Sahara's Malini Iyer rides high on promotional hype

MUMBAI: Sahara's latest big hope, Malini Iyer, is being heralded by the network with hype that comes close, or perhaps matches the hoopla that surrounded Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny eight months ago.


Although finally, it will be content that will decide Malini's and consequently actor Sridevi's fate as it did Devyani aka Karisma Kapoor's, the channel has pulled out all stops in ensuring that the show at least gets a good opening by impressing Sridevi's image in the minds of viewers and media planners alike. 12 local railway stations in Mumbai, including CST, Churchgate, Dadar and Thane have been fitted with 'lifesize television screens' which are continuously playing the Malni Iyer promos. At 9 pm, these screens will automatically uplink to live telecast of the channel and the inaugural episode of Malini, says Sahara TV president Satish Menon.

While at least 40 hoardings dot major metros and Sahara has bought up space in major dailies since Sunday, it also tried its hand at an innovative promotional strategy today by hiring out a popular caterer to get South Indian attired youngsters to distribute Malini Iyer emblazoned boxes filled with piping hot 'idli-wada-sambhar' trays to media organisations in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore to set tastebuds and curiosity tingling.

On air, Sahara Manoranjan will sacrifice advertisements from 6 pm to 9 pm today, giving way to innovative Malini Iyer promos, no two of which will be alike, promises Menon. These are designed keeping in mind the 6 to 7 pm band, which is one of the most popular timebands on Sahara Manoranjan, says Menon.

In contrast to Malini, Paresh Rawal's Bhagwan Bachaye is going to have a relatively low key launch on Wednesday, when it debuts on the same slot as Malini. True, there have been a few print ads and a few on the Internet, but it is Sridevi who currently enjoys top of the mind recall.

Will the veteran actor with her famous penchant for comedy provide the key to TRP heaven for Sahara? Team Sahara will certainly be hoping so.

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