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Contests2win launches first sit.com

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The Internet is constantly redifining the medium of entertainment. The popular gaming site contests2win.com which claims to have 700,000 registered users is bringing the concept of the serial to the Internet. The sit.com 'Ghar Ek Mandir- Mera Baap Bhagwan' (Home is a temple and My Dad Is God!) will be unveiled on the site from today.

The serial consisting of 48 episodes will be in the comic strip format with illustrations and text blurbs. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday a new episode will be shown. According to Amar Tidke who has written and directed the serial, each episode consists of five frames which constitute the scenes for the plot.

Elaborating further on this new development Tidke said that the show will be held entirely online. Viewing will take about four minutes and then there is a question pertaining to the end. The viewer has to select one of three possible options on that day itself and three winners will be announced on the next episode. They take home a cash prize of Rs 501. The grand prizes of Indica cars will be announced after four months. Needless to say the smooth drive goes to the people who have the most number of correct selections.

According to Tidke, the company was initially thinking of shooting with a handycam with sound. But the idea was dropped as it would have occupied a lot of space and become too cumbersome. The advantage of this serial is that even people with low end PC's can view the show.

The company is viewing this as an experiment and depending on the results the other serials which are already in production will proceed. They are genre specific and cater to people of all tastes - be it comedy, drama or thrillers.

Tidke also said that the serial is completely different from the wishy washy soaps that are hogging the TRP's on the tube. 'Ghar Ek...' straddles a variety of genres so that viewers get a feel of what it is like to view a story in front of the computer. The episodes will be stored on the site so that people who have missed earlier episodes can catch up.

Tidke pointed out that on the television once you miss an episode it is gone forever unless you have recorded it on the VCR. With 'Ghar Ek...' there is no time bar as all the epsodes will be stored on the site.

Though the couch potato won't give up the tube this new initiative promises to be a shot in the arm for Internet companies struggling with the tech dowturn and a recessionary market.

The budget for the serial is naturally lower than what television companies lavishly spend. Contests2win has taken out banners and has also planted story insertions in newspapers. However it has refrained from spending on the television having learnt from the experience of dotcoms which bled their funds without commensurate revenues flowing in.

The official sponsor is Colgate. The FMCG major is charged up because it has been looking for an innovative and fresh concept that could be associated with its Fresh Energy Gel. Contests2win has had a happy relationship with the FMCG major. Earlier they had 'Colgate Gel Bhol Talk to me' which was a phone in contest.

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