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Zee TV goes into overdrive on Dangal world premiere

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MUMBAI: It’s the mega blockbuster of Indian Hindi cinema. And Zee TV is pulling out all the stops to give the world television premier of the Aamir Khan starrer the Rs 1000 crore box office Dangal on 21 May 12 noon to 4 pm the spotlight it deserves in the minds of TV viewers.

Over the past month, Zee TV’s marketers have been using its network of channels, its social media, ground activation, print, mobile, outdoors, PR, radio to promote the movie premier to viewers. Estimates are that Zee has spent close to Rs 60 crore-75crore to acquire the TV rights for the movie and it is pumping in excess of a Rs 6 crore on promotional spends.

At the time of writing, the channel’s sales team had managed to find Bournvita the title sponsor, and Yepme.com, Sugarfree and Volkswagen as the co-powered by sponsors and Wonder Cement, makemytrup, Elica kitchen, Cipla, Abbot as the associate sponsors for Dangal’s telecast on Zee TV HD. Its SD feed had attracted Bajaj Pulsar, Lifebuoy, Yepme.com as the co-powered by sponsor and Godrej, Wonder Cement and Zee Rainweare as the associate sponsors.

According to Zee TV business head Deepak Rajadhyaksha, the channel was clear about selling Dangal’s premier at a premium. “We had advertisers queueing up for the SD title sponsorship as well,” he says. “However, we were not willing to compromise on rates as we know the value of the product. Actually we were happier not have a title sponsor on board rather than compromising on price. We still have a couple of days left and are open to proposals as well.”

An estimate is that prices have been kept at around Rs 350,000 for 10 seconds and the title sponsorship was pegged at around Rs 8-12 crore, for SD and around half that for HD. Sponsors were given a package which consisted of 1+1 repeat telecast. The second telecast is slated to follow on 28 May.

Deepak points out that around five more telecasts will have to be done for Zee TV to break even on the price that the network has coughed up for the rights.

What he is pleased about is that Zee TV has put its creative and financial muscle behind promoting the film’s premier. “It was a challenge for us – a great one,” says Deepak Rajadhyaksha. “How to create the experience on Zee TV for those who have watched the film in theatres to watch it on air once again, and how to get the fence sitters who did not watch the movie in cinema halls to come and watch it on Zee TV for the first time,” says Rajadhyaksha.

The marketing

It began with a teaser promo on 15 April 2017 wherein the first scene of Dangal was aired on its channels to peak consumer interest, says Zee TV business head Deepak Rajadhyaksha. This was followed by the second phase of creative communication with the key messaging being “sara khel hi palat daala” (he turned the game upside down, or he broke the shackles). This was followed by the third phase which has now commenced wherein the Dangal tracks are being played out in promos.

Simultaneously a contest was activated which was promoted on radio (Big FM) , TV, telcos such as Vodafone and Idea and on digital (its own pages on Facebook and Twitter) wherein the gratification was that 10 winning viewers would get a chance to engage with the cast, crew and ask them a question over the telephone or in the studio during a post-premier special episode between 4 and 5 pm on Zee TV.

“It’s an interactive show in which there will be a sharing of experiences, life changing experiences which have happened because of Dangal,” says Radjadhyaksha.

The production of the special Dangal show is being handled by the inhouse team of Zee TV’s production company Essel Vision at its Saregamapa studios with a 12 camera set up.

The creative team at Zee TV has also taken steps to do product integration of the film Dangal into two of its shows – Mehak and Piyaa Albela. “Over this week and next week, we have designed the highpoints wherein the protagonists in each of them are having a Dangal of their own.”

To build more connectivity with the film, the programming team has also created a special episode of Saregamapa on 20 May wherein the young Babita and Geeta will be participants. “It will focus on the music of Dangal,” says Rajadhykasha.

He points out that the objective was to create synergies between all the properties of the Zee TV group, whether social, on television, digital, or on its OTT service DittoTV .”We are cross promoting in every way possible,” he says.

What the marketing team is excited about was the True View Advertising option they took out courtesy Google on digital. “We had pre-rolls and bumper ads,” reveals Deepak Rajadhyaksha. “The six second bumper ads worked well for us.”

The objective was to get around 85 million digital impressions on digital, and we have achieved that, discloses Rajadhyaksha.

And as the premier date near, the promotion is also shifting to print, malls and bus depots and on the outdoors. “We have designed akhadas (wrestling arenas) in bus depots and stops and in malls where audiences will get to see live wrestlers in combat,” says Rajadhyaksha. “Ads will come out in print media announcing the premier as well as on the outdoors.”

Says a media planner not willing to disclose her name: “Yes, the promotional activity has been on for a month. But the Zee TV team could have used more ammo for a premier such as Dangal. It’s a great film and it will attract audience, but the buzz could have been stronger. Remember folks will engaged with the IPL final later that day in the evening. How much of a promotional blast the team puts out over today, tomorrow and day-after – the last leg - will finally decide the incremental ratings they will pocket for Dangal.”

Rajadhyaskha is however pleased with the effort that has been put behind and is quite confident it will rate well. “There is nothing else on competing channels in that slot.”

Now it’s over to the viewer to decide the fate of the labour of Mahavir Phogat, Babita, Geeta, Aamir Khan and Zee TV.

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