MUMBAI:Trust MAX to experiment and innovate - that too in style. After the much-hyped Cricket World Cup that reaped fruitful returns for the channel, it is now all geared up to create a similar buzz around its next catch - Devdas - ,the biggest blockbuster film of 2002 .
Mandira Bedi, who attracted many an eyeball during the World Cup, is all set to charm the viewers once again on Sunday, 27 April when the mega movie premieres on the channel at 8 pm.
Clad in the sari worn by Aishwarya Rai who played the lead role of Paro in the movie, she will host the interstitials disclosing facts, a peek behind the scenes and trivia associated with the movie. "Did you know that nearly 600 saris were brought in from Kolkata for her role as Paro," said an over-excited Mandira who gave only this one hint as to what was in store for the viewers.
The channel is pulling out all the stops to entice viewers. Apart from showcasing the making of the movie on 21 April, the channel will also air Dola Re Dole, an exclusive compilation of songs from the film.
"Presenting films on a channel is a different business altogether. The challenge faced by our channel is to differentiate our movies from that shown on other channels. So we decided to experiment and give the Indian audience a new experience of watching a movie ," said MAX executive V-P Rajat Jain.
"Max's perspective is to focus on big products. What the World Cup is to cricket, Devdas has been to films last year," he stated.
The interstitials will appear before the movie begins, during ad breaks and after the movie. "The whole idea is to generate excitement and interest among viewers. We will run a contest wherein questions will be flashed during the movie. The viewers will be required to SMS the answers. The lucky winners will win a free trip to Mauritius ," said Jain.
The other blockbuster movies lined up for the channel include Deewangee and Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage to name a few. "Investment in the brand depends on the returns expected. Every effort has been taken to position the brand," said Jain, when asked if a similar hype would be created for all its blockbuster movies.
"After Devdas, we will be air the Rolling Stones concert on 10 May, followed by Indian International Film Awards IIFA sometime early June," said Jain of the future attractions on the channel. In addition, the channel has also announced a Friday Blockbuster Festival which will showcase some of the latest Bollywood flicks, starting 2 May till 22 June 2003.
Though it remains to be seen if the new experiment with Mandira gets the desired results, it is the channel's attempt to innovate and present movies and events in a more palatable style that keeps everyone asking - what next?