include 50000 promos along with content integration like RJ mentions, score updates and player interviews. During the matches, the brand mascot Teetar Mausi will interact with fans on the ground.

On the digital front, the channel is utilizing its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages by putting across promos and engaging posts on all Viacom18 assets. Curated content will be designed for Tik Tok about the biggest cricket faceoff that Road Safety World Series will offer.

The next phase will see an upsurge in moment marketing - capturing player moments and leveraging it across social media, thereby propelling the fan engagement. The key moments will include engaging with the players at their practice matches, interesting interactions at the dug-out area and dressing room, etc. A fantasy league is being introduced on VOOT, Jio and Colors Cineplex website wherein contestants can create their own league teams and bet on players to win prizes. Play Along in Jio will allow the fans to predict the consequence of each ball, over, the number of boundaries hit and scores.

 The spectators coming to watch the match will stand a chance to capture the moment come and share the picture on their social media platforms.  Furthermore, the Colors Cineplex website is set to get a massive makeover as the channel gears up to host a cricket series for the first time with movies. To engage with the fans, the site will be populated with a lot of player information along with interesting contests, games and gratification.

In the past year, the network claims that Colors Cineplex clocked a maximum viewership of 184 million. Launched on 1st March 2019, the channel has been gaining viewership share steadily. 

The channel-based its strategy on the combination of premieres and movie festivals to increase the viewership including Hum Honge Kamyab in association with Super 30, Bang Bang Festival in association with the movie Dabangg 3 and Loveria Festival in association with the movie Love Aaj Kal 2. Apart from this, some of the top-rated movie festivals were Action Jadugars, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Cineplex Superhits - 10 Days 10 Hits along with 8 Weeks 8 Premieres featuring Hindi and South movies launched during IPL. 

Teetar Mausi, the channel’s character-driven bird mascot gained popularity as the Bollywood buff who entices the audience to watch the latest movies. In the near future, the channel will air big-ticket movies including Brahmastra, Dostana-2, Blind to name a few.

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