Band power - [V] drums up 'Popstars' frenzy

MUMBAI: Eye-popping stuff this. The promotional efforts that is. Five channels, road shows, hoardings, the leading newspaper in the country, online, offline, radio. That is the kind of push that Star India is giving to its glam-reality show [V] Popstars that premieres Thursday.

Five channels of the Star Network will simulcast the first episode of the series that showcases the entire process right from selection, grooming to launch of the country's first all girl pop band. Star Plus, Channel [V], Star Gold, Star Movies and Star World will all telecast the first episode. Not included in this effort are Star News and National Geographic. The first episode will be an hour long (9 pm - 10 pm) one while the rest are scheduled as half-hour episodes.

To bring home the message, the channel has hired several music bands, traditionally employed by Indian wedding processions, to march through the streets of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore on today and tomorrow. Accompanied by young girls holding up the Popstars banners, the novel promo aims at reinforcing the show's slogan - Kiska Band Bajega?

That's not all. A three-kilometer long banner will be unveiled along Mumbai's streets tomorrow, a day ahead of the show being unleashed on air. The Times of India, the strategic partner in the venture, has been splashing ads in its city supplements and tracking the progress of the auditions through news reports as the jury made its way through six Indian cities.

This is the first time the network is promoting a channel property in a major way across all its channels, with on air promotions assailing viewers nearly every half hour for the past many days.

Star has acquired the rights of this popular reality show from the UK-based Sportsworld Media Group.

According to [V] vice-president Devika Sharma, 24 girls, selected from among the thousands who auditioned are currently undergoing the final tests. The final five who will make up the band will be finalised by this weekend, but viewers are likely to know their identity only in the fourth or fifth episode. Auditions were held in Chandigarh, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa over the last one month, with over 450 girls participating in the auditions from each city. While those from Chandigarh and Kolkata were the ones with loads of talent, it was the girls from Mumbai and Delhi who have stolen the march in their attitudes and energy, says Sharma.

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