Zee builds up period drama with marketing innovations that #TurnBackTime

MUMBAI: Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Zee TV is all set to #TurnBackTime for its new period drama EK Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani that promises to be recreating the opulence of the 1940s on Indian television. 


The channel is leaving no stone unturned in transporting the audiences back to pre-Independence India. Zee TV, as part of promotions for the new show, which went on air on 27 July, has rolled out its marketing campaign across TV, print, radio, cable, DTH, digital and cinema.


With the core proposition of #TurnBackTime, the communication across platforms gives the audiences a real taste of the golden era gone by.


The objective of the marketing campaign is to reach out to the largest denominator, targeting the loyalists while also bringing on board new audiences. 


On the day of the show's launch, a print innovation that aimed to take the readers of Mumbai’s top English dailies back in time was unveiled. The front page of Hindustan Times was an exact recreation of the actual newspaper on 27 July 1942, replete with the original masthead. On the other hand, DNA After Hrs took a trip down memory lane, dug out movies that were to release during July-August in 1942 along with the entertainment news of that time and created a special front page as it would have appeared, had it been published on 27 July, 1942. Bombay and Delhi Times carried double spread sepia-toned creatives with the lead actors' pictures. The print campaign was also extended across key HSM markets of UP and Gujarat.


A differentiated show requires a distinct campaign, hence a three phase television campaign was rolled out. The first phase started with a teaser where audiences got a sneak peek into the worlds of the protagonists. The second phase set the show premise and showcased the stark contrast between the backgrounds of the protagonists. The third phase spoke about the intricacies of the royal world that a common man is unaware of. Also a week prior to the launch, two character promos further established the protagonists - Gayatri as a young, unassuming, simple yet free spirited and ahead of her times girl and Ranaji as a handsome, brooding prince but dutiful towards his kingdom.


What's more, the radio waves took on a classic feel as radio spots with India's most iconic radio announcer - a voice synonymous with the Golden age of All-India Radio - Ameen Sayani were played across stations. A tie-up with Big FM had its RJ Neelesh Mishra give viewers a preview of Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani two days prior to its premiere on the show Yaadon Ka Idiot Box. Furthermore, on the day of the launch, for the first time, Big FM had three of its RJs travel back in time to the 1940s and give trivia on fashion, cuisine and style related to that era.


On the digital front, the channel hosted a ‘Vintage Photography Competition,’ wherein consumers were asked to capture today with yesterday’s lens to #TurnBackTime. A 'tweet a postcard' activity was also initiated for the Twitterati, where their messages for loved ones were put on an actual postcard and sent across. The campaign has already garnered a digital reach of 15 million.


Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani, with its sheer scale, is one of the biggest fiction launches of the year. It aims to give viewers an up close and personal view of the lifestyles and some of the most closely guarded secrets of the rich and royal of the 1940s.

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