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Fremantle Media India forays into digital; launches web series 'Confessions-It's Complicated'

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MUMBAI: Fremantle Media India is known for its successful Indian Idol franchise, which has been running for several seasons. The content creator is now pushing the envelope on digital  and has launched its first web series titled Confessions –It’s Complicated. The launch was done at the hands of film actress Richa Chadda on 29 March.

Based on three spirited, vivacious girls Sameera Saxena, Raka Ghosh and Nupur Murthy from different parts of the country who live under one roof and office in Mumbai, Confessions, sheds light on their struggles, fears, dreams and adventures. Peppered with a mix of drama, love, romance and wit, the show bridges the gap between the reel and real lives of the characters.

The title track has been crooned by Anushka Manchanda, while the upbeat soundtrack has been composed by the renowned musician Leslie Lewis.

The 40 episode show has been conceptualised for the ‘on-the-go’ audience with each episode being of eight minute duration. Confessions – It’s Complicated begins airing on 4 April 2016 with fresh episodes being launched online every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. A total of 10 episodes will have a confession that will be made every Saturday.

Each installment will first be released on Facebook before moving on to Youtube. And that’s what makes Fremantle’s effort a standout. Its association with Facebook India and Facebook Live will allow viewers and fans to share their perspectives and experiences in real time. Additionally, the three leads will also reach out to audiences across key social media platforms and share with them their journey in the city of dreams.

Estimates are that each episode is costing the production house anywhere from Rs six to eight lakh.

Fremantle has roped in four sponsors  to help defray its costs. This includes Myntra, and Gillette Venus, as the title and powered by sponsors respectively with Miss Malini and Saavn coming in as other sponsors.

Fremantle  Media India business head Vidyuth Bhandary highlights that every attempt has been made to integrate the sponsors into each episode so that the content and storyline looks seamless and unforced.

It’s something that is echoed by Myntra VP marketing and head of monetisation Manish Aggawal. Says he: “Confessions does that (brand integration) beautifully. We are a fashion brand and fashion is all about choice. It is interesting to see how the three protagonists leverage fashion and their freedom in Mumbai according to their choice. They will be seen wearing Myntra clothes. Our consumers will get to see the products that we have through this."

Adds Myntra CMO and head of international brands Gunjan Soni: “We see digital and storytelling as a powerful way to engage with young people. The Confessions web series celebrates independent young women and hence is  close to our beliefs. We hope the viewers will also enjoy the shoppable styles the protagonists will be wearing.”

The Myntra partnership has been extended in other ways: the show will air on the fashion outlet’s app giving it a reach of 7 million viewers even as the three faces will be seen on the application and its properties. Push notifications and pop ups will be sent to Myntra users.

Part of the marketing plan drawn up by Fremantle includes the sponsors promoting the series on their digital platforms. Additionally, an agency to moderate social media to create buzz around the show has been signed on.

“We are striving to develop new formats and explore innovative ways to integrate non-traditional platforms,” says Bhandary.

The web-series has been produced in HD with the hope that it will find a telecast window in traditional TV channels, depending on its success.

“You need a combination of high production values and good content for a show to stand tall, “ explains Bhandary. “Once we are done with the digital run, we will definitely syndicate it as it’s been made without any compromises. It’s produced equally or even better than how a TV show is produced. The amount I am paying to produce this web series, I would have to pay the same amount to produce a TV show.”

A professional who is confident that the digital initiative will pay off is Fremantle Media India senior VP of branded entertainment and digital partnerships Ron Crasto. It was he who forged the relationship between the creatives at the content creator,  Facebook and Myntra. Says he: “We want to be at the forefront of digital content production and storytelling. This innovative series will delight audiences and deliver great results for all stakeholders.”

Bhandary is hopeful of Confessions getting a second season. Says he:  “The idea behind a finite series is that people want a beginning and an end. If this gets successful, we might do a sequel also.”

Amen to that!

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