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Channels back content with on-ground promotional events

MUMBAI: Out of sight is out of mind! Channels are stepping up ground promotions and conducting an increasing number of celebrity events revolving around their programmes. Creating good content is meaningless unless it is backed by on-ground and below-the-line promotions.

Zee TV is flying down several popular actors and actresses who work in TV serials such as Lipstick andKittie Partie to Ahmedabad for a Sansui Antakshari show. Sony and MAX had its brand ambassador Kapil Dev travelling to different parts of the country just prior to the cricket World Cup 2003 for itsGully Cricket promo. MAX also plans several promos for its Rolling Stones event in April 2003.

During the budget, news channels such as CNBC and Star News actually went out of their studios and held budget related events at several neutral venues. Over 350 enthusiasts turned up for the elimination rounds of the National Geographic's Everest Se Takkar in Mumbai in February. Cartoon Network's annual fare Toon Cricket with 30,000 plus attendees turned out to be a good example of pester power.

Football when cricket mania is at its peak! ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) initiative which reached its climax in February gave Mumbai kids the opportunity to mimic the likes of David Beckham and Michael Owen. St Francis School beat several other schools and reached its grand finale.

In all these cases, there was an attempt to ensure that the sponsors of the programmes get sufficient mileage.

Event management company DNA Networks is in charge of the Rolling Stones Licks tour of India while McDowells No. 1 is the presenting sponsor. UB group chairman Dr Vijay Mallya says, "Bringing the Rolling Stones to India goes one step further towards cementing McDowell's No. 1's position as a mega brand which brings to its consumers mega entertainment. The timeless act goes hand in hand with the style, panache and supremacy of our brand."

Such cross promotional efforts seem to be a win-win situation for everyone including the channels, sponsors and the producers of the serials. In effect it also ensures that the channels and the programmes directly connect to the audiences. It also has a positive rub-off on the cable trade and neutralises aggressive postures, if any.

Zee TV president Apurva Purohit says: "Antakshari is one of the strongest properties on Zee TV which has broken all age and category barriers. After a successful decade, we decided to give the show a new look and a new sponsor too. Sansui had approached us a few months ago wanting to take the main title sponsorship and since our contract with HLL was over we decided to partner with Sansui for the new Antakshari."

Electronics major Sansui launched an innovative marketing campaign revolving around the same. Customers of Sansui colour television sets are now entitled to a free auditon form for Antakshari.

Meanwhile, the NGC initiative cost Rs 110 million and is being undertaken in coordination with the Indian Army. It is the first time that such an activity is being captured on a TV camera from start to finish.

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