Mega-promotions to ring in Sahara's 'Karishma'

MUMBAI: Pick up a MTNL land line anytime on Monday, 12 May, and you won't get the dial tone. What you will get instead is a recorded voice reminding you of a television appointment with Karisma Kapoor in Sahara Manoranjan's magnum opus Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny that premieres the same day at 9:30 pm.

Sahara is obviously not sparing any effort to promote what is arguably the costliest TV series on Indian television and consequently, the largest programming risk in the channel's three-year old existence. The innovative tie-up with MTNL for the day is just part of a multi-pronged multi-media strategy that is slowly being unleashed on an unsuspecting nation. 

First to go visible were huge hoardings that dot the metros, with Karisma's triple role staring out at passersby. Since yesterday, 20 suburban trains on the Western Railway in Mumbai have been painted with the show's advertisements. 

Come Monday, the channel will have helicopters spraying pamphlets covered with Karishma... advertisements in targeted towns and cities. In smaller towns in interior India, where Sahara is an accepted and appreciated channel, vans fitted with Karishma...... promos are doing the rounds.

In cities, which is where the viewership counts when it comes to ratings, Sahara has tied up with prominent shops like Shoppers' Stop and Provogue outlets, and customers will walk out with shopping bags on which will be printed Karishma..... ads. Contests are also part of the deal, say sources. 

The channel did attempt a similar exercise, although on a slightly smaller scale, when Mission Fateh launched earlier this year. Mock army parades, artificial bunkers at railway stations all aimed at popularising the serial among the citizens.

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