Hungama TV launches talent hunt for kids; ropes in John Abraham as brand ambassador

MUMBAI: After Sony and Zee, it's now the turn of kids' channel Hungama TV to go the reality way. The 18-months old channel, which has grown to become the number two kids' channel in the country recently, has roped in Bollywood youth icon John Abraham as the brand ambassador for two years.

Additionally, John will also be endorsing the 'John Aur Kaun?' talent hunt, which will give two kids (one boy and one girl) an opportunity to star opposite him in one of UTV's forthcoming movie.

The winners, apart from getting an opportunity to star opposite the hunk, will also get a cash prize of Rs 500,000 each and a three year contract with UTV to manage their career.

The applications will open in the third week of May. The channel will shortlist 1000 candidates each in five cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad - where auditions will be held in June and July.

Kids' between the age of 7 - 14 can apply and the selection criteria for the talent hunt will be based on acting and dancing skills. Finally, 40 kids (eight from each city) will be selected. These finalists will be brought to Mumbai, where they will go through a comprehensive training process during which the judges will be narrowing down the participants to four. The final two will be chosen via popular voting (SMS) and IVR (interactive voice response) exercise. Ernst & Young have been roped in as the auditors for the selection process.

The entire hunt - from the city level auditions to the grand finale - will be televised as a reality show on Hungama TV and will be aired in October. The show will be in the form of 13 one hour episodes and will air three times a week on the channel.

Hungama TV has roped in Oral B as the presenting sponsor for the 'John Aur Kaun?' talent hunt. Bournvita, Maggi and Sunfeast Dream Biscuits will be the co-presenting sponsors, whereas Dermi Cool, Waffy, Tata Salt and Add Gel Achiever are the associate sponsors for the event. Mitashi Edutainment is the prize sponsor.

The channel has also partnered with Radio City (official radio partner), the Times Group (print and online partner), Planet M and Star News (national news channel partner). A nationwide 360 degree marketing and promotions campaign will hit the print, television, outdoor, radio and internet media in the third week of May.

An elated Hungama TV COO Zarina Mehta said, "Indian kids have tremendous potential and Hungama TV wants to offer them a platform to showcase their talent. Kids today have the drive and inclination to learn and succeed and this is evident across all sections of the society. In keeping with this philosophy of constant innovation and distinctive content, Hungama TV is proud to bring to viewers 'John Aur Kaun?' - a first ever in the kids category."

"We are also really excited to have John Abraham on board as the brand ambassador for the channel. John's sunny personality and easy going nature, couple with his drop-dead looks and undeniable talent, have made him a role model for kids across the country," she added.

The channel zeroed in on John as its brand ambassador after an extensive research with kids last year, wherein the dimpled-boy won over his other colleagues in popularity.

Abraham said, "It feels great to be associated with Hungama TV. I am looking forward to spending time and interacting with kids. 'John Aur Kaun?' will give talented kids across the country an opportunity to shine and I am very glad to be involved in this effort." a

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