Zee pulls out all stops on blockbuster FPC publicity

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: The countdown for Zee's blockbuster gamble that begins tomorrow has begun.

And the channel is obviously not sparing any efforts to ensure that it is exciting viewers' curiosity about the relative new movies that are to be aired. A whopping Rs 70 million to Rs 100 million have been set aside for the six week media campaign, admits Zee TV president Apurva Purohit. All the media available are being pressed into service - full page ads appeared today in the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Dainik Jagran, Hindu, Deccan Herald, Mid-Day and Sakaal, among others.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh, the first blockbuster to be aired on Zee

Websites, as well as FM radio and cinema halls in key cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore as well as outdoor hoardings in a substantial number of cities are already teasing the viewer with tantalising snapshots of the 'fresh films' that are to be aired in the Har Ghar Par Premiere band. Of course, Zee's own channels are all being pressed into service to advertise the films, the first of which, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, airs tomorrow at 8 pm.

Zee is apparently gung ho about its new programming even before the films have started airing - and the channel plans to go in for more acquisitions, at least 10 to 12 of them, from April 2003 onwards. while admitting the the cost of movies has been fairly high, Purohit would not comment on the actual numbers. However, industry sources say Zee has a Rs 500 million acquisitions war chest set aside for this.

The strategy behind the programming change and the media campaign is that movies will attract viewers to the channel which is likely to get translated into viewership for our serials too. After all the serials will sustain the channel, says Purohit.

The feedback from the advertisers and press has been good on the campaign. Says Purohit, "People have been calling up since morning to discuss the newness of the movies. For example, some of the movies are still running in theatres."

The main sponsors for the Har Ghar Par Premiere movies are Coca Cola, Livon, Cadbury and Whirlpool. And if industry reports that Zee has already wrapped up Rs 400 million worth of ad sales from the current lot of movies are true, it can only have given the Zee TV president added confidence that the this is a strategy that will work.

The movies look like doing their bit. Now it will be on the serials to hold their end up.

Bollywood Blockbusters slewed for every Thursday at 8 pm are as follows :

Date 2002/03 Film
10 Oct The Legend of Bhagat Singh
17 Oct Humraaz
24 Oct Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai
31 Oct Om Jai Jagdish
7 Nov Mujhse Dosti Karoge
14 Nov Little John
21Nov Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi
28 Nov Rehna Hai Tere Dil Main
5 Dec Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge
12 Dec Kitne Door.... Kitne Paas
19 Dec Deewaanapan
26 Dec Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai
2 Jan Hathyar
9 Jan Style
16 Jan Road
23 Jan Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein

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