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HBO’s Spiderman sees surefire success

18-February-2004
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HBO’s Spiderman sees surefire success

It is a top-notch movie. No wonder it earned HBO exceptional returns. Spiderman also ensured that Columbia Tri-Star India crossed the one billion mark for the very first time. Telecast on HBO as part of Big One, it has secured TVR of 2.4 (C&S 15 plus females, Sec AB) and 2.1 (C&S, 4 plus individuals, Sec AB) for the channel.

Shruti Bajpai, Country Head for HBO, South Asia states, “It is a deliberate move to air the hottest properties across the globe in a fixed slot called the Big One. We would make it a point to air one such blockbuster in every quarter. As a property, Spiderman has seen remarkable success, helping us derive an increased channel share amongst all English entertainment channels. What’s important is that Chalte Chalte was aired on Zee at around the same time and Spiderman garnered far better ratings.”

She adds, “With Spiderman, HBO incorporated a 360 degree approach, in terms of decibels and publicity. Apart from the television promotion, we used innovative print ads, extensive outdoor, mobile vans, theatre campaigns and a watch-and-win contest. All in all, it was a well-woven effort.”

The integrated campaign indeed covered all aspects of media. In Mumbai and Delhi, major vantage hoardings were rented, while on air there were fixed spots accompanied by striking graphics in order to elaborate on the film. It was for the first time that HBO promoted a film, using SET through a barter arrangement, in addition to significant others such as MTV and Discovery. Online, a microsite was created where viewers were able to play games on hboasia.com in addition to a tie up with contests2win.com. Spiderman was seen scouting across Pizza Hut outlets (one of the main sponsors) on more than one occasion and visiting shopping malls and youth hangouts. Not to mention the Spiderman vans across the major metros.

Would the other properties be just as widely promoted? Bajpai answers, “It depends on the property at hand. A movie such as Spiderman would be a lot different than a movie like Lord of the Rings and the treatment would differ accordingly. It depends entirely on the property we are going to air.”

What is HBO’s USP? She replies, “Our unique selling point? Well, we telecast both the raters and the differentiators, with an intention of providing a quality package. Not to mention, a balanced package at that. In addition, we are the only English movie channel to produce an original line-up of programming (the HBO original film). If you watched the Golden Globe awards, you would have noticed the number of awards that were bagged by HBO originals. We are, what you would call, a one stop destination when it comes to entertainment!”

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