Epic’s marketing mantra: Digital innovations

MUMBAI: One of the oldest civilisations in the world and thousands of stories to tell; Epic, the latest entrant in the Hindi entertainment channel space, is all about ‘Kahaniyaan Hindustan Ki’.

Different from the rest, the channel which wants to be categorised as the country’s first genre specific channel, is taking a different approach when it comes to not only content, but marketing as well.

Imagine a standard bus stop transformed into a royal seating chamber, equipped with fan bearers and thrones. Yes, to give a taste of yesteryears the channel has taken the conventional as well as unconventional ways to create the buzz around it.

“We want to create a brand around history and mythology in television and therefore it was very important to have a strategic approach to our marketing efforts,” says Epic Television Networks founder and MD Mahesh Samat.  Apart from focusing on a 360 degree marketing plan, it has put a great deal of focus on digital innovations.

“Social media is a much underutilised medium which we wanted to explore. We have a three-pronged approach – create relevance, generate meaningful engagement and offer a sense of uniqueness,” says Samat while elaborating on how the channel debuted first on YouTube a month before the launch of the channel and garnered over 1.2 million hits and subsequently, released a promo every week to build some pre-buzz in the market.

“Our digital initiative, Epicgrams, has been an ongoing property that has helped create the relevant conversations surrounding Indian history, mythology and folklore, before the channel launched,” highlights Samat.

Other than this, Epic is also being promoted in the traditional ways with radio, print, television and OOH.

The channel did an in-depth research to create the blueprint of marketing strategy. “Our research suggested that our content appeals more to urban audiences given the contemporary format of storytelling. It also suggested that the content is more gender neutral unlike other entertainment channels. That being said, our content is focused on Indian history and we as Indians have an emotional connection to our past. We have had a longstanding tradition of storytelling that has faded over the last few decades. Urban audiences have turned away from Indian television because there isn’t enough content that caters to their sentimentalities. We felt that this was a space in television that was untapped and we wanted to bring audiences back to Indian television in a way that suits their consumption patterns. We felt that leveraging the digital medium would help us reach the intended audience and be an agent to bring them back to television,” he adds.

The campaigns are season based wherein once the first season is over, the campaigns for the second season of shows will commence.

Launched on 19 November, after more than a year’s wait, so far the channel has spent upwards of 50 to 60 per cent of its marketing budget.  As per industry sources, the channel is spending around Rs 20 crore to Rs 25 crore on marketing.

So far, Epic is focusing on cities that have completed phase I of digitisation and the urban audience across the country, including Mumbai and Delhi and as digitisation takes its course across the country, the campaigns will begin there as well.

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